Even as free and low-cost Internet video conferencing catches on, the market for paid managed telepresence services continues to accelerate. The latest proof point involves Glowpoint Inc., which says its cloud-based managed services revenues grew 46 percent in Q4 2010 vs. Q4 2009. Generally speaking, those managed services revenues involve telepresence, video conference and collaboration services. So, how can smaller VARs and MSPs potentially wrap their arms around managed telepresence services?
The market sure seems ripe with opportunity. ABI Research predicts the market for managed telepresence and video conferencing services will reach $1.2 billion by 2016, a 19 percent compound annual growth rate. Eager to grab market share, managed services providers are partnering up. Recent examples include:
- InterCall and Informata have partnered to promote video NOC (network operations center) services.
- Telaid -- an MSP in Connecticut -- recently joined Glowpoint's partner program to plug into the company's telepresence network.
- There are signs Tata Communications will allow partners to plug into its Cisco-based TelePresence systems.
- Zenith Infotech's sister company, called Vu Telepresence, has been building out a recurring revenue strategy with MSPs.
But I still have this nagging feeling that consumer-led video services -- some free, some low-cost -- will cannibalize some corporate telepresence services. If executives spend more time watching their kids online, they'll see just how far skype and built-in video (on PCs and Macs) have come.
Still, I think there's plenty of room for MSPs to promote managed telepresence and video conferencing services to customers. And there's also the opportunity to move into a neighboring market segment: Managed video surveillance.
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