The North American web conferencing market has rebounded admirably from the economic recession of 2009. This can be attributed to the cost-cutting methods being employed by many companies today. Non-essential travel is being dropped in favor of cost-effective web conferencing. However, increasing competition from Unified Communication (UC) solutions, free web conferencing applications, and persistent price pressure are expected to slow down the revenue growth of this market.
Standalone web conferencing applications are already at the end of their product life, as consumers prefer bundled solutions that include web conferencing capabilities instead. The technological and cost barriers associated with converged conferencing solutions like the RHUB 6-in-1 web conferencing and remote support appliance are now becoming insignificant in comparison to the immense benefits they provide. Moreover, the ease with which these bundled solutions can be managed in a highly integrated environment improves their productivity and, as a result, their acceptance in the market.
The use of Conferencing Solution was highly fragmented in the past. Enterprises would deploy a combination of different service delivery channels and technologies. As a result, they had to manage some parts of the customer premise equipment and hosted services as well, thereby increasing cost and complexity of the communications system. According to recent market analysis reports, companies that previously used different hosted services and on-premise applications for conferencing have switched to a single provider with a complete infrastructure.
This has helped conferencing service providers by improving their capabilities and converging Unified Communications and audio, video, and web conferencing into an integrated solution. Network service providers have also acquired capabilities to build web, video and web conferencing tools in order to use this market trend to their advantage.
Apart from the critical status of web conferencing solutions such as net meeting, participants in the market have also realized that it is highly competitive and commoditized. The core markets are reaching saturation point, and the lowering of entry barriers into the markets has led to an influx of new companies- both small and large. Surprisingly, the markets are seeing fragmentation, as well as consolidation at the same time. The best companies are now acquiring and merging with smaller promising companies, while the lower market end is seeing newer and smaller service providers. These new companies are key elements in lowering the price pressure, especially with many participants offering free web conferencing services on the internet. At the same time, the internet has become key to offering integrated applications and value-added services that are bundled with traditional solutions.
Competition is likely to continue from within the market and from outside as well, with web conferencing vendors incorporating web conferencing services to their solutions. The competition from Unified Communications and internet-based VoIP service providers has also intensified. In this kind of competitive market, service providers that offer differential services at the most customer-friendly price points are more likely to succeed. Service providers that link their services to measurable gains in productivity have found greater market acceptance.