Multimedia messages will replace e-mail -Multi-conference environments support global enterprises - Communications without boundaries in five years
San Ramon, August 19, 2002- E-mail, the tool that has rapidly changed global communications, will soon be out and replaced by multimedia communications over the Internet. This was predicted by Robert C. Hagerty, Chairman of Polycom, a leading provider of teleconferencing equipment, in a presentation recently submitted at the IMTC/Wainhouse Research Spring Forum in Geneva and just released by the International Multimedia Telecommunications Consortium (IMTC) on the Internet. As Mr. Hagerty points out, the move from ISDN networks to IP (Internet Protocol) networks gives companies as well as private users the opportunity to use voice, video, data, and web communication tools which allow instant communication not only from point to point, but also conferences of several participants. Therefore he foresees that e-mail will be driven out of the market soon, giving way to teleconferencing and instant messaging with voice, video and data transmissions.
"This new technology will change our lives," he said. "Instead of going to your office in the morning to catch up on your e-mails, you will sit down in front of your PC and talk to your team members around the world and discuss with them the latest data, charts, technical drawings, or marketing reports - all in real time. We see annual growth rates of over 1340 percent in this market and with the increasing deployment of IP networks we expect even faster growth." As Mr. Hagerty suggested, multimedia-communications are already showing profound effects in areas like training and know-how sharing. One example he gave was the case of a sick child in Panama where the only doctors with the know-how needed were in the United States. Through the use of teleconferencing they were able to examine the child remotely receiving the necessary data in real time and to give the right diagnosis. "With all the necessary technologies available now, we will be moving into a world of communications without boundaries within the next five years," he added.
This view was also supported by Andrew Miller, CEO and Vice Chairman of TANDBERG, whose presentation at the IMTC/Wainhouse Research Spring Forum was also released by IMTC. Mr. Miller, who has only very recently joined TANDBERG after having worked many years with Cisco Systems, noted that the use of videoconferencing was not only a new experience for him but also turned out to be "much more productive and effective" than the classical style of management. He added, however, that the full success of multimedia communications over IP networks will depend on how user friendly the new technologies will be. "It has to be easy to use, and it must be secure and reliable," he said. He compared the current situation of videoconferencing with that of the networking industry ten years ago, when different industry standards and platforms made life difficult for the end user looking for a simple communication tool. "Like networks the videoconferencing system must be open to different types of hardware, based on open standards; interoperability is the key word," Mr. Miller said. Therefore he urged that the vendors, even competitors, engaged in the field intensify their collaborative testing and standard setting efforts within the framework of IMTC. "Our research and development must be customer oriented," he added.
The full presentations of Robert C. Hagerty and Andrew Miller can be heard and seen via the IMTC homepage where their slides are also available (www.imtc.org).
About the IMTC
The International Multimedia Telecommunications Consortium (IMTC) is an industry-leading non-profit organization whose mission is to promote, encourage, and facilitate the development and implementation of interoperable multimedia conferencing solutions based on open international standards. The IMTC hosts interoperability testing events and demonstrations throughout the world. Over the past three years. The IMTC has hosted more than 60 interoperability testing events to test T.120, H .320, H.323, H.324, SIP, and Voice over IP products and services with each other. The IMTC Board of Directors includes representatives from Avaya, Cisco Systems, Forgent Networks, France Telecom, Intel, KPN Telecom, Nokia, Polycom, RADVISION, Ridgeway, Siemens AG, Sony, TANDBERG, Telverse, and WorldCom. The San Ramon, California -based consortium comprises more close to 100 member organizations from around the globe. Membership is open to any interested party, including vendors of audio, document, and video conferencing hardware and software; academic institutions; government agencies; and non-profit organizations. "The IMTC is making Rich Media happen Anywhere, Anytime." The consortium's Web site address is http://www.imtc.org.
About Wainhouse Research
Wainhouse Research is a leading independent market research firm focusing on critical issues in the multimedia communications, videoconferencing, teleconferencing and streaming media field. The company conducts multi-client as well as customs research for industry vendors, consults with end users on key implementation issues, publishes a news bulletin, white papers, and market statistics, and delivers public and private seminars as well as speaker presentations at industry group meetings.