MSP Opportunity: Managed Telepresence Growing 19% Annually

MSP Opportunity: Managed Telepresence Growing 19% Annually

Telepresence and video conferencing continue to make headway as a managed services market. MSPmentor has covered the market’s evolution here and here. Now, market research numbers provide some quantification for this sector. ABI Research predicts that hosted and managed telepresence and videoconferencing services will reach $1.2 billion worldwide by 2016 -- at an annual growth rate at 19 percent. The market grew at a 25 percent clip in 2010 to $512.5 million, according to the company. But that's not all.

Managed video services providers, as ABI Research describes companies participating in this space, include dedicated video services providers and large telcos that offer videoconferencing and telepresence. Subha Rama, senior analyst at ABI Research said companies like Glowpoint Inc. are representative of the dedicated provider segment.  AT&T, BT, Tata Communications and Telstra are among the telcos offering managed video services.

Beneath that tier of companies are smaller integrators and MSPs who seek to cultivate video services as part of their portfolios. Recent moves show those companies merging with each other to expand their video services or teaming with a managed video services provider. Carousel Industries’ plan to acquire OmniPresence Inc. fits the former category. The deal brings together Carousel’s unified communications and network monitoring abilities with OmniPresence focus on designing videoconferencing and telepresence solutions.

Nexus’ teaming arrangement with Glowpoint, announced earlier this month, demonstrates the latter approach. The Valencia, Calif. company, which offers unified communications and managed services, will integrate Glowpoint’s managed services into its service line via a wholesale agreement, according to the companies.

Glowpoint in January signed Telaid, a Connecticut MSP, as a channel partner. Glowpoint’s chief executive officer, Joe Laezza, earlier this year cited a “growing amount of business” coming through partner channels.

Rama said alliances between unified communications integrators and video MSPs are on the rise.

“I definitely see ... a growing number of UC integration providers partnering with video MSPs,” he said. “An increasing number of enterprises are looking for video integration within their UC environment in order to deliver more productive meeting experiences.”

The alliances will continue to play an important role in the market as managed video service providers roll out B2B telepresence exchange services, Rama added.

B2B exchange services include event management, resource management, connectivity management, transcoding services, meeting experience management, gateway services, and multilingual interpretation services. The role of alliances, Rama said, is “to make sure that the B2B telepresence exchange services launched by many of these providers do have their intended reach.”

Channel partners potentially could extend that reach, especially as vendors look beyond the usual videoconferencing suspects: big companies. Expanding the telepresence market beyond the largest enterprises has been the goal of companies such as Vu Telepresence, which targets MSPs . The channel’s task: develop a niche among mid-market and smaller companies with needs that go beyond what solutions such as Skype can provide.

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