Delivering on the promise of easy-to-use, secure, and inexpensive video conferencing

Internet Protocol (IP) Video Conferencing can provide companies substantial operational efficiencies and cost savings. Although IP video conferencing is desirable from a cost perspective challenges to implementation exist including NAT traversal, endpoint connectivity and traffic management. Additional connectivity challenges such as differing security policies and differing vendor standards have caused concern and delay for many videoconferencing deployments. This whitepaper evaluates the challenges of deploying IP video conferencing in a secure and easy to use manner.

Businesses today are facing unique communication challenges. The workplace is a dynamicand constantly changing environment. Along with rapidly evolving product lines, workteams are becoming more dispersed due to factors such as globalization, increasedcompetition, and pricing pressures. As a result, the DNA of today's workforce issubstantially different. There is an increasing need for traditional workers as well as forremote employees and work teams to stay connected and able to communicate regardlessof location, device, or network.

The perception of videoconferencing has received some of its initial negative sentimentsfrom experiences of older technology. While traditional videoconferencing was as good asthe technology of the time would allow, there are new advancements available to providea higher quality visual and audio experience. Even though videoconferencing has beenadopted by many organizations over the last 20 years, it has still not hit critical mass. Much of the responsibility for the slow rate of adoption has been high expectations andlow results.

Frost & Sullivan has seen a significant paradigm shift in the videoconferencing market. Since 2004, growth in this market has been steadily increasing for a number of reasons.Much of this revival is attributed to the increasing availability of capital expenditure dueto stable economic growth. Globalization and the need for dispersed workgroups tocollaborate continues to increase and with it, the interest in videoconferencing hasincreased. Another important driver for this market is the move to an IP basedinfrastructure and the success of technologies like Voice Over IP (VOIP). Asvideoconferencing vendors prove the ease of integrating their technology into thecorporate infrastructure, videoconferencing will become a much more interesting businesscommunication tool.

Frost & Sullivan has also seen videoconferencing fall into the same trap as other marketssuch as Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems and financialnetworks. When a technology is deployed on a dedicated network connection withlimited accessibility, there is little concern for security. The technology is inherentlysecure because of its deployment. As seen in technologies like VOIP, there is a new set ofsecurity challenges once technology moves out onto the same infrastructure as all theother data devices and is visible to the global Internet.This paper will discuss many of the challenges that videoconferencing technology faces inregards creating easy-to-use, secure IP videoconferencing. Each challenge will bedescribed in detail, and various methods of solving each challenge will also be presented.

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