5 Questions with David Mario Smith, Aragon Research
Aragon Research recently published its Globe for Web and Video Conferencing, naming Fuze one of the top innovators. We sat down with David Mario Smith, research director and lead analyst, to discuss the major trends impacting the web and video conferencing market and key considerations for customers evaluating the myriad of available offerings.
Fuze: Aragon Research is one of the first analyst firms to evaluate the web and video conferencing markets together. Why do you think this is important?
David Mario Smith (DMS): There has been a convergence around web and video conferencing for some time now. The ability to share your content, screen and have the visual cues of seeing people should not be separated. Also it needs to be mobile enabled. These applications should not be in silo, but part of an overall holistic offering.
Fuze: What are the key trends buyers should be aware of?
DMS: So with the convergence of web and video conferencing, access via cloud and mobile devices is a key requirement. Cloud and mobile have democratized who can provide collaboration capabilities and also who can access. Buyers are looking for ease of access. With that we are seeing the rise of business leaders procuring web and video conferencing and overall collaboration technologies.
Fuze: How important is the connection between mobile devices, desktops and meeting rooms?
DMS: Workers today are increasingly mobile and remote. There has to be a seamless transition between the office and on the go. With a mobile device, wherever you are becomes your office. That is crucial to the new wave of mobile workers. They need the same level of access and capabilities from their desktop to their mobile device. Also, workspaces have to be more collaboration enabled. There is a move toward collaborative workspaces which entail video-enabling conference rooms. Usually investments in expensive hardware systems dictate only a certain amount of rooms can be video-enabled. With cloud and software-based video offerings, even small huddle rooms can be video-enabled at very low costs. We predict that by 2020 50% of conference rooms will be digital and video-enabled. We are around only 10% today.
“50% of conference rooms will be digital and video-enabled by 2020.” - David Mario Smith, Aragon ResearchFuze: How should companies go about selecting a vendor? DMS: Vendor selection first has to come down to best fit for the organization. Companies have to match their needs versus what the vendor can offer to support it. Technology selection has to be outcome based, meaning it has to be focused on supporting specific business outcomes. Also companies have to look at and request the vendor's current capabilities and roadmap for future developments in cloud and mobile collaboration.
Fuze: You wrote a related report about total cost of ownership (TCO) for web and video conferencing. How are the economics changing?
DMS: So carrying on from how companies have to select vendors, total cost of ownership is very important. Companies have to understand the total cost of ownership and return on investment with web and video conferencing investments. Organizations are realizing significant savings by moving to cloud-based web and video conferencing options. In comparing TCO of traditional video conferencing systems vs. software-based web and video conferencing solutions, organizations stand to save between 15% and 50% over the first 1-3 years alone.
“Comparing TCO of traditional video conferencing systems vs. software-based web and video conferencing solutions, organizations stand to save between 15% and 50% over the first 1-3 years alone.” - David Mario Smith, Aragon ResearchDownload the full reports here:
- The Aragon Research Globe for Web and Video Conferencing, 2014
- Web and Video Conferencing: The Hidden TCO Goldmine, Aragon Research