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Next Generation Education

  • January 2014
  • 28 pages
  • Frost & Sullivan
Report ID: 1993679


Table of Contents

Visual Collaboration Vendor Insight

Frost & Sullivan's on-going research into the video conferencing services market identified education as one of the key vertical industries for growth of video conferencing infrastructure and endpoints. Virtual learning is on the technology road-maps of most educational institutions and is a key enabler of highly popular distance learning courses. In this market insight, Frost & Sullivan identifies the areas across the education sector where the benefits of video conferencing are most acutely felt. It also analyses the key market drivers and challenges and the major market trends.

Executive Summary

•Frost & Sullivan’s on-going research into the video conferencing market identified education as one of the key vertical industries for growth of video conferencing technology.
•Video conferencing is transforming the provision of education services. It is helping to meet familiar challenges in the education sector and is creating new opportunities for collaborative learning.
•Virtual learning is on the roadmap for most educational institutions and is gaining traction in schools and universities across Europe, but adoption amongst schools lags behind universities.
•Although the price of endpoints is declining, cost persists as a significant barrier to adoption.
•Mobility is becoming a key component of video solutions in education, primarily due to the rise in popularity of distance learning programmes.
•Video conferencing in education is at the early adopter phase. The market is mainly being driven by third-level institutions while adoption among schools remains at a more nascent stage.
•In this market insight, Frost & Sullivan identifies key areas across the education sector where the benefits of video conferencing are most acutely felt. It will also analyse the key market drivers, challenges, and major market trends; and it will provide profiles and case studies from leading vendors.

Scope and Definitions

•The geographic scope of this research is Europe, including Russia.
•The research splits education into two categories: Schools and higher education. Higher education is defined as colleges, universities, online advanced education courses, and private trade schools.
•This research covers video conferencing infrastructure and endpoints as well as associated services such as integration, maintenance, and training.

European Market Overview

•Vendors have reported that they view the United Kingdom and Germany as the largest markets in terms of size and opportunity.
•Connecting disparate campuses across vast distances is a priority for universities in Russia and the Nordic region. Adoption here is predicted to increase rapidly.
•The large number of universities and research institutions in Switzerland and the Benelux region leave these markets ripe for further expansion.
•Third-level institutions are expected to continue to account for the vast majority of educational institutions’ spending on video conferencing infrastructure and endpoints.
•Diverse sources of funding and multiple use cases for the technology make these institutions much better positioned to adopt video conferencing solutions. Moreover, most universities have already well-developed IT systems and the staff and support to integrate and maintain these systems.
•In contrast, schools are much more limited by their sources of funding. They are inclined to be risk averse when it comes to technology and use cases are more limited.
•Any IT infrastructure is typically small, as are the resources to support it. As a result, adoption by schools will be much slower than is the case with third level institutions.

Key Market Drivers Summary

Enhanced Learning for Schools
Re-group Dispersed Campuses
Facilitate Distance Learning
Win Funding and Grants
Attract Students

Key Market Drivers Explained

Attract Students
Visual collaboration facilities can help improve a university’s rankings, which in turn boosts the institution’s chances of attracting the best performing students. Moreover, it helps attract overseas students who are charged higher tuition fees.

Win Funding and Grants
State-of-the-art collaboration facilities form part of universities’ strategies to win highly competitive funding, research grants, and private sector investment.

Facilitate Distance Learning
Distance learning programmes are vitally important to video conferencing solutions’ growth. In particular, soft clients available on PCs/Macs and tablets are growing in popularity, largely thanks to the huge growth in ownership of such devices.

Re-group Dispersed Campuses
Universities are faced with the challenge of re-grouping their many dispersed campus locations. Creating one ‘virtual campus’ is becoming an essential part of universities’ technology roadmaps, of which video conferencing is a major component.

Enhanced Learning for Schools
Demand in schools is driven by the desire for higher standards by various stakeholders—parents, taxpayers, and government. Video conferencing is used to facilitate guest speakers, virtual tours, and collaborative working. It can also form part of community outreach programmes by facilitating collaboration.

Key Market Restraints Summary

Infrastructure Capacity
Supporting Mass Deployment
Providing an Easy-to-use Service

Key Market Restraints Explained

Infrastructure Capacity
The effect of the proliferation of video recording and streaming on education networks is not yet known. While newly built infrastructures and areas with fast broadband connections are well positioned for adoption, latency and network capacity is still an issue on older networks.

Supporting Mass Deployment
Traditional video conferencing networks were not designed for large-scale deployments such as multiple lecture theatres streaming simultaneously. Providing support for the recording and storage of content can seem like a daunting prospect for IT departments.

Providing an Easy-to-use Service
Ease-of-use is vitally important if schools and universities are to incorporate video learning into their courses. First-time experiences can be crucial to gaining acceptance of a new service.

Ensuring that only those with the correct authority can access material is an important issue. Designing a framework that facilitates use by staff and students, but that limits access to relevant material is a necessary feature.

Cost remains a key concern for IT departments. However, the declining price of endpoints and relative low cost of soft clients has eased the cost burden. Furthermore, the economic rational behind video learning saves or generates money in the long run.

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