Polycom Inc, the California-based maker of videoconferencing equipment, is tapping cloud-based conferencing software to help firms capitalise on the growing influence of social networking.
Thep Ritrangkla, the regional manager of Polycom Thailand, said the increasing popularity of social media and smart wireless devices is reshaping demand for conferencing.
Videoconferencing is expanding quickly onto mobile platforms, says Polycom’s Mr Thep, regional manager of the Thai unit. Research has shown ‘on the move’ videoconferencing at airports and hotels is a rapidly growing practice.
Polycom's real-presence cloud software lets users bring their social media contacts from Skype, Facebook, Google Talk and business email into the company's video communications system, he said.
Mr Thep said users can expand videoconferencing to any IP telephony connection with suppliers, partners or customers rather than using video communications within the internal system as in the past.
He acknowledged that while some web-based videocalling services such as Google Hangouts are offered free of charge, they are designed specifically for individual consumers, not for businesses.
Polycom is in talks with internet service providers and the Electronic Government Agency on a plan to provide videoconferencing on a pay-per-use basis.
Mr Thep said the number of people using smart wireless devices for videoconferencing is on the rise.
He cited a recent survey by Wainhouse Research that said 71% of 4,737 respondents globally used desktop PCs and laptops as primary devices for videoconferencing, with the rest using tablets and smartphones.
Many respondents said mobile conferencing looks set to grow significantly next year.
The conference room is the most popular facility for videoconferencing, preferred by 79% of respondents.
But the survey identified "on the move" videoconferencing at airports and hotels as a rapidly growing practice.
Mr Thep said third-generation commercial mobile broadband service in Thailand is stimulating the adoption of mobile videoconferencing.
The videoconferencing market in the country still has room to grow, in both the public and the private sectors, especially for large multinationals seeking to expand abroad ahead of the upcoming Asean Economic Community, he said.
About the author
- Writer: Suchit Leesa-nguansuk
Position: Senior Reporter