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Andrew Davis on the conferencing market

Jul 23, 20032 mins
Data Center

Andrew Davis’ keynote had some interesting insights to the conferencing market today and down the road. Obviously today, many of the hardware/product vendors have been hurt by the slow economy and limited IT budgets, but services have managed to scratch out some growth as customers look to better their communications options while reducing costs (i.e. travel).

Down the road, Davis sees the instant messaging interface and presence being the key to conferencing. With a “buddy list” users will be able to kick off all forms of ad hoc communications: text, audio, video and more. He even sees presence extending to the cell phone: Is your friend’s cell phone online. (Though he things videoconfernecing on a cell phone is crazy.) Desktop conferencing is especially driven by presence as workers don’t want to schedule a call, they just want to launch it a whim.

H.264 is another area that will help drive conferencing. The newest algorithm for compressing video gives better quality video at the same data rates as the older H.263 compression scheme. “In the end, walk into a conference room and have videoconferencing running, it will give a much closer feeling to reality… you’ll be able to read the logo on the shirt or name tag od the other guy,” Davis says.