Get Ready for Managed Video Service Providers (MVSPs)

Just what the tech world needs: Another acronym. Although I try to steer clear of technology jargon, the term "managed video service provider" (MVSP) caught my eye today. Applied Global Technologies is launching an end-to-end video collaboration service called PerfectMeetings. The announcement mentioned several trends involving MVSPs.

That got me thinking about several vertical market trends (involving government, education and retail). I've come to the following conclusion: For managed service providers (MSPs), corporate video applications should be near the top of your new business opportunity list. Here's why.

The Applied press release contains all the important buzzwords about video collaboration, describing PerfectMeetings as a way to ensure emergency response communications, while promoting video commuting and carbon footprint production (translation: leave your car in the garage for the day).

Here's the most interesting tidbit from the release: "Gartner estimates that as many as 40% (and rising) of enterprises use some form of managed video service provider."

That estimate sounds far too optimistic to me. But there's no denying that MSPs need to explore manage video services. Video surveillance applications, for instance, is one of the top opportunities MSPs are exploring, according to our ongoing MSPmentor 100 survey (we'll announce the survey results and MSPmentor 100 companies in January 2008).

And don't forget: Your options go well beyond high-end video surveillance systems. Entry-level hardware providers like Linksys are now getting into the video industry. And since Cisco already promotes managed Linksys services, it's safe to expect those services to push into IP video.

So, who would want to buy managed video services from you? Multiple target markets, including state and local government; education and retail.

  • Government: Municipalities like Providence, R.I., and Tucson, Ariz., have deployed municipal wireless networks for public safety applications. Video surveillance is already gaining popularity in Tucson, and dozens of other cities are now exploring similar networks.
  • Education: K-12 schools and universities were early adopters of WiFi. Those wireless networks now blanket many university campuses. Extending the networks with managed video services is a natural next step.
  • Retail: From big box retailers to mom-and-pop shops, everyone is moving from closed circuit TV to IP-based video surveillance systems.
Mark my words: Managed video service providers will gain considerable momentum in 2008.
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