While there has been a great deal of progress in this space, the market still faces some roadblocks.
"Videoconferencing systems still operate largely as isolated islands," noted Wainhouse Research's Davis. Unlike other IT technologies, videoconferencing has evolved largely with proprietary products and protocols. Consequently, it can be difficult to connect a video service relying on Cisco products with one based on Polycom devices.
In addition, vendors have relied on resellers to install these devices as well as develop videoconferencing services. Their level of expertise, as well as their reach, can vary dramatically, so sometimes their service falls short of meeting a business's requirements.
Despite those issues, observers expect SMBs to deploy more videoconferencing systems in the coming months. "For more than 10 years, vendors have been proclaiming that the videoconferencing market is about to experience a dramatic uptick in use," concluded Info-Tech's Angl. "Such statements are no longer marketing hype."
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Paul Korzeniowski is a freelance writer who has been writing about networking issues for two decades. His work has appeared in Business 2.0, Entrepreneur, Investors Business Daily, Newsweek, and Information Week. He is based in Sudbury, Mass. and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.