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Think Cisco, Polycom and Logitech have a monopoly on video conferencing in
business? Think again.

A new survey of 1,200 business users in the United
States, Japan,
South Korea and
China shows
that the vast majority of them—79 percent—use consumer applications such as
Yahoo, Gmail, AOL and Skype for video
conferencing while just 21 percent relied on systems from the heavyweight video
conferencing hardware vendors such as Cisco and Polycom.

That’s not such a big surprise given the state of the world economy in 2009 and
2010 so far. Global IP Solutions (GIPS), which commissioned the survey, said in
a white paper that low cost and ease of upgrade of user capabilities likely
made these consumer applications more popular.

In addition, now that consumers are enjoying much faster processors built into
today’s PCs and mobile phones, the quality of consumer video applications has

But while the vast majority of those surveyed were using those very low-cost
solutions, they also reported dissatisfaction with the performance, citing
video delay and video freezing as the largest concerns of video
conferencing/video chat use.

A large portion of those business users in the United States, however—40
percent—reported their companies were looking to improve the situation by
deploying video communication systems within the next six to 24 months,
according to the survey.

That’s good news for the big video conferencing equipment vendors, who have
certainly been gearing up for the emerging market, with Cisco acquiring
Tandberg, Logitech buying LifeSize, and Polycom announcing partnerships with
service providers and equipment makers around the world.

The survey was conducted by Research Now and sponsored by GIPS, a provider of
voice and video processing in IP communications to communications service
providers, network providers and equipment vendors, including Nortel, Oracle,
Samsung, WebEx and Yahoo.