In 2015, enterprise telepresence and video conferencing equipment sales will reach $5.4 billion. This leaves a huge market for VARs and their partners to sell video conferencing products and services. But what kind of video conferencing should a VAR focus on? Multi-purpose room video solutions make up over half of the current enterprise video equipment market today and will continue to sustain market growth as the most substantial revenue-generator among business-class video solutions. In fact, it is expected that by 2020, at least 50% of conference rooms will be equipped with video conferencing. The reasons for this are clear: video conferencing can help make the world greener by reducing travel; travel expenses can be significantly reduced; video conferencing is convenient and personal; and enhancements in productivity can be used to show cost justification. Telepresence and video conferencing can be sold on-premise or in the cloud; for two or many locations; domestically or globally; and either in an integrated or stand-alone mode. Here are some ways to determine the customer’s needs:
Cloud or Premises-Controlled Equipment – Video conferencing in the cloud usually works over the public internet. Premises video conferencing uses a managed internal data network. Find out if your customer has a managed data center with enough bandwidth, Quality of Service (QoS) and personnel to make changes and manage the system. If not and they prefer not to invest in those things, cloud-based video conferencing may be preferable. Otherwise, there is a great opportunity to sell data products and services in addition to video conferencing equipment. Vendors should carefully target their markets in order to get the best results.
Determine The Number of Present and Future Locations – Companies with employees near video conferencing rooms are more likely to use them. Find out how the customer envisions their video conferencing plan and for which locations. The more locations, the greater level of complexity in implementation. And with larger implementations, there is more opportunity for not only equipment sales, but for professional services and ongoing support revenue.
Ask About Global Locations – Does the customer have offices in other countries that need to be equipped with telepresence capabilities? Gateways or other technical enhancements may be required to integrate video conferencing into locations in other countries, providing another opportunity for sales and service, possibly with partners in those areas.
Integrated or Stand-Alone – Find out if the enterprise would prefer to have stand-alone, dedicated video meeting rooms or if they have plans to integrate video in other ways, like to the desktop, on mobile devices or screen/document sharing; or to integrate with online business processes like CRM. The more integration that is required, the more there is a need for a single VAR solution to ensure optimum interoperability and end-user continuity.
Video conferencing means big money for vendors. Don’t just talk about stand-alone video conferencing meeting rooms; find out whether the customer wants to expand to desktop conferencing and mobile video. Discover if they are adding locations or growing globally. Discuss the capabilities of their data center and if they are growing it or outsourcing it. Cost justify investments by appealing to an enterprise’s green initiative, the savings it will realize by reducing travel; and the convenience and productivity gained with video conferencing. With an application that is growing as fast as telepresence, VARs should push the envelope to get their fair share.
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