Polycom eyes education space for growth in India

Aesha Datta New Delhi | Updated on October 10, 2012 Published on October 10, 2012

Innovation in the field of education is a constant process and Polycom Inc, a video-conferencing solutions provider, aims to tap this market in India.

Lynnette Whitfield, Director (Education Industry Solutions and Market Development, Asia-Pacific), Polycom, “The higher education sector is adopting technology because of its large bandwidth. They have the facilities to hold a lot of the high-definition technology, whereas the schools don’t have the bandwidth yet. But we do anticipate a growth in that.”

She added that from an economic perspective, the higher education space is their target. While adding that India is one of their fastest growing markets, Whitfield said the technology solutions that companies such as Polycom have to offer will get a thrust only when the communication networks improve.

“When you don’t have the network for schools to connect to there’s no point putting video-conferencing systems there,” she said.

However, despite the hurdles, Polycom is the leader in the video-conferencing space in India with 50.2 per cent market share in 2011, according to a Frost and Sullivan report. The report expects the video-conferencing market, pegged at $83.2 million in 2011, to grow at an annual rate of 20 per cent over the next seven years.

Whitfield said the Polycom services are different and suitable for use in classrooms because of certain developments, such as intelligent packet-loss recovery. Thanks to this, the calls do not drop even when the network gets disturbed.

She explained that when the call is at a certain speed, and the network faces some problem, it moves onto a lower bandwidth until the network recovers, making it ideal for conducting lectures over the Internet, without fear of losing connection.

She also hopes to see India emerge as a major content provider.

Whitfield added that a number of universities and institutes across the world have already started collaborating in this manner.

In a recent initiative called DeforestAction, 20 school kids from Bangalore were able to interact with students and teachers from across the Asia-Pacific region. The students got a chance to interact with wildlife activists in the forests of Indonesia, who attempted to highlight the impact of illegal deforestation on orangutans and other species.

Talking about the extremes in the education space, Whitfield said video-conferencing solutions could be used for teachers’ professional development, which can then percolate to students in rural areas.

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Published on October 10, 2012
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