Count on Customer Engagement this Holiday Season

Holiday Customer EngagementThe holiday season is upon us and for customer-facing organizations, the holidays can drive the year’s highest volumes of customer interactions. How can organizations succeed in ensuring that customer interactions are helpful and satisfying? Customer Engagement.

Customer engagement goes beyond traditional customer service, it facilitates meaningful, productive interactions between businesses and customers to ensure satisfaction and happiness.

During this hectic time of year (for consumers and businesses) a comprehensive, high impact customer engagement strategy can be the difference between a good and a great holiday season.

Have you considered video-enabled customer engagement?

Today’s consumer is increasingly connected and mobile. Video-enabled customer engagement mimics the in-person customer experience without the hassle of the holiday crowds. Adding on-demand interactive video communications to your customer engagement channel can foster more personal customer interactions that build brand loyalty, create upsell opportunities and foster closer relationships with your customers. With the VidyoWorksTM platform, it’s easy for companies of any size to affordably integrate face-to-face video engagement into their customer engagement strategy

Take care of your customers now, and you’ll find that their loyalty will last long after the holidays are over.

For more on customer engagement for the modern enterprise, check out these related blog posts, this customer engagement infographic and more from the Vidyo website. Ready for more? Access a 21 Day FREE Trial of Vidyo today!

Mitel Ups the Ante for Visual Collaboration with Vidyo

Mitel MiCollab Vidyo

Today Vidyo and Mitel shared news of a new OEM agreement that will enable Mitel to leverage Vidyo APIs to embed Vidyo’s industry-leading, software technology into various Mitel solutions including its MiCollab application. Mitel, one of the fastest growing cloud communications providers, powers more than 2 billion connections daily for 60 million end users. This new agreement means that today any of Mitel’s 3,500 channel partners world wide are able to deliver the best in scalable video conferencing and collaboration to virtually any endpoint!

MiCollab Desktop Vidyo

MiCollab Desktop Client Integrated with Vidyo

BluCurrent Credit Union in Springfield, MO is one Mitel customer who has already taken advantage of the deepened relationship between Vidyo and Mitel to better serve its clients.

BluCurrent Credit Union is Springfield’s largest credit union with nearly 20,000 members, 3 branch locations, and over $140 million in assets. BluCurrent provides access to more than 6,800 shared branches through its unique CU Service Center affiliation, and nearly 30,000 free ATMs nationwide through its CO-OP Network membership.

“We are confident that face-to-face video communication is revolutionary for banking – empowering our members to communicate with our representatives to do business more easily and efficiently,” said Jesse Jantz, VP of Information Systems, BluCurrent Credit Union.

Currently BluCurrent uses MiCollab, integrated with Vidyo, to facilitate convenient face-to-face interactions between customers and advisors that may be located elsewhere in the region.

“Our members are able to come in to any of our locations, and do a face-to-face video call with our skilled professionals in our central location. Centralizing with this technology enables us to more quickly and effectively service all of our locations without asking members to have to come to our main office. Vidyo and Mitel allow us the ability to offer our members the choice to meet with a virtual advisor, without physically coming into a branch. With just one click of a button, members will be able to connect from their desktop or mobile device in the near future,” Jantz added.

Companies across industries are adopting video-based communications to facilitate easier, more productive interactions with end customers. In financial services, the benefits of a strong digital collaboration strategy can lead to improved customer engagement and retention, according to a recent study from Fidelity Investments. According to the report better tech, like video conferencing, helps build the practices of financial advisers. The study states that advisers who use the latest tech tools had almost 40% more assets under management and more client investors from Generation X and Y.

Ready for more? Find a Mitel partner near you and ask about Vidyo-enabled MiCollab!

User Adoption and Video Conferencing Deployments

Adoption-ServicesOne fish, two fish, three fish…Go!

When fish swim in the same direction in a coordinated manner, it’s called “schooling.” Fish evolved to swim in schools to improve foraging, swim more efficiently, and to protect themselves from predators. Just as schooling is essential to the livelihood to an individual fish, at Vidyo we believe a strong user adoption program is essential to the livelihood of a new technology. To create new behaviors via user adoption, however, you must understand the motivations that influence user behaviors.

In today’s technology driven work environment, often employees are living in a world of digital overload – faced with new software landing on their computer, smart phone or tablet almost daily. At the same time IT staff is required to support multiple technology initiatives with a scarcity of resources amidst launching new technology to the rest of the workforce. As a result, many companies struggle to motivate their employees to embrace newly implemented software, there are simply too many competing priorities.

How do companies find the harmonious balance to get every benefit from their technology investments and ensure those investments are being adopted and fully leveraged? They can start by investing in an innovative user adoption program that embeds technology into workflows to enhance productivity and motivates employees to use the software in their daily work.

Vidyo Adoption-Services

Top 5 Tips for Driving User Adoption:

  1. Create a strategic program plan with Executive sponsorship that assesses organizational objectives in alignment with the solution launch to support your plans for business process transformation.
  2. Promote a tactical awareness campaign that includes a comprehensive communication and marketing strategy to motivate, inspire and prepare employees for the launch.
  3. Provide ongoing training and support resources aligned with workflows and use cases designed to influence how the solution can be used in daily work.
  4. Leverage champions. As employees begin to make the solution part of their everyday workflow, they become powerful advocates, exploring new ways to use and evangelize its benefits to others.
  5. Incorporate feedback and share success stories once the solution is live to show how it is impacting company objectives and goals.

Vidyo User AdoptionNeed some help getting started with user adoption?

Our expert consulting, workflow design, and change management practices bring high touch professional services to customers and drive customer satisfaction. Learn more or about our user adoption packages here. Engage Vidyo’s Adoption Services Team now!

Here are a few success stories from Vidyo customers who have embraced user adoption programs:

A large cloud hosting company generated great excitement with their awareness campaign by producing posters, tabletop displays, banners, and customized videos to educate their employees about the benefits of Vidyo. They invested in a strong user adoption approach and successfully on boarded six thousand employees in the first 6-months of their launch.

“Fortunately throughout our experience with Vidyo there has been an emphasis on collaborating with us to provide the most effective training material and presentations to make the user experience a positive one. The efforts have resulted in identifying and eliminating system issues or stumbling blocks, which would have been missed in the absence of these efforts. I can say that we are impressed and thrilled by the efforts of Vidyo’s Adoption Services, who have provided us premier class customer treatment and high quality artifacts.” – Anonymous, Project Manager for Financial Services and Banking Company

Visit our Vidyo Knowledge Center to access quick tutorials on how to use Vidyo

Register for our free instructor-led training that including topics such as feature highlights, etiquette best practices, and getting started with Vidyo products

Talking Telemedicine: Bringing Behavioral Health Home

Behavioral Health Blog

This month’s tragic shooting in Oregon has reignited the conversation around mental illness, how it is addressed and how it is treated. In the time since the event, media networks from CNN to HBO discussed the topic at length. One thing has become very clear, better access to treatment is crucial.

Our healthcare system has undergone dramatic and sweeping changes in recent years, one such change that took place in 2014 was adoption of a telemedicine policy that helps further the delivery of convenient, clinically meaningful video-based interactions between physicians and patients.

Telemedicine or virtual care is a practice we’re familiar with and bullish on here at Vidyo. The behavioral health field was one of the earliest adopters of telemedicine practices and as such, there exist well-documented results of telemedicine-based treatment, often referred to as telemental health.

Behavioral healthcare in the U.S. is generally harder to access than other health services, due to factors like a shortage of qualified behavioral health providers and coverage limits by public and private payers. According to the U.S. Health and Human Services Health Resources and Services, nearly 80 million Americans live in a mental health professional shortage area1. This includes rural communities and urban environments, where cost, transportation and time commitments prevent people from seeking care. Compounding this issue are stigmas and feelings of embarrassment that prevent patients from seeking out treatment in the first place and reduce the likelihood of patients attending regular appointments.

Telemental health practices, however, can help address some of these issues by enabling the patient to seek out and connect with a physician via a video conference from the privacy and convenience of their own home. Despite not being in-person with a physician, it is well documented that Internet-based therapy does not sacrifice the quality of care received and produces positive outcomes.

A four-year study conducted by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) showed significant decreases in the number of inpatient psychiatric admissions and hospital stays for patients using telemental health services. On average, telemental health was attributed to the decrease of patients’ hospitalization utilization by approximately 25%. Since making mental health services more accessible through the use of telehealth, the VA has documented nearly 500,000 telemental health encounters.2

A second study conducted by 20 researchers in Spain with patients in the Canary Islands produced results demonstrating that telepsychiatry treatment via videoconferencing was as effective as in-person psychiatric treatment and an effective means of delivering mental health services to psychiatric outpatients living in remote areas with limited resources.2

From diabetes management to behavioral health therapy, the potential for telemedicine is reaching an inflection point with physicians and patients alike, and policy makers have begun to take notice.

Today, 39 states have some form of coverage and reimbursement for mental health services provided via video conferencing, although state policies for telemental health vary in specificity and scope.

Awareness is essential to adoption of any new technology. With the issue of mental health once again part of national discourse, we can’t help but ask the question; isn’t it time for telemedicine and telemental health to be a part of the discussion?



Connect with Vidyo at Gartner Symposium /ITExpo 2015


It’s that time of year again, Gartner IT Symposium and Expo in Orlando! Don’t miss this opportunity to see first-hand the ecosystem of Vidyo-enabled applications for Healthcare, Customer Engagement, Financial Services, Field Services, Vidyo on drones, smart glasses and much more!

Vidyo’s CEO Eran Westman will be speaking to attendees on Video-Enabled Workflows as Part of a Digital Leadership StrategyTuesday October 6, 10:30-11:15 ET in Europe 10

You can find Vidyo at our booth in the Visual Collaboration Zone at the Yacht Club and on the IT Expo show floor (booth #328).

Don’t miss Vidyo at Gartner IT Symposium 2015! Schedule a meeting and add Eran’s keynote to your Gartner itinerary today!


Vidyo Surpasses 100 Patents and 10 years of Video Conferencing Innovation

Vidyo recently celebrated its 10-year anniversary. It’s amazing to contrast the range of products that we offer today, and the number of people that we reach every day through our software solutions with the first meetings of the early days. What started off as mere concepts on whiteboards and presentation slides has translated to technology that has changed our industry in very significant ways.


Vidyo’s software-based approach limits the need for transcoding and associated infrastructure.

I could describe these changes in various terms – changes in product architectures, standards, industry best practices, and so on – but there is a great measurement of innovation that has the benefit of originating from objective third parties: patent offices. As it turns out, Vidyo recently celebrated the issuance of its 100th worldwide patent.

Vidyo was founded in order to build a disruptive, new architecture for large-scale, very high quality video communication, on virtually any network and device. From day one, as a new company in a space of considerable technological complexity, it sought to protect its innovations through patent applications filed in the US and elsewhere around the globe. These patent applications started producing results within a few years, with our first patent being issued in the US on September 22, 2009 (US Pat. Nr. 7,593,032) and the 100th being issued in the US on July 7, 2015 (US Pat. Nr. 9,078,004). As of today Vidyo has a total of 108 patents worldwide.


Vidyo’s First Patent issued in the United States – September 22, 2009


Vidyo’s 100th Patent issued in the United States – July 7, 2015

Vidyo’s patents span a wide range of subjects. Some relate directly to our products, some have been found essential to practice certain industry standards in video compression and communication, and some describe more strategic technology explorations. Several apply to more than one category.

Although each patent has its own history and background, I chose to highlight here two particular patent “families.” (By patent family we typically refer to an invention for which patents are being pursued at multiple jurisdictions around the world, and which may result even in multiple actual patents in the same jurisdiction.)

The first family happens to include our very first issued patent, US Pat. Nr. 7,593,032.  The title, “System and Method for a Conference Server Architecture for Low Delay and Distributed Conferencing Applications,” describes certain aspects of the operation of our VidyoRouter. The VidyoRouter is a cornerstone of Vidyo’s technical architecture, in that it takes advantage of scalable video coding to deliver an unprecedented range of features (error resilience and localization, rate adaptation, personalized layout, cascading, etc.) with extremely low delay (an order of magnitude less than a typical MCU) and at a massive scale – and all that without any signal processing at the server. The VidyoRouter’s design did not exist as a concept in the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) specifications when it was first introduced in our products in 2008.  For example, the RTP Topologies RFC, RFC 5117, published at the same time, did not foresee it. We have subsequently introduced the concept of the “Selective Forwarding Unit” (SFU), now incorporated into the RTP Topologies update (which should replace RFC 5117 soon), to cover this design using a generic, non-commercial term.

The second patent family that I would like to highlight includes US Pat. Nr. 9,077,964, “Systems and Methods for Error Resilience and Random Access in Video Communication Systems.” As the title suggests this patent deals with error resilience. It covers a key concept for achieving error resilience through the use of temporal scalability. The concept is very simple: by using temporal scalability, one merely has to protect the lowest temporal layer, typically one fourth or one half of the original pictures, rather than the entire set of pictures. Since these pictures are now at two or four times the temporal distance, the system can use retransmission to recover any parts of them that may be lost.  Using a design that allows the system to detect such loss with the very first packet that it correctly receives, one can achieve error resilience that is an order of magnitude higher than techniques that use non-scalable video. At Vidyo we decided that the parameters used in this technique would be of significant value to the entire industry and so proposed their inclusion in all RTP payload formats of relevant codecs: H.264 SVC (RFC 6190), H.265VP8, and VP9. We submitted intellectual property rights (IPR) disclosures at the IETF that ensure that people who implement these standards can use them*. At the same time, certain claims of the 9,077,964 patent and other Vidyo patents have also been found essential for implementing the H.264 SVC and H.265 codecs, and we have licensed the relevant claims through the corresponding patent pools managed by MPEG-LA, thus making it easier for people to make use of these standards as well.

These two patent families highlight two important dimensions of Vidyo’s technology development efforts, which form a continuous balancing act. Some innovations we maintain exclusively to Vidyo, as they are part of what makes Vidyo unique. Some others we believe are better suited to be incorporated into standards so that anybody can have access to them, thus benefitting the entire industry – both producers and users (ourselves included, of course!). As the industry matures further, one can expect more and more technical features to become standardized, as new ones come in to define differentiation. This has been the traditional development cycle of standardization and innovation for a long time, and one in which we expect to continue to be an active participant.

It’s been a fascinating journey – and a real privilege to be part of the team that is making it happen. On to the next 100!

*Please refer to the specific IPR disclosures for the precise legal framework surrounding these disclosures.

Customer Engagement Best Practices: Are Your Customers Camera Shy?


A wide range of businesses from brokerage firms and banks, to hospitals and HMOs, to online retailers and big box stores are launching video-enabled customer services embedded in portals and websites via ATMs, kiosks and mobile apps. Today Verint® Systems Inc, a leader in work force optimization, announced it was using the VidyoWorksplatform to enable video interactions between customers and service employees as part of its Verint Engagement Managementsolution. SEE THE PRESS RELEASE

The more video is used, the more these newly launched customer services face a challenge that is far from technical. Put simply, their customers are camera shy. Will camera-phobic consumers scuttle your plans to add video enabled customer engagement to your business? Not if you do your homework before rolling out the service.

Here are a few tips to ensure your video enabled service is well received by your customers:

  1. Know your customer demographics. Studies show that millennials are significantly more comfortable using text chat, video chat and learning via on-demand video. If the customer base you are targeting has a high percentage of millennials, you can launch new communication channels with confidence. If you serve a mix of demographics, make sure you continue to offer more traditional channels in addition to text and video. 
  1. Is a high degree of intimacy and trust critical to your customers? Deployments of video enabled customer care in highly personalized industries such as healthcare and wealth management have demonstrated that when intimacy and trust are an essential part of the customer relationship, customers of all ages are more open to using video. If trust and intimacy are key, your customers are much more likely to embrace a video experience. 
  1. Do your customers interact with the same account rep or relationship manager each time they interact with your company? Consumers may not be comfortable conversing with a complete stranger over video, but are much more at ease when conversing with someone with whom they are familiar. To this end, if your customers interact with the same person or group of people on a regular basis, they will be more open to adopting video as a tool.
  1. Let them opt out. Your best strategy to alleviate camera shyness may be to open every call with one way video. The customer can see the agent’s video and have a conversation, but the customer’s camera is not activated.  If the customer is comfortable using video, they can opt to turn their video on by clicking a button on the screen. If not, they can still benefit from seeing the agent demonstrate a product or technique, share documents or educational videos, and provide non-verbal communication through facial expression and gestures.

For more on customer engagement for the modern enterprise, check out these related blog posts, this customer engagement infographic and more from the Vidyo website. Ready for more? Access a 21 Day FREE Trial of Vidyo today!


Talking Telemedicine: Mayo Clinic, HealthSpot and Vidyo Increase Access to High-Quality Care for Rural Patients

Telemedicine is taking root – patients and doctors are embracing new technology to increase accessibility, save time and cut costs all while reimbursement for telemedicine appointments is becoming increasingly important providers and state legislatures. As telemedicine progresses, we’re seeing the face-to-face interactions between doctors and patients, move beyond the traditional definition of video conferencing.



In telemedicine, doctors and patients can have even more efficient, valuable consultations with the addition of easy-to-use medical devices that gather, send and analyze data in real time to the physician. Leveraging the VidyoWorksTM platform, HealthSpot virtual healthcare kiosks do just this by connecting patients to providers in retail clinics and pharmacies. HealthSpot kiosks come outfitted with integrated tools such as blood pressure cuffs, thermometers, stethoscopes and otoscopes to give the physician on the other side of the screen a better understanding of what is ailing a patient. Once a diagnosis is given, the physician can send the prescription to the pharmacy (where the kiosk is located, convenient for patients). See Video: HealthSpot Experience at Rite Aid

Recently HealthSpot, Mayo Clinic and Austin Public Schools in Southeast Minnesota entered a pilot program, bringing a HealthSpot kiosk to the area. Prior to the pilot, residents in the Austin area could spend hours travelling to see a doctor. See a video of the kiosk in use in Minnesota here.

“This allows technology and innovation in medicine where the medicine can come to us in rural Minnesota, so people don’t have to take a whole day off of work to travel to Rochester or the Twin Cities or just go to their doctor. They can do it right here, and right where they are,” said Representative Peggy Bennett.*


Representative Peggy Bennett gets her blood pressure tested at a HealthSpot kiosk in Austin

Minnesota passed legislation requiring private insurance companies to reimburse providers for telemedicine services, but a gap for Medicare patients remains. Learn more about the Minnesota program here.

Vidyo is also used by the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium, to provide Alaska’s most remote residents access to on-demand, high quality and affordable care over any Internet connection, dramatically changing the delivery of care in rural Alaska.

More than 40 of the top 100 Integrated Delivery Networks (IDNs), such as Partners Healthcare, Kaiser Permanente®, United Health and Anthem Blue Cross, use the VidyoWorks platform to power integrated telemedicine solutions. Vidyo technology is also integrated with top global EHR management systems including Epic, Cerner and EMIS to embed video communication into existing EHR workflows.

*Source: KTTC “Telemedicine: Healthcare of the Future?” 

#VidyoToolbox: Jumpstart Small Team Collaboration with VidyoOne+™!

vidyoone+What do you get when you combine the simplicity and affordability of VidyoOneTM with the flexibility of virtual edition infrastructure, interoperability and encryption with firewall traversal capability? We call it VidyoOne+™! The VidyoOne+ bundle comes with everything needed to start collaborating via Vidyo. It includes virtualized infrastructure software and endpoint software to connect users on mobile, desktop, and group systems including third party H.323 and SIP systems.

VidyoOne+ delivers up to 4k quality video and content sharing. Perfect for small team collaboration, participants experience rich face-to-face communication that is just a click away with calendar integration and guest link functionality. Plus, all of the standard Vidyo endpoints, such as VidyoRoom™, VidyoDesktop™, VidyoMobile™ and VidyoWeb™ are all supported!

So, what do you get with the VidyoOne+ bundle? VidyoOne+ includes:

    • VidyoPortal™ VE
    • VidyoRouter™ VE
    • VidyoGateway™ VE
    • Vidyo software client licenses for 100 users
    • VidyoLine licenses to support up to 10 concurrently connected users

Not enough? You can expand the VidyoLine capacity to 20 with optional VidyoLine expansion pack. At a cost equivalent to the included VidyoLines, VidyoOne+ is a 53% savings over buying the components individually! VidyoOne+ represents a tremendous value for small team collaboration.

If you’ve been wanting to connect your small team via Vidyo, VidyoOne+ is a great way to get started. Contact your authorized Vidyo reseller for more information. Check out the VidyoOne+ data sheet for details.

#VidyoToolbox posts highlight new product updates and features across the Vidyo portfolio. Stay tuned for continued updates!

Vidyo in India: Embracing Video Conferencing

Over the past few years in India, Vidyo has seen a significant upswing in adoption of its video conferencing technology, deployment of integrated video communications applications, as well as partnerships across verticals and with service providers– a true testament to the scale, flexibility and value of the VidyoWorks™ platform!

India Government Mobile Video Conferencing

VidyoMobile™ being used by the Government of Andhra Pradesh on a tablet. 

Because Vidyo works on virtually any device and network, either in the cloud or on premises – it is the perfect fit for the specific market challenges in India. With bandwidth being a constant obstacle, Vidyo is the foolproof solution to connect and collaborate using public Internet and wireless networks that can affordably scale as needed.

The need for reliable, scalable technology has become particularly relevant in the Government sector. The Andhra Pradesh & Telangana Conferencing Facility is an example of a colossal Vidyo deployment at the state level where more than 1,200 Vidyo rooms have been deployed across Andhra Pradesh & Telangana’s 23 districts and 1,100 Mandals.

To learn more on the Andhra Pradesh & Telangana Conferencing Facility watch this video case study.

Andhra Pradesh Technology Services (APTS) launched the massive network that provides the State Secretariat in Hyderbad with a direct video conferencing connection to all 1007 district zones across the state, facilitating visual interaction between top level officials and field level personnel.

The national and state governments’ focus on ensuring digital workflows has driven large scale adoption of Vidyo’s technology across multiple departments, from State High Courts to the Department of Financial Services and Department of Education to Premier Government Technical and Management Colleges such as the Indian Institute of Technology (IITs) and Indian Institute of Management (IIMs).

Vidyo partnerships with top service providers like SIFY and Arkadin have also contributed significantly to Vidyo’s success in India. Most recently, our partnership with Airtel, India’s number one telecom provider, has allowed Vidyo to not only grow its footprint, but has given us the opportunity to act as a key thought leader in the video communication and collaboration arena.

Airtel and Vidyo Economic Times

Every month over the course of the next year, Vidyo and Airtel, in conjunction with the Economic Times will be presenting to customers and prospects on the value of video conferencing in business work flow. Listen to our first cooperated effort on the power and potential of video collaboration and watch our TV segment on ET Now: Empowering Enterprises.

But of course Vidyo’s versatile technology is permeating several industries across India! Powerful integrations in the financial services space, such as IndusInd, provided India with the first “face-to-face” online banking experience, and Reliance Mutual, a top Capital Asset Management company in India, also uses Vidyo to power their Video Chat function that allows distributors to connect with Reliance Mutual experts. Together these companies are driving interest in Vidyo across banking services throughout India!

IndusInd Mobile Video Banking

VidyoWorks powers Video Branch, a mobile and desktop-based banking service deployed across India. 

And keep your ear to the ground for new Vidyo applications in Healthcare – yet another vertical that is recognizing the immense benefits of real time video communication. Multiple VidyoWorks integrations are on the horizon that will boost the quality of care and promote better patient outcomes in various healthcare platforms across the country.

With a population of more than 1.25 billion people, almost 980 million mobile connections, the impending launch of 4G services nationwide and around 300 million Internet connections* – the Indian market is ready to embrace the next generation of video communication.

Sunny Rao is general manager of India and can be reached at