By Jim Lundy
The year was 2004 and it was then that it became clear how pervasive Web Conferencing was becoming. That was the year that Lou Latham and I authored the very first Magic Quadrant for Web Conferencing. Of course, both Lou and I are now at Aragon Research and we are pleased to announce that we are hard at work building the Aragon Research Globe for Real-time Collaboration (aka Web and Video Conferencing).
Back in 2004, use cases, such as Virtual Classrooms were popular. Today, as video becomes easier to implement, the focus on use cases is becoming more important. The Virtual Classroom is even more real today than it was back then. You are going to be hearing more from us on this topic, but as Video becomes more pervasive, expect more to happen in what we are referring to as Video Enabled Business Application (VEBA). See our recent Research on this topic.
In 2012, there are more vendors fighting for recognition in real-time Collaboration. Some of the original players are still in it, such as AT&T (Interwise), Adobe (Macromedia), Cisco (Webex), IBM, Microsoft, Polycom, Saba (Centra), and others. Today, most of these players remain committed to this space. In 2004, Citrix was just getting started and as many know, GoToMeeting is now a well known brand. There are also new players such as FuzeBox, which just released a new native OS X application for Apple Macs.
One of the biggest shifts in Real-time Collaboration is the rise of mobile devices, particularly Tablets. Tablets are the ideal meeting device, particularly over an LTE Connection. The ability to start and manage a meeting from a Tablet is becoming increasingly important. We are paying particular attention to how the vendors we are evaluating are able to do that.
Additionally, integrating meetings and presence into other applications is also becoming more important to business users. Social Meetings are now part of the conversation and we expect to see more meetings launched from inside a Social Network going forward.
Finally, it is still about the experience. Many users still report issues with the lack of a consistent meeting experience. Doing Voice and Video in the Cloud is never an easy proposition. We don’t see a magic bullet here and this is one of the areas we are diving into as we finalize our Aragon Research Globe for Real-time Collaboration. What Real-time Collaboration tools does your firm use? Reply back and let us know.