Web Conferencing – Part of the Telco’s Bread and Butter Today?
Increasing fuel prices and travel costs make web conferencing a compelling Value Added
Service. While web conferencing service providers profit from a booking market, many telecom
operators stick with their out-of-date audio and video conferencing solutions.
Page 1 of 11 Pages
0 Executive Summary ______________________________________________________________________________ 3
1 What is Web Conferencing Today? __________________________________________________________________ 4
1.1 Enterprise’s Benefits from Web Conferencing ______________________________________________________ 5
2 The Web Conferencing Market Today _______________________________________________________________ 6
2.1 The Market Environment _______________________________________________________________________ 6
2.2 The Telecommunication Environment Today_______________________________________________________ 6
2.3 The Potential Benefit of Web Conferencing for the Telco _____________________________________________ 7
3 Enabling Web Conferencing _______________________________________________________________________ 8
4 Business Cases __________________________________________________________________________________ 9
4.1 Business Case for the Enterprise _________________________________________________________________ 9
4.2 Business Case for the Operator __________________________________________________________________ 9
5 Conclusion ____________________________________________________________________________________ 10
6 About Telcograde _______________________________________________________________________________ 11
Page 2 of 11 Pages
0 Executtiive Summarry
0 Execu ve Summa y
Web conferencing has been available for many years, however, it has yet to become a mass service.
There are already quite a few service providers offering web conferencing for decent pricing (monthly
flat fees), using existing Internet infrastructure, however, telecom operator seem not too ambitious to
offer competitive services.
This is insofar noticeable, since land-line operators suffer steep declining revenue due to competition
from mobile operators and VoIP service providers.
Further web conferencing is targeting enterprise customers, which are the most lucrative customers
for telecom operators.
Page 3 of 11 Pages
1 Whatt iis Web Confferrenciing Today?
1 Wha s Web Con e enc ng Today?
Web conferencing has been available for many years, and was originally designed to enable cost-
effective audio and video conferencing, however, web conferencing today enables additional
applications for enterprise customers, like:
• Remote Training
• Job interviews
• Remote sales presentations
• Press conferences
• Virtual planning sessions (project management, etc.)
In order to meet the requirements for these new emerging conferencing and collaboration applications,
new functionalities have been added to web conferencing solutions, of which are listed a few below:
Full Duplex VoIP
Most web conferencing solutions support VoIP. For telecom operators please note that there is an
option to switch off the VoIP support, so that customers continue using the existing audio conferencing
solution of the telecom operator and just use the conferencing and collaboration features.
Live Webcam Video
Web cam support is standard for many web conferencing solutions today supporting even up to 50
The presenter has a whiteboard on which he can show his presentation, draw and write (even on a
Powerpoint slide). The whiteboards are usually interactive.
The presenter can quickly share his desktop with other participants in order to show files, pictures, etc.
This is a feature that comes from e-collaboration solutions. It enables web conference users to launch
programs and allow other participants to view and edit files.
The remote control gives control of applications or desktop to others, enabling true hands-on training
and support. Allow users to take control automatically or by entering a password.
Web conferencing software today allows the generation of meeting rooms and virtual classrooms. It is
also possible to create breakout rooms on the fly that contain private audio and content (whiteboards,
application sharing, etc.). Moderators can move themselves and participants between conferencing
rooms. Participants can be randomly assigned into breakout rooms and returned to the same rooms at
any time. In a virtual lab environment participants can work on applications independently.
Page 4 of 11 Pages
Transfer files sessions are used to distribute documents, assignments, and handouts. Privileges can
be assigned to participants to transfer files.
Interactive, Indexed Recordings
Recording and indexing of live sessions for later play back for participants who missed a session or
want a review.
Moderators can deliver quizzes or surveys and create questions in advance or on the fly. Participants
respond and submit their answers from within the session. Results can be displayed to all (in graphical
format) or kept private. Results can be saved by moderator for future reference.
Participants and moderators can communicate using a variety of messaging capabilities, including
private messaging between moderator and participant, one-to-one messaging between participants,
and one-to-many messaging between moderator and participants. Chat areas can be resized, as can
the font in each area.
Support of Office Applications
Most web conferencing solutions today support Office applications like PowerPoint, OpenOffice,
StarOffice, PDF, etc. In addition to that images of multiple formats can be loaded into the Whiteboard,
like BMP, JPEG, PNG, GIF, TIFF, animated GIFs, etc.
Synchronized Web Browsing
A browser can be started during any session and thus enabling the participants to browse in a
All users can take notes in separate window. Notes are automatically saved to local computer and can
be edited/merged/added to during interactive playback, saved to file, and shared with others.
1..1 Entterrprriise’’s Beneffiitts ffrrom W eb Confferrenciing
1 1 En e p se s Bene s om W eb Con e enc ng
It jumps into one’s eyes that web conferencing is a most compelling service enabling cost saving,
especially during recession times. But is also provides a lot of functionality that increases the
efficiency of a company.
Here is a list of the main benefits for the enterprises:
• Spend less travel expenses
• Increase productivity which would be lost during travelling
• Add to your sales tools
• Increase business processes by optimising meetings
• Encourage brainstorming and thought exchange within the company
• Increase customer relationship
• Allow cost-effective and fast collaboration for geographically distributed offices
• Increase project management efficiency
• Webcasts for fast distribution of information
• Going green by reducing the carbon footprint
Page 5 of 11 Pages
2 The Web Confferrenciing Marrkett Today
2 The Web Con e enc ng Ma ke Today
2..1 The Marrkett Enviirronmentt
2 1 The Ma ke Env onmen
As we have seen in the previous chapter, web conferencing has truly become a killer application
exceeds in functionality simple Value Added Services offered by telecom operators, like video
conferencing, voicemail, fax-mail, etc.
This richness in functionality and a compelling business case – the latter giving enterprise customers
an ROI of a couple of months, web conferencing is booming.
In this market three main kind of web conferencing suppliers emerged:
Firstly there are software companies who sell embedded web conferencing applications to enterprises,
like Microsoft (Office Live Meeting, Adobe®), Acrobat (Connect Pro), IBM®, and Lotus®
(Sametime ), to name a few.
Secondly there are emerging Service Providers, like Elluminate, WebEx, Vcall Webcast, etc. who offer
hosted web conferencing for monthly flat fees or licenses to enterprises. In order to use a hosted web
conferencing, usually only a DSL internet connection is required. Some web conferencing solutions
require the download of a client software onto the PC, or laptop.
Thirdly there are high-end web conferencing products, called Telepresence, which is a web
conferencing that displays life-size images of the participants in order to make the participants feel as
though they are sitting across the room from other attendees. Cisco, HP and Polycom are the
strongest players in this field. Today Telepresence is quite expensive, requiring equipment
installations at the enterprise office.
Besides that, some instant messaging providers offer basic conferencing capabilities, i.e. Yahoo,
Skype, etc. It is also interesting that Google recently bought Marratech, a Swedish company providing
So where does that leave the telecom operator?
2..2 The Tellecommuniicattiion Enviirronmentt Today
2 2 The Te ecommun ca on Env onmen Today
Fixed network operators have a hard time these days: Fast decreasing ARPU and a declining
customer base, caused by competition from VoIP providers, Skype, mobile operators, etc.
Adding on the downside, there seem to be no new killer application on the horizon, except fast Internet
access through DSL, Wimax and maybe IP-TV.
VPN and Virtual Call Center, fixed network VAS introduced already more than six years ago, seem to
be the last VAS that brought some additional revenue for land-line operators.
Some fixed network operators decided to go VoIP, but mostly in order to reduce network costs
primarily trying to keep pace with the dropping prices for landline calls.
Page 6 of 11 Pages
The introduction of VoIP networks has taken much longer than anticipated, especially for the
incumbent operators who face great difficulties to replace their expensive switch based networks with
VoIP and maintain the same services and QoS for their customers.
IMS was supposed to be the future of the fixed network operators, but did not really bring new
applications and revenue streams for the telco. IMS is a complex standardized platform that thrones
on a VoIP network supposedly enabling the fast roll-out of Value Added Services by the operator or 3
parties. Technology-driven, very expensive, IMS has not yet become the light at the end of the tunnel
for the fixed network telecom industry.
2..3 The Pottenttiiall Beneffiitt off W eb Confferrenciing fforr tthe Tellco
2 3 The Po en a Bene o W eb Con e enc ng o he Te co
Looking at the benefits for the enterprise customers it is striking that only very few telecom operators
offer web conferencing to their clients (today mainly in the USA). On the very first sight, web
conferencing appears as a potential killer application for NGN networks. On the second sight it is even
more compelling, since it is cheap and easy to install, as we will see later on.
Telecom operators will find it easy to bundle web conferencing with their existing enterprise offerings,
further a telecom operator, especially with a VoIP network will be able to offer much more flexible
rates and payments than a Service Provider who can only offer flat fees, mainly paid via credit card. In
this light web conferencing will also add value to the fixed network operator by reducing churn.
If a telecom operator would combine a Web Conferencing offering with its voice services and integrate
it with its Postpaid of Prepaid offering, we have a catalyst for mass-market deployment.
There is also a migration path for telecom operators to add e-collaboration and e-learning solutions,
thus bringing information and education to the mass markets, which may be one of the most
compelling value propositions for operators in Asia, African and South America.
Some operators could even make web conferencing mobile by offering it on their 3G (UMTS) mobile
Web conferencing will not solve the challenges, land-line operators are facing today, but it is an easy
to deploy VAS, easy to sell to enterprise customers. Further by offering web conferencing the telco will
stop other service providers from eating their lunch.
Page 7 of 11 Pages
3 Enablliing W eb Confferrenciing
3 Enab ng W eb Con e enc ng
Web Conferencing can be installed easily in any IP based network, be it pure IP, VoIP enabled or
Wimax. It usually runs on cost-effective standard CPU servers (Linux or Windows based).
The installation usually takes a couple of days only; please note that traditional telecom VAS need
months of implementation time.
Most web conferencing solutions support VoIP, so in case the telco already has a VoIP network in
place a proper rating of the VoIP conference will be possible. Some web conferencing solution
providers even support Prepaid integration.
Some web conferencing solutions are also white label products so that a telecom operator can offer it
under its own brand.
For the implementation, the operator has usually three options:
• Licensing and self-hosting
• Hosting (managed service)
• Revenue sharing (managed or self-hosted)
Page 8 of 11 Pages
4 Busiiness Cases
4 Bus ness Cases
4..1 Busiiness Case fforr tthe Entterrprriise
4 1 Bus ness Case o he En e p se
Consider the following example of an organization offering 30 training sessions a year with a average
of 10 participants per session and with the assumption that 100% of the attendees travel every year at
a cost of $1000 for each trip. The training costs for one year are:
30 * 10 * $1,000 = $ 300,000
Web Conferencing solutions today cost around $50 Dollars a month, flat fee for 5-10 participants,
unlimited usage. In such a scenario the ROI for the web conferencing solution is less than one
4..2 Busiiness Case fforr tthe Operrattorr
4 2 Bus ness Case o he Ope a o
We assume that an enterprise company will rent a hosted web conferencing room for 50 Dollar a
month (flat fee) and we assume that there are 5,000 enterprises in one country as potential customers
for web conferencing, we are looking at an annual revenue of
50$ * 12 months * 5,000 = $ 3,000,000.
This value proposition does not yet take into consideration that larger enterprises require multiple web
conferencing room (sometimes with larger participants) and the cross selling effects that web
conferencing can bring. Further telcos can make additional money by charging for the VoIP
Further this value proposition does not take other potential customers into consideration, like
individuals, organizations, schools, universities, etc.
Page 9 of 11 Pages
5 Conc us on
Web conferencing today is a very feature rich Value Added Services that provides a compelling ROI
for every enterprise.
Web conferencing is easy to install and to market and can be very well combined with existing
enterprise telecom offerings of land-line operators.
A white label product would enable the land-line operator to quickly and cost-effectively introduce web
conferencing to their existing and new customers, starting, if preferred, with a revenue sharing set-up.
The benefit for the operator would be to reduce churn, introduce a new killer application and leverage
of their existing VoIP network if existing.
Page 10 of 11 Pages
6 Aboutt Tellcogrrade
6 Abou Te cog ade
Telcograde Computer Systems is a specialist for wireless and wire-line telecom Value Added Service.
Telcograde provides white label web conferencing solutions to telecom operators in Asia Pacific.
Telcograde Computer Systems
The One Executive Building,
Unit 1001, West Avenue
Quezon City 1100
Page 11 of 11 Pages