Tandberg Takes Video Conferencing to Small and Midmarket BusinessBy Jessica Davis | Posted 2009-06-18 Email Print
As business travel budgets have been cut to the bone, more businesses, large and small, have been looking to video conferencing to replace some travel. Now Tandberg has released two product bundles targeted at the small and midmarket business space and at enterprises looking to equip branch offices. Tandberg's products are offered at price points previously only served by rivals such as Polycom and LifeSize.
As travel budgets have been cut to the bone, plenty of companies large and small have been considering the benefits of implementing video conferencing systems, a technology that can help them realize the new business mantra, "do more with less."
And video conferencing does seem to be on the precipice of more widespread adoption, driven by the poor economic conditions, the availability of ubiquitous broadband and public networks, plus more choices in video conferencing equipment at lower price points.
To help capture some of that market, Tandberg this week introduced Tandberg Quick Set C20, a high resolution video conferencing solution that the company is aiming at small business and midmarket business. It’s Tandberg’s first foray into that market segment, one that it says analysts are predicting will lead the economy out of recession.
Tandberg solution provider channel partner Providea believes that Tandberg’s new market entries, the Tandberg Quick Set C20 and the Tandberg Quick Set C20plus, reach an area of the market where Tandberg hasn’t gone before, and one where its rivals LifeSize and Polycom have been doing all the business.
The product at this price point, $7,900 for the basic system and $9,900 for the plus system, reaches not only small business and midmarket business, but also has a great deal of potential for large enterprises looking to equip their branch offices with video conferencing says Todd Luttinger, president of solution provider Providea, which specializes in video conferencing implementations and works with Tandberg, Polycom and LifeSize.
"This [price point] is a growing segment of the market," Luttinger tells Channel Insider. "With price points where they are now and the functionality and quality, it’s getting more people interested in deploying video conferencing where before they would think it wasn’t affordable, or that the equipment they could afford wasn’t that good."
Plus, the economy is driving companies to look at alternatives to travel.
"Companies are absolutely mandating travel restrictions," Luttinger says. The combination of quality, price points, and the economic impact on travel is driving the video conferencing market into a new realm.
"It’s pushed this industry to a new place from where I’ve ever seen it, and I’ve been in it a long time," says Luttinger.
Both the Tandberg Quick Set C20 and the Tandberg Quick Set C20plus include a codec, a high resolution camera, a remote control and a microphone. The difference between the two is in the camera. The basic version offers a camera with 4x zoom while the enhanced version offers a camera with 12x zoom.
A software upgrade at $3,000 enables either system to display up to 1080p at 30 frames per minute or 720p at up to 60 frames per minute. The option for dual monitors is $2,000 and enables one monitor to show the meeting participants while the other serves as a collaboration tool.
Peter Nutley, Tandberg's director of global marketing tells Channel Insider that his company is planning more announcements targeted at the small business and midmarket business space in the coming months, but he declined to offer specifics.
"We are seeing a lot of opportunity in the SMB space," he says. "SMBs have a desire to appear larger and to have the same tools that larger companies have. Video is a key part of that."