Video Predictions for 2013
As the prediction season winds down, there’s another prognosticator who deserves attention: Elliot Gold of Telespan. This is the 18th consecutive year that Mr. Gold has cast conferencing predictions, and according to his own analysis, his accuracy rate is 75 percent (127 correct out of 170).
Last week, he offered his 10 predictions for 2013 and then reviewed his forecasts from last year. The webinar and more information is available at his site telespan.com.
In this post I thought I would share and comment on just three of his 10.
1) Polycom goes private or gets bought.
Particularly in light of Dell being in talks to go private, this seems like a reasonable option. The pressure from Wall Street makes long term strategic moves tricky. HP is under such pressure now, and it isn’t pretty. HP is operating behind a haze of negative headlines, its executives are leaving, its legal problems are mounting, and morale is down. Going private keeps the noise level down to a dull more internal roar. In my 2013 posted predictions, I wrote that a leadership change at Polycom was inevitable, perhaps I wasn’t thinking big enough. I think Elliot might have this one right.
2) Sales of software based group passes hardware based group. Polycom falls behind Vidyo.
This is a two for one prediction. The rise of software can be seen across UC and across industries in general. Vidyo claims it grew 80 percent last year (in billings), and Polycom (and Cisco) saw a decline so the trend lines confirm this possibility. However, Polycom is much bigger than Vidyo and just released its own software-based solutions. I am not particularly current on either firms’ numbers, so won’t comment on part 2 of the prediction. Clearly software is what matters most these days and I agree with Elliot on part 1. Vidyo’s software approach is highly scalable and as an added bonus aligned with the rise of virtualization. Also noteworthy is Andrew Davis of Wainhouse predicted that Cisco may exit the video hardware business in 2013.
3) iPad and other tablet-based video systems surpass traditional manufactured executive endpoint video usage by 2015.
The only real question here is, why 2015? 2013 is a viable possibility as well. It almost isn’t fair to compare these product categories as one is a mass market consumer device and one is a high-end executive device. But it is fair because the quality that these tablets offer is truly impressive (I am still giddy with HDTV for movies at home). The executive devices never had the benefits of mass production like these tablets do – so the value and:performance realized from an iPad can’t be beat. It is also unfathomable how many iPads (and other tablets) are being sold. Apple investors are disappointed that quarterly iPad shipments may be slowing to 18 million units – far more than ever possible for traditional executive endpoints. Did I mention these things do email and Facebook, too? I agree with Elliot here as well. It’s bad news for the manufacturing line, but hardly bad news for video.