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Interview with Andrew Davis, senior partner, Wainhouse Research

Andrew Davis, senior partner at Wainhouse Research, talks to the ISE e-daily.

Describe your organisation’s involvement at ISE. What do you hope to achieve?

The videoconferencing (VC) industry and the AV industry have been linked since the time the earth cooled. One of the frustrations for many VC users is that although there is nothing wrong with the VC system, the AV experience has been less than wonderful. VC is currently in a high growth phase for many obvious external reasons – the need to be more cost effective, greener, to reduce business travel expenses, to be more efficient while managing globally dispersed teams and partners – and so there is also more attention to AV. Wainhouse Research, at the invitation of ISE, is co-locating its annual European Collaboration Summit with the ISE show to give attendees an opportunity to learn more about visual communications while also seeing the latest products and vendors in the rich media communications and AV space.

How do you see the ISE market faring in the EMEA region in 2011?

We believe the VC market will experience strong double digit growth in 2011 – but much of this growth will be towards the end of the year, and the growth will not be evenly split across Europe. There are likely to be pockets of significant growth mixed with pockets of stagnation, as will be evident by the differences in overall economic health.

What do you think will be the key external factors affecting the market this year?

Speaking for the videoconferencing market, key factors driving the market will be the marketing thrusts of some of the major vendors to the enterprise world – especially Microsoft, Cisco, HP, and Avaya. These companies are touting next-generation communications solutions as important competitive enablers. The weak economy, in many regions, will be a double edged sword – cutting investment budgets, but also driving interest in ways to save money. From an AV perspective, there are two countervailing issues. Experience with telepresence has shown many customers and AV integrators how good the VC experience can be when proper attention is paid to AV design – sound, lighting, furniture placement and so on. One the other hand, much of the VC interest is shifting away from conference rooms to desktop solutions, Pads, tablets, and mobile phones…. These VC solutions obviously leave traditional AV out in the cold.

What do you think will be the ‘star’ technologies of 2011?

I believe “scalable video coding” will be the star technology of 2011 since it enables video to work on multiple devices and multiple networks in a seamless fashion and promises to increase the quality of the VC experience UP while also decreasing inherent costs.