Here’s why today’s announcement between AVer and Vidtel – announcing low-cost, high-quality bundles for HD business video – is so important.
Sometimes innovation isn’t about creating something new – instead, it’s about making an existing thing better, easier, and cheaper. And once that new way is available, things change almost overnight.
Take iron, for example. Iron has been manufactured since as early as the third century AD, and the processes for creating wrought iron and cast iron generally didn’t change for about 1600 years. But then in 1855, the Bessemer process was patented, allowing workers to produce steel at a fraction of the cost of iron. By 1900, the cost of steel had plummeted by 90% or more, and the days of production of wrought iron were fundamentally over. (See right for an image of a Bessemer converter.)
I see a lot of similarities with business video. No one in business really doubts the benefits of business video conferencing – the problem has been the pain and cost of obtaining and maintaining video solutions. Let’s look at the barriers that have historically prevented video from widespread corporate adoption. It’s no secret what they were: I call them “the three Cs”:
- Cost: as long as video systems cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, they were only going to be able to be used for a portion of the market
- Complexity: managing video equipment wasn’t trivial – configuring and maintaining gatekeepers, proxies, gateways, and the video units themselves required a very specialized (and very expensive) skill set
- Commitment: frankly, with the cost and maintenance effort required, video simplicity wasn’t worth it to company executives. It wasn’t that they didn’t want video conferencing: they did want it. It was just that the effort to get video wasn’t worth the opportunity cost of what was required to acquire and maintain a video solution.
Now, things are changing. With today’s Vidtel-AVer announcement, those three Cs flip on their heads. Cost? The AVer devices are under $1000, and Vidtel solutions have zero CapEx. Complexity? The Vidtel solutions are all in the cloud – no premises infrastructure is required at all. No gatekeepers, proxies, gateways to manage, configure, and update. Commitment? It’s easy to get executive sponsorship of video now – because now you get all the benefits of video, but you can free up your IT team to work on key strategic projects, because your video solution is in the cloud.
Hold on tight – things are about to change fast.