The market for enterprise telepresence and video conferencing equipment is still growing, depending on which segment of the market you look at.
Infonetics Research's first quarter 2014 Enterprise Telepresence and Video Conferencing Equipment report reveals that buyers are increasingly choosing personal systems rather than more expensive enterprise systems. Overall, Infonetics is predicting only single-digit revenue growth through 2017 for enterprise telepresence and video conferencing revenue.
The videophone segment of Infonetics' analysis grew by 48 percent year-over-year in terms of unit shipments, making it the fastest-growing component of the hardware endpoint market. In contrast, the telepresence segment of the market declined by nearly 20 percent in terms of unit shipments, year-over-year.
"Video conferencing revenue experienced a strong seasonal decline in the first quarter of 2014, but it remains positive on a year-over-year basis," Matthias Machowinski, directing analyst for enterprise networks and video at Infonetics Research, said in a statement. "The dedicated systems market continues to struggle as companies look for more cost-effective video solutions."
The shift away from hardware-based telepresence system could potentially be a real challenge for Cisco. Cisco is one of the largest vendors of telepresnce systems, including its own legacy business as well as that of Tandberg, which it acquired for $3.3 billion in 2010.
While telepresence is in decline, Infonetics is also seeing growth in software by way of the PBX-based video market. Machowinski noted current market dynamics are driving the PBX-based video market, which is delivering all market growth.
In the broader market for Unified Communications, Infonetics reported earlier this year that it expects to see continued growth. According to Infonetics, there was a 13 percent year-over-year gain in revenue in 2013 for hosted PBX and UC services. Infonetics is forecasting the overall residential and business VoIP and UC services market to grow to $88 billion by 2018.
Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at Enterprise Networking Planet and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist