- The coronavirus pandemic has pushed enterprise video conferencing from a helpful tool to a vital necessity for any business to stay productive.
- Zoom, Google Meet, Microsoft Teams, Cisco Webex, and Verizon’s BlueJeans are all jockeying for position as the leader of the pack – and Insider Intelligence compares them all in our Enterprise Video Conferencing Report.
- In addition to this, Insider Intelligence publishes thousands of research reports, charts, and forecasts on the Connectivity & Tech industry. You can learn more about becoming a client here.
Thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, enterprise video conferencing has moved from a helpful tool to a vital necessity for any business to stay productive.
This momentum in the video conferencing space has ignited a fierce battle among companies trying to capitalize on peak demand spurred by the pandemic. No single software company or conferencing solution is dominating the market, particularly because many companies use multiple services in their day-to-day operations.
The sudden focus on video conferencing is set to catalyze industry spending and stimulate tremendous growth in the market, with global end-user spending on cloud-based conferencing solutions on track to grow 24.3% in 2020 to reach $4.1 billion, up from $3.3 billion in 2019, according to Gartner. And the global video conferencing market is expected to soar past $50 billion by 2026, up from $14 billion in 2019, per Global Market Insights
We’ve already seen this growth in action, as video conferencing has seen record levels of video traffic since the start of the pandemic — and it continues to rise. Comcast reported a 212% increase in network activity for VoIP and video conferencing between March 1 and March 30, and found that it remained up 210%–285% from March 1 levels as of May 20. And in mid-May, Verizon reported that the use of collaboration tools like video teleconferencing is up 1,200% over a typical pre-COVID-19 day.
And industry leaders see no slowdown in sight. More than half of US executives (55%) expect that most of their employees will work remotely at least one day per week after the pandemic subsides, according to the PwC Remote Work Survey from June 2020. As remote work models become more prevalent, so will video conferencing platforms. By 2024, in-person meetings are expected to account for just one-quarter of enterprise meetings, down from 60% prior to the pandemic, per Gartner.
Insider Intelligence has analyzed the top companies in the enterprise video conferencing space to determine who is most likely to succeed in 2020 and beyond:
Zoom (500 people maximum)
Zoom is, arguably, the first name that springs to mind in today’s work-from-home environment, to the point that it’s even become a verb among employees worldwide.
The company quickly took its place at the top of the pile once the pandemic hit; in fact, it became the most-downloaded app worldwide, in the US, and Europe in Q2 2020, as millions of employees transitioned to working from home. Zoom’s broad network has largely grown as a result of its freemium business model, and its revenue relies on upselling free users to its premium subscription service aimed at enterprises.
However, some issues linger with the platform. For starters, much of its growth is from free users who are not incentivized to upgrade to a premium license. Consequently, Zoom’s security vulnerabilities and privacy issues (such as a flawed end-to-end encryption system and dubious privacy loopholes) have entered the spotlight as more users joined the platform.
Google Meet (250 people maximum)
It’s been a journey to get to what is now known as Google Meet, the tech giant’s premium voice and video calling product, which works alongside the Slack-like Google Chat. In October 2019, Google officially split its enterprise-focused messaging platform, Hangouts, into two separate apps: Hangouts Meet and Hangouts Chat. In 2020, Google rebranded the apps to Google Meet and Google Chat.
Google Meet is still playing catch-up to competitors, its enterprise penetration as part of G Suite, coupled with its rapid innovation, has positioned it as a serious contender in the video conferencing space. Furthermore, Google’s extreme reach is its biggest advantage as it pushes further into the video conferencing space. Google Meet’s addressable market is nearly unmatched: G Suite surpassed 6 million paying business subscribers in March 2020, up from 5 million in February 2019.
But challenges remain, particularly Google’s fragmented enterprise collaboration and communication strategy, which is at odds with the direction of the market and could hinder future growth of the platform.
Microsoft Teams (300 people maximum)
Microsoft created Teams as a central hub for all video, voice, and messaging-based communications. Microsoft Teams comes as part of its Microsoft 365 subscription suite, and within Teams, users can access, share, and edit Word docs, PowerPoints, and Excel files in real time.
Microsoft Teams is a top contender in the video conferencing space because of its deep roots with Microsoft 365, vast ecosystem of integrations, and efforts to address companies’ immediate needs for a better remote work experience. The full integration with Microsoft 365 makes Teams a cost-effective solution for companies already using it – the company reported that Microsoft 365 commercial seats had grown to 258 million monthly active users at the end of March 2020, up from 200 million at the end of 2019.
As far as growth outlook, Microsoft Teams’ evolution into a more holistic platform should provide it with a route to becoming one of the premiere video conferencing platforms. The biggest challenge is for Microsoft to effectively boost awareness of Teams’ capabilities, as many companies are primarily only using Teams for messaging.
Cisco Webex (200 people maximum)
Webex was founded in 1996 and Cisco acquired it for $3.2 million in 2007. Today, Webex is the umbrella brand for Cisco’s enterprise collaboration and productivity products. It provides meeting experiences through both Webex Meetings and Webex Teams – the former is a full-featured video calling product, while the latter is an all-in-one collaboration app.
Webex has emerged as a top enterprise video conferencing platform amid the pandemic, particularly due to its unified client experience and emphasis on security and AI. Webex experienced a sevenfold increase in adoption since the start of the pandemic and reached peaks of 324 million users in March and 500 million meeting participants in April.
We expect Webex to be the preferred service for enterprises and large companies in the coming years, especially as more companies embrace hybrid or full work-from-home environments and seek to streamline the meeting experience. Cisco also has the distinct advantage that companies host many meetings with Cisco hardware and existing Cisco technology, which is a wide reach given 80% of all internet traffic happens via Cisco technology.
Verizon’s BlueJeans (100 people maximum)
BlueJeans is a paid, encrypted video conferencing service founded in 2009 and acquired by Verizon for approximately $400 million in May 2020. The major selling point is the HD video and Dolby Voice audio, which allows participants to hear clearly and communicate as if they were in the same room.
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BlueJeans’ status among its peers is somewhat limited in scope — but it’s likely a primary solution for those who use it. BlueJeans has more than 15,000 enterprise customers and serves 180 countries, though about 70% of its customers are in the US, according to BlueJeans CEO Quentin Gallivan. The platform is an excellent choice for users who want to host or view live events and webinars in addition to smaller group video meetings; however, it only allows up to nine participants to be shown on-screen at the same time in a 3×3 grid, well short of the previous four competitors we’ve discussed thus far.
BlueJeans’ integration into Verizon’s 5G product roadmap will be its key to differentiation and future growth. Verizon indicated after the deal had closed that BlueJeans would be integrated into its broader 5G enterprise portfolio. So if the platform can become the leader in 5G video conferencing, then it will be uniquely positioned for success.
More to Learn
Post-pandemic, the enterprise video conferencing industry will consolidate, which means you need to understand the market now to be prepared when it does. This includes the competitive positioning and growth outlook of each company, and you can learn all of this in The Enterprise Video Conferencing Report from Insider Intelligence. The report also contains an analysis of these companies across nine business metrics, personal vs. business usage, setup times, and more.
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