Silver lining – for every disaster there is an opportunity waiting to be exploited.
Businesses may be suffering because of COVID-19 but for a few the crisis presents significant opportunities. The re-entry of work from home (WFH) has resulted in a spike in virtual meetings giving rise to what Frost refers to as “exponential growth”.
The Frost & Sullivan report, Post-pandemic Growth Opportunity Analysis of the Meetings Market, forecasts that the number of remote workers post-COVID-19 will be 500% greater compared to the pre-pandemic number, creating a massive demand for video meetings. The number of video meeting licenses is projected to increase at a CAGR of 24.6% between 2019 and 2025, compared to a pre-pandemic forecast of 17.2%.
“The COVID-19 crisis has made remote work and hybrid work the new norm. During the pandemic and its immediate aftermath, in-office presence will be needs-based, and offices will transform from being ‘productivity center’ to being sites for employee engagement, collaboration, and building relationships,” said Roopam Jain, senior industry director, ICT for Frost.
She opined that the shift to remote work represents a transformative moment for the meetings market and unveils tremendous growth opportunities for vendors that can differentiate on better quality and more scalable, manageable, and secure cloud services and devices that ensure an optimal meeting experience, regardless of where users work.
Jain predicts that video meetings will be a de facto expectation for business communications in the future, leading to a rapid rise in usage.
Growth in the future will primarily come from all-in-one, easy-to-use devices and service bundles for personal collaboration. However, revenue growth will be dependent on a confluence of factors, such as the conversion of free accounts to paid ones.
What to do to monetize the opportunity
- Understand the opportunity and move early – Tap into the massive shift to remote work with easy-to-deploy and use devices and services at affordable price points.
- Simplify the collaboration experience – Refine usability while improving the organization's compliance and security and enhancing manageability and monitoring of work-from-home users and workflows.
- Take a vertically focused approach – High-growth sectors include healthcare, retail, and manufacturing, among others. Help customers address new video workflows and cope with the accelerated shift in mindset from technology to "outcomes."
- Expand technology partnerships – IoT and AI-enabled technologies will bring in the next wave of disruptive innovations and enable safer and more intelligent meeting experiences.
“Rampant free offerings during the pandemic will generate an immense base of free users, providing vendors with the opportunity to convert them to paid accounts in the future. The ability to gracefully wean users off of free services into a paid engagement will ultimately determine if providers will see a sustained revenue impact from the upsurge in user demand,” she concluded.