Videoconference equipment sales skittish

The September digital edition of Computing Canada, which will be out next week, includes a feature on how enterprises deal with the impact of video on converged networks. (You can subscribe for free here)

By coincidence IDC has just released its second quarter numbers on worldwide enterprise videoconferencing and telepresence equipment sales, which shows organizations are putting off buying in part because of the rise of cloud-based offerings.

Falling hardware prices are also having an effect.

Briefly, sales were up in every segment compared to the first quarter, but markedly down compared to what organizations were spending in the same period 12 months ago.

Overall spending was up 1.8 per cent over the first quarter of the year, but down nine per cent compared to the second quarter last year.

Multi-codec immersive telepresence equipment sales were up slightly from Q1, but down 17.3 per cent from a year ago. Room-based system sales were up 4.5 per cent over Q1, but down the same amount from 2013. The only segment that showed year over year growth was in room-based units, whose sales were up 10.8 per cent from Q1 and 7.7 per cent over the same period a year ago.

Overall sales in Canada and the U.S. were up 6.8 per cent in the second quarter over Q2, but that was still down 12.2 per cent compared to the same period in 2013.

Cisco Systems Inc. saw sales drop 2.4 per cent quarter over quarter, and 15.2 per cent compared to a year ago. It has 38.4 per cent of the global market.

“We continue to see the impact of delayed customer buying decisions, lower-cost systems, more software-centric products, and competitive cloud-based video service offerings on the worldwide enterprise video equipment market,” Rich Costello, IDC’s senior analyst for enterprise communications infrastructure , said in a statement.

“The mixed video equipment results are also indicative of the ongoing transition from a primarily hardware-based reporting model to one impacted by the interest in and growth of video subscription services. On the bright side for the video equipment vendors, most or all of these vendors now offer, or are ramping-up to offer, cloud-based video alternatives to customers – in addition to their own lower cost, premises-based systems.”

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Howard Solomon
Howard Solomon
Currently a freelance writer, I'm the former editor of and Computing Canada. An IT journalist since 1997, I've written for several of ITWC's sister publications including and Computer Dealer News. Before that I was a staff reporter at the Calgary Herald and the Brampton (Ont.) Daily Times. I can be reached at hsolomon [@]

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