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Profiting in a Unified Communications Era
SMB video conferencing solutions are redefining the category, providing integrators with clear profit paths.

Article


Sony
Sony’s XG-80 visual communication system is targeted at a wide range of clients, including those with limited budgets.
January 29, 2013 | by Kevin Kelly

Vidyo recently announced that its video conferencing technology is going to be embedded in the new Nintendo Wii UTM Chat, a video communication service that is included with every Wii U console. The integration of Vidyo’s software into the Nintendo VC service underscores the significant growth and expansion of the video conferencing industry, and points the way to the future.

With low-cost video conferencing options such as Skype and Facetime, it’s clear that the industry no longer solely serves corporations. In fact, the top markets for A/V integrators to build their organizations’ profitability include small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), higher education and healthcare, with these verticals expanding the market that provides a higher margin on the sale than any other product categories.

The new era of video conferencing provides dealers the opportunity to sell software that works for their customers, both in quality and price, and marks the new era of unified communications.

When it comes to making business development calls, there is no better category in the A/V business to start the discussion than video conferencing. It offers margin, sale size and ongoing revenue. Today, dealers have more exciting ways to profit from the expanding reach of video conferencing, and the availability of affordable solutions can mean both short and long-term gains for dealers.

A video conferencing sale can mean much more for dealers than the profit from the immediate sale. The sale creates associated sales of displays, audio equipment, and other components that users of video conferencing software surely need to have. Also, the ongoing service contracts create annuities for dealers that are unheard of in any other sector of the pro A/V industry.

Most importantly, the increased number of endpoints is changing the way that people view the need to video conference, and more people are taking notice of the seemingly endless opportunities that video conferencing offers.

What began as high-end video conferencing through dedicated telepresence systems from companies like Cisco has evolved through lower-cost dedicated video conferencing systems that can be leased for under $100 a month, to software- based PC video conferencing solutions, to device-based (phones, tablets) conferencing. The fact that all of these different video conferencing systems can be combined at any given time is what makes this era of video conferencing the new era of unified communications.

Unified communications is on the verge of becoming a major new growth opportunity for dealers in virtually every vertical market, offering end users a wide selection of product offerings that cover every need from dedicated enterprise- wide video conferencing systems to software-based, PC-attached solutions.

The responsibility lies with each and every video conferencing dealer to learn more about how unified communications can benefit them and their customer base. The question is: Are your customers asking you for the product? When do we reach the tipping point? It may be closer than you think … What’s your IP address?

About the author

Kevin Kelly is president and COO of Stampede Presentation Products, Inc. (www.stampede-usa.com).
View all posts by Kevin Kelly
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