radvisionThe room-based video communications market is very much an inverse pyramid-shaped market. There are many endpoints in a large number of large organizations and very few endpoints in a small number of small organizations. Below some minimum threshold, there are no video rooms installed. An elusive growth opportunity has been the small business market, where there are few endpoints required since there are only a few locations.

Most vendors up to this time have deployed small site products for small business. That’s only part of the solution set required.¬†RADVISION has a different approach to solving the demands of this market. They have not only positioned the new XT1000 system, camera and remote at an excellently low price point, but are integrating their Scopia server software in a powerful optional appliance that works with the XT1000.

xt1000The new appliance makes the XT1000 an MCU that can bind sessions for 4 or 9 users. But, the software load can make the offer much more interesting to small business. The appliance can deploy a version of the Scopia Server that enables more sophisticated services scaled for small business, so a small firm, with say two video rooms based on XT1000 and seven users video-ing in from their Mac or PC laptop can all participate in the same video conference and document sharing experience.

This new Scopia server appliance manages the software download, the user authentication and session scheduling services and coordinates an important feature that greatly improves the reliability of the service – an automatic firewall traversal service. This feature goes through a series of negotiation attempts to engage the normal processes for SIP-based sessions and then defaults to port 80 and 443 (http and SSL) so as to bypass the typical port-blocking aspects of firewalls and firewall policies.

Media flows happen at the XT1000, while signaling coordination happens on the Scopia appliance.

Small business needs more than great technology

RADVISION needs to innovate in channels to market too.

This functionality and attractive small-scale price point (list prices are to be determined later in Q3 but are expected to be consistent with the XT1000 low-price-high-value position), appeals to small medium business, a market typically missed by the classic AV channel. The AV specialist channel has the skill and overhead associated with selling a large number of systems to a few, large customers, instead of the skill and resources to sell a small number of systems to a large number of customers. Addressing this market will require some radical thinking about channels and access to this market.

The professional AV channel is quite well entrenched as Polycom and Cisco (TANDBERG) channels.

RADVISION needs to engage the catalog and web retailers such as CDW, Dell and PC Warehouse, where the IT staff of small medium businesses appreciate the convenience, quality and low cost of web and telephone ordering and support services.