Vu TelePresence Increases Channel Presence, Market Share
VoIP-based conferencing upstart Vu TelePresence has been selling the SMB market on its UC and VoIP devices for a while now, but the company recently hit a milestone, claiming a customer base totaling 4 percent of the U.S. telepresence market. In a technology space dominated by the likes of Polycom and Cisco Systems, what’s so special about Vu and its channel program? Read on for a little flavor …
Vu says it has signed 1,500 global customers, with 135 partners signed up since April 2010 to resell Vu TelePresence’s portfolio. What’s Vu’s secret sauce? The company prides itself on offering a high-quality high-definition telepresence experience without the traditionally high bandwidth requirements. It also says its products are more affordable than its competition’s offerings. Sounds like a win-win.
But what about that 4 percent of the telepresence market? Vu noted its claim doesn’t encompass the entire videconferencing space — just telepresence specifically. Wainhouse Research defines telepresence as “an immersive experience based on videoconferencing technology that creates the illusion that the remote participants are in the same room,” and according to the research firm, total worldwide shipments of telepresence solutions hit 15,000 units in 2010, with Vu owning 1,610 of said units. (Caveat here: Vu noted the numbers are “Approximated values based on data from Wainhouse Report of 2009 and suitably extrapolated.”)
Although traditionally focused on the SMB space, Vu’s technology has also made its way into Fortune 500 companies. The healthcare vertical has been especially good for the company, as well as overseas professional services. But the majority of its users — 85 percent, to be exact — use the solution to have inter-company discussions or to chat with clients, according to the company.
Since creating its channel program in April 2010, Vu TelePresence has worked to drive its channel deeper with its go-to-market strategy of offering solutions that strike a balance between value and cost. Vu believes momentum in the SMB market for UC is growing exponentially, and that’s something we’ve seen too, judging by the recent onslaught of UC announcements from Polycom and others.
To add fuel to its growing fire, Vu recently launched the BusinessLoop Program, which allows SMB owners of Vu TelePresence system to purchase an additional unit to loan to their customers. Those customer receiving loaner units will only be able to connect with the SMB company that loaned it out.