VidyoRoom HD-2: Video Collaboration – Great Things Come in Small Packages

The HD-2 Vidyo Room

The Vidyo team has been hard at work to bring you our latest endpoint, the VidyoRoom™ HD-2. Hot on the heels of our recent release of the VidyoRoom HD-3, we are now introducing a new VidyoRoom system that delivers exceptional Ultra HD 4k video quality in a small compact form factor. With high quality video and small size, the VidyoRoom HD-2 is ideal for a variety of environments from huddle spaces up to board rooms.

Vidyo has a strong focus to bring the highest quality collaboration experience possible and the VidyoRoom HD-2 is no exception. It provides the ability to support a single display at Ultra HD 4K resolution for high quality content collaboration and multiparty video conferencing. Alternatively, you can drive two displays at 1080p resolution for a multiscreen viewing experience.

The VidyoRoom HD-2’s small size makes it ideal for huddle spaces where room can be at a premium. At a little over an inch thick, it can be discretely mounted in an out of the way location. Take a look at this unboxing video to see how compact the VidyoRoom HD-2 unit is.

The VidyoRoom HD-2 joins the VidyoRoom HD-3 and VidyoRoom SE products providing complete coverage for your group collaboration needs. Whether you are looking for small huddle space or a large integrated boardroom, users will be able to find a VidyoRoom system that fits their use case.  

The VidyoRoom Product Line

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Transmit 1080p60 1080p60 1080p60
4K Ultra HD Displays 1 2 1
1080p HD Displays 2 4 2
Form Factor Compact Standard Software only

The VidyoRoom HD-2 is available in two optional configurations. You can purchase the VidyoRoom HD-2 as a complete bundle including the Logitech® GROUP camera and speaker phone with the INOGENI DVI-to-USB for content sharing. Alternatively, the VidyoRoom HD-2 is available by itself so you can add your own audio and video devices.

Want to learn more about 4K conferencing? Check out the VidyoRoom HD-2 data sheet or contact your Vidyo representative.

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

Finovate Chats with Vidyo About the Top Trends in Fintech, and Video Banking Leads the Way

Finovate with Vidyo

It’s hard enough to figure out what to do with our money and when. A simplified banking experience is what every customer wants at the end of the day – and the leading banks are well-aware of this. Yet, to reach the point of delivering a delightful experience, banks must make sure that cutting-edge technologies make life easier – without creating security risks.

Breakthroughs in financial technology are making it easier for folks today to make sense of the complex and continuous job of managing our assets. For example, video banking is playing a major role in the digital transformation of banks around the globe, in a time when they are striving to be innovative – letting us chat remotely with our advisor from anywhere.

Bank customers’ expectations are changing – soon, connecting to our banker via video chat – from our smartphone or laptop – will be the new normal. Video chat is a great example of how banks are using the latest technology to help us maintain a personal, face-to-face relationship with our banker, while letting us bank conveniently, without disrupting our work/life balance.

bankingquote300The goal of making banking simple for customers is challenging in a space that is as tightly regulated and delicate as finance, on both the commercial and individual levels. From security to devops, blockchain, AI and more, today’s top trends in fintech reflect a universal need for speed, flexibility, transparency – and stability plus safety – all at the same time. We spoke with Julie Muhn, a research analyst at Finovate (Finovate conferences showcase cutting-edge banking and financial technology,) on what to expect in 2017 and beyond. Founded in 2007, Finovate spotted early on soon-to-be trendsetting companies such as Mint.com and Lending Club. Here are the trends that Julie sees as the most important to understand right now:

What are the biggest trends in Fintech today?

First, artificial intelligence and machine learning: there are a few primary reasons for this. While the first is obvious, it’s one banks are hesitant to admit – computers don’t ask for a salary, paid leave, and health insurance. By substituting a computer to do work that a human usually does (to crunch numbers or answer simple customer service questions, for example) financial institutions can save costs.

These technologies enable banks to meet customers in channels where they already are, which improves the customer experience. This, in turn, is not only beneficial to customer retention but also facilitates customer acquisition.

The application of these technologies appeals to millennial customers. By drawing in a younger customer base now, banks stand a better chance of serving them in the future when they are more valuable clients. It’s the same reason we’re seeing fully-fledged advisory services launch robo-advisor platforms – it’s like training wheels.

Second, the use of the blockchain for KYC and identity purposes, as well as for real-time payments: there are key pieces about the blockchain– it’s secure, it works as a permanent ledger, and it records data in real time–  that make it the perfect record to use for identity verification and rails to use for payment in real-time.

Finally, the API-ification of banks: the increased availability of open APIs allows banks to offer their customers better tools and higher security. And because many APIs consist of only a few lines of code, it can take just minutes to integrate very powerful solutions.

What challenges will have the most dramatic impact on our system moving forward?

One of the biggest challenges that has (and will continue to) impact the entire fintech industry is security. The increasing rate of malicious hacker activity both in finance and across the web is alarming. Security and privacy concerns work against the industry by making consumers nervous about adopting new technologies. It also impedes the ability for both incumbent and new fintech players to launch new solutions. Overall, hackers have stunted the growth of fintech and will continue to do so.

Vidyo specializes in video banking – what do you think about video chat for banks?

From a consumer perspective, in a world of chatbot banking, video banking is king. When a customer is able to talk with a real person through complex account issues or complicated retirement or tax questions, frustration is minimized and the customer experience is enhanced.

Vidyo Embedded Video Communications and the Magic Quadrant

Gartner has recognized Vidyo’s technology time and time again. Vidyo was named a Leader in the Magic Quadrant for Group Video Systems in both 2015 and 2016* and was additionally positioned as a Visionary in the Magic Quadrant for Web Conferencing in 2015 and 2016. We are always honored to be recognized for these accolades, and what’s of equal interest is the overall pervasiveness of Vidyo’s technology platform throughout the breadth of Gartner’s research. 

Gartner Lauds Vidyo

In the past two years alone, Vidyo and more than 20 global partners who are leveraging Vidyo’s technology, have been featured in over 25 Gartner Magic Quadrants on topics including Unified Communications, Contact Center as a Service, UCaaS, Customer Engagement Center Workflow Optimization, Cloud Enabled Managed Hosting, Network Services and Healthcare, testament only to how Vidyo is truly powering the most influential and well regarded companies in the world.

Vidyo customer engagementSome of the largest and most highly esteemed companies featured in these Magic Quadrants, like Genesys, Genband, West/Intercall, ServiceNow, Arkadin, Mitel and Epic, and many more, are building, delivering or integrating innovative video communications with Vidyo’s technology.

From companies spanning the Fortune 500 to the top ranked global banks, from the most innovative leaders in healthcare to the most groundbreaking enterprises in tech, Vidyo is the platform powering the face-to-face interactions that are driving communications forward, and industry analysts are recognizing this strength across the board.

According to the Gartner Magic Quadrant For Group Video Systems, 2016*, the highlights of Vidyo strengths are as follows:

  • Vidyo continues to gain significant traction for large video deployments. This demonstrates the market’s growing acceptance of its approach to scalable video services.
  • Software standardization across endpoints, infrastructure and the cloud reduces Vidyo’s deployment and support requirements.
  • Vidyo’s streamlined pricing structure, which includes a concurrent licensing model, simplifies sizing and budgeting for new implementations.

It is the uniqueness of Vidyo’s technology platform that allows so many of our partners to innovate and integrate video communication applications and workflows that are ultimately changing the way we work and collaborate today and into the future.

*Source: Gartner, Inc., Magic Quadrant for Group Video Systems, by Mike Fasciani, Robert F. Mason and Tom Eagle, July 14, 2016

Required Disclaimer:
Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings or other designation. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner’s research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.

Enjoy an Improved Video Conferencing Experience with VidyoGateway 3.5.0

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We recently announced the release of VidyoGateway™ 3.5.0. VidyoGateway delivers robust interoperability between Vidyo and third party voice and video conferencing solutions. We’ve listened to our customers and made some nice enhancements to the product to provide end users and administrators with an even better collaboration experience on our platform.

Firewalls and NAT/PAT devices often cause call connectivity problems. In fact, they are the number one reason for call connectivity problems in the Internet based communications world. We’ve enhanced NAT traversals of the VidyoGateway by adding support for RFCs 7362, 3581 and 5626. This should make far-end and near-end NAT traversals easier and reduce the rate of call failures for third-party video conferencing endpoints connecting from behind corporate NAT / firewalls.

We’ve also added support for call control via DTMF (Dual Tone – Multi Frequency) tones. Audio-only participants dialing into a VidyoConference now have more control over their call experience. By using their phone’s touchtone keypads, users can now mute or un-mute their line, or turn on and off participant entry & exit tones. This is a relatively small feature addition to the VidyoGateway, but can have an extremely positive impact on the call experience. If you are attending a meeting where other participants are joining and or leaving frequently, you can disable these tones and focus on the presentation. Additionally, administrators can customize the key sequences for these commands.

Last but not the least, we’ve added support for the Opus audio codec. Opus is a popular, low-latency, high-fidelity variable bitrate codec which has better audio quality than other codecs at any given bitrate. Third-party video conferencing devices that support Opus can now join a conference on Vidyo and enjoy a higher quality audio experience.

We value our customer feedback and will continue to listen to ways in which we can improve Vidyo’s video collaboration experience. Keep the feedback coming!

Want to learn more about Vidyo interoperability? Check out the VidyoGateway datasheet or contact your Vidyo representative. The VidyoGateway v.3.5.0 update is available for free to customers under an active support contract.

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

Vidyo Deployed at Aspen Institute Stevens Initiative for Global Video Diversity Initiative

Diversity awareness is fast becoming one of the most important and widely discussed issues in the world today, for a host of reasons, both within the business world and in life outside the office. It is the key to managing conflicts, ranging from everyday tasks to changing the world.

Aspen Institute Dinner

Secretary Madeleine Albright and The Stevens Initiative. The initiative will provide funding, through merit-based competitions, for organizations to administer virtual and physical exchange programs between youth in the United States and the Middle East and North Africa.

The Aspen Institute Stevens Initiative, named after U.S Ambassador Christopher Stevens, who died in Benghazi, recently announced the opening of their second global competition to fund innovative virtual exchange programs that are helping young people across the U.S, the Middle East and North Africa better understand each other and their diverse cultures.

Alongside the Bezos Family Foundation and the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, we are proud to be a partner in the project, making sure that these virtual exchanges that rely heavily on video chat run amazingly well thanks to Vidyo’s unbeatable level of clarity, flexibility and reliability.

The Stevens Initiative is helping young people from opposite parts of the world succeed in an increasingly fast-paced, diverse and complex global landscape that will require a higher level of cultural knowledge, empathy and awareness. The goal is to foster respect and open authentic dialogues that are based on our common ground.

“As someone who has lived and worked in many places, including the Middle East, Africa, APAC, Europe and North America, I know first-hand how important it is for the next generation to understand cultural diversity,” said Vidyo CEO Eran Westman. “We are proud to be a partner in this meaningful project.”

Read the official announcement: Stevens Initiative Opens Global Competition to Fund Virtual Exchange Programs Connective Youth in the United States, Middle East, and North Africa

Introducing Vidyo Integration for Slack 1.0

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Look, we know that Slack is already pretty awesome, but it just got even more productivity-pleasing by integrating with Vidyo. We’re excited to integrate our feature-rich video conferencing technology into everyone’s favorite messaging app, on PC, Mac, iOS and Android. Slack users can now easily integrate our high-quality video chat application with a few simple commands.

Don’t have Vidyo? Start your free trial here, and see why people love using our technology.

For our customers who are interested in Microsoft Teams, we’re happy to look at integration there as well.

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Administrators can install the Vidyo application from the Slack App Directory store here. Watch this how-to video to get started setting up the app and using Slack with Vidyo.

We all know those moments that just require a face-to-face conversation – using Slack with Vidyo will help you make things happen, with the people you need to talk to most, while staying right within your collaborative workflow.

If you use VidyoCloud™ or VidyoConferencing™, this integration makes it easier to meet over video conferencing, right from Slack. The Vidyo integration for Slack saves you time when launching a meeting by bringing these environments together seamlessly.

Using Vidyo for Slack, you can easily invite people into Vidyo Neo™ and VidyoDesktop™ meetings directly from Slack, with one simple command, and more:

Invite Members to Conferences with One Simple Command

The Vidyo for Slack Integration makes it extremely easy for you to create channels and invite public channel members, private channel members, external members, and direct chat members to conferences. All you have to do is use /vidyo command as shown here:

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Your Slack channel name for Vidyo doubles as your Vidyo room name, and a PIN is generated for private channels with a link so that only channel members and invitees can join the chat. Simply typing in the /vidyo command will take you back into the video conference any time.  Use /vidyo @username”to invite someone who is not part of the channel.

Search for Channels Easily within Vidyo Neo and VidyoDesktop™

Vidyo Neo and VidyoDesktop sync perfectly with the Vidyo integration for Slack app, making it easy for you to search for public and private channels.

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The app requires a paid subscription to VidyoCloud or an on-premises deployment of VidyoConferencing. For assistance and updates, visit our Vidyo Slack Integration Help and Support page if you’d like to get additional details on all the new features. Questions? Email support@vidyo.com.

Vidyo, Hurricane Matthew and Telehealth: Training for Disaster Response

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In the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew, which has devastated Haiti, it’s important to note the grassroots organizations that focus not just on relief and recovery, but also community and cultural sustainability. The Haiti Medical Education Project’s mission is to keep the best and brightest Haitian medical talent living and working Haiti, creating a continuous  braintrust that will put the country’s care in a better place for decades to come. We’ve donated our video technology to the project for several years to help them do so.

The Haiti Medical Education Project is a non-profit organization established by international healthcare providers, academics, and social activists after a major turning point for the country, the massive earthquake in 2010 that killed more than 100,000 people. Vidyo has helped Haiti train its doctors since that cataclysmic moment that changed the country forever. Through our video conferencing technology, Haitian medical students connect to physicians and medical educators around the globe, thus continuing their education – while remaining at home in their own country.

haitiblog300The historic 2010 earthquake, in one fell swoop, exposed Haiti’s dire need for highly-qualified medical doctors that are also well-trained in mass emergency situations that deal with entire populations. In Haiti, while plans for disaster response are laid out, implementing a system for delivering emergency care has not been so easy. It’s been a challenge for them to put repeatable medical processes in place throughout a fragmented nation. Hurricane Matthew has yet again challenged this nation in disaster response. How the state will coordinate with NGOs to normalize these systems is what the Haitian people want to see moving forward. Vidyo has become a key asset.

It is not only the day of Hurricane Matthew itself that has caused destruction, but its effect on the existing cholera epidemic in Haiti that is now going to get worse. There have already been 400 suspected cholera cases reported in the wake of Hurricane Matthew. What encompasses a system for disaster response is complex and different everywhere, and the Haiti Medical Education Project has little time to waste, which is how Vidyo has helped them stream critical lectures and lessons to hundreds of doctors across the country at the same time. They need to act fast, with little downtime to spare.

To act quickly and efficiently, the HME Project has built out five or six (sometimes up to eight) different lecture sites around the country, with anywhere from 100 – 150 medical students and professionals connecting remotely via Vidyo all at the same time to share their strategies and knowledge. The challenge is that they have to achieve this while operating under very low bandwidth conditions and bad networks. According to HME President Dr. Cruff Renard, the ability to connect to the lectures via mobile devices, with stability regardless of location, has recently been a gamechanger for the project.

Vidyo has worked with HME for six years, with evolving needs. The Haitian government and NGOs operating in the country have learned lessons in relief response from the 2010 earthquake. For example, PTSD psychological services will be essential for medical professionals to be aware of when treating patients going forward.

Initially, to do distance learning, HME struggled to find video technology that just worked. Regular electrical problems and unpredictable internet are made worse when disaster strikes. Vidyo has helped HME focus on their task at hand, not IT issues.

By conducting distance learning via Vidyo, more than 500 Haitians health care professionals (medical students, residents, nurses and practicing physicians) from five differents hospital and institutions have attended HME’s weekly lectures, and they expect the number of hospitals they partner with to double by next year. Additionally, over the last 18 months, HME – in partnership with Global CALS – has trained more than 100 Haitian nurses and physicians on basic emergency care delivery, using standardized evidence-based guidelines that have been adapted for a country with limited resources. According to Dr. Renard, using simple skills and simple tools that are readily available is a key factor in access to emergency care in Haiti.

Vidyo has assisted HME in recently creating an integrated research course based in Port au Prince, involving participation from 35 different faculties. After learning basic research methods, each faculty has to then design an adaptive curriculum for their respective institutions throughout Haiti. The professor, from the City University of New York, is able to remote in from anywhere thanks to video chat technology.

The long-term mission of the HME is sustainability. According to Dr. Renard, Hurricane Matthew will unfortunately be a major step back for Haiti. However, they maintain a positive outlook. He also believes the resilience of the Haitian people will persevere once again. To learn more, visit http://www.hmeproject.org.

Video Customer Communication in an Omnichannel World

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The widespread adoption of consumer video communication services such as Microsoft Skype, Google Hangouts, Facebook Messenger or Apple FaceTime has democratized video calling. Together with the development of WebRTC, it created the expectation that video can be easily added as an interaction channel for customer engagement and support.

At Vidyo we learned with our customers that video is not yet another channel. Furthermore, treating it like voice or text chat carries the risk of creating an interaction silo, failing to accommodate essential consumer expectations and enterprise cost-effectiveness targets.

Time raises the bar for video engagement

Time has become the currency for many consumers looking for help or trying to buy something conveniently online. Consumers hate being on hold. They often choose their initial channel to communicate based on convenience and immediacy. Video becomes a channel added either to enable a trusted in-person conversation or for showing something live while on a call. This prevalent use case comes with limited tolerance for having to wait or for not being easily and immediately connected to a competent person.

Video interactions tend to be longer. They use video to make the most of pivotal “moments” in a customer’s journey and focus on high-value customers and/or high-value transactions.

The sourcing of associates handling video interactions is an important consideration. When using resources already helping customers, existing service levels must be preserved. Enterprises are often leveraging the option of scheduling video meetings. For high-value interactions, it is possible to connect to remote expert resources of other departments, beyond customer service.

Video needs to be embedded into, not added to, omnichannel

All these considerations mandate the integration of video into the overall enterprise omnichannel strategy. In particular, it requires:

  1. Offering video communications in the broader context of all existing touchpoints, including in-person,
  2. Making video an option that can be added to customer interactions taking place on other channels, and
  3. Sourcing associates for video conversations in a way that addresses consumer expectations for immediacy and competency while preserving service levels

It becomes paramount to make a video setup as seamless and as repeatable as possible, ideally as simple as a single click of a button. Video has to be woven in customer processes and workflows and let enterprises brand the experience as well.

Communication Platform as a Service

It made us realize that what was needed is not a point solution but a platform. A rich set of APIs enables businesses to customize how video is offered from an engagement standpoint and how it is integrated with existing applications and information systems.

We found we needed to go beyond offering a video communication Platform as a Service (PaaS) and provide integrations to sales and service applications of reference. Together with our partners, we have embarked on a journey to expand our portfolio of such integrations.

In particular, we have announced in recent months several strategic alliances:

  1. With Genesys, an omnichannel customer experience leader to bring to market integrated contact center solutions
  2. With Servicenow, the leading provider of customer service management to build integrated field service solutions
  3. With NCR, a leader in branch-office optimization to create video-enabled branches and ATMs

Video is evolving rapidly from being a nice addition to becoming an essential element of an omnichannel customer engagement strategy. Embedding video into customer communications requires video communication Platform as a Service (PaaS) and integrations with the customer service application ecosystem.

Cloud-Based Communications is Exploding

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It has been exciting times at Vidyo over the past few months. On a technology level we launched VidyoCloud and Vidyo.io, with Forbes saying, “Video is hot again” and that through our cloud service “the risk and effort to video-enable apps has never been this low and the scalability has never been this high.”

And as we see customers moving to VidyoCloud, we also see partner relationships developing. We recently announced an expanded partnership with Computacenter, one of Europe’s largest providers of IT Infrastructure Services, that builds on their existing relationship with us to push VidyoCloud into their customer base. You can see what they have to say about the service here. Jamie Allender, head of Workplace & Collaboration at Computacenter UK, states:

"Video Conferencing has moved from the boardroom to everyday devices, across multiple networks. In parallel our customers are asking Computacenter to advise and support them in their journey to the Digital Workplace, with IT designed for people. Vidyo’s technology is right at the forefront of this shift and with the launch of VidyoCloud, with simple to consume and use HD Video Conferencing service across all types of device, it is a very powerful addition to the portfolio of Digital Workplace solutions that Computacenter delivers to our customers."

The cloud is dominating many of our customer conversations and we’re seeing more than ever customers who want to move to cloud deployments. Mail Online, part of the Daily Mail & General Trust Group sits on VidyoCloud. Chris Fryer, their Head of AV Operations, explained that he has always loved the Vidyo technology and moving to the cloud takes away the operational overhead within his own team, allowing him more flexibility to grow the way that the business leverages Vidyo. Placing his trust in VidyoCloud also affords him the flexibility to start to think about new and innovative ways to use Vidyo internally and externally.

From our customers’ perspective, we continue to get an overflow of positive feedback. I love to hear the data points that demonstrate the business value that our customers see in the projects. One common example that we have heard from several customers is the improvement of their Net Promoter Score; in many cases this DOUBLES when changing from telephony-based engagement to Vidyo-based engagement.

At a recent healthcare event, one of our customers in the UK showed me data from one of their GP Practices that saw the closure rate for appointments handled over Vidyo increase by over 30% in comparison to telephone appointments. These stories really show why people use our software and it shows we are really making a difference.

It’s this combination of Vidyo’s technology, our cloud platform, our APIs and our customers’ and partners’ imagination that is making things so exciting. Vidyo is truly powering the business now, enabling workflows and workforces with video on any device, any network, simply & securely. It is exciting times indeed.

Vidyo and Genesys Make Waves at G-Force 2016

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Vidyo was proud to participate as a platinum-level sponsor at G-Force, a customer engagement event hosted by Genesys. G-Force featured more than 100 educational and breakouts sessions and networking activities that explored a wide range of key topics, including digital transformation, customer journey management, hyper-personalization and the Internet of Things.

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On the first day of the conference, Vidyo was named Genesys AppFoundry Partner of the Year for delivering high-definition video conferencing solutions to a number of large Genesys customers, as well as its investment in integrating with Genesys across desktop, chat, routing and reporting functions. The AppFoundry marketplace allows Genesys customers to discover, research and connect with a broad range of customer experience applications, integrations and services that address their unique customer needs.

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Vidyo’s SVP of Marketing and Business Development, Sam Waicberg
with the AppFoundry Partner of the Year award

For the Demo Battle contest, Vidyo won the People’s Choice award – an award selected by G-Force customer and partner attendees. Vidyo’s video highlighted VidyoEngage for Genesys, which helps contact centers and service centers connect seamlessly with customers with the highest quality video over any device and any network.

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Vidyo CEO, Eran Westman and VP of Customer Engagement Solutions, Ran Sharon with People’s Choice Award

Furthermore, Vidyo was the sponsor of the Giveback: A Journey of a Lifetime contest, a chance for G-Force attendees to make a difference by fulfilling a personal mission to give back to the community of their choice and make an impact through service. The winner of this year’s contest was Ramon Parada – see Ramon’s story of giving back here.

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Vidyo CEO, Eran Westman, presenting Journey of a Lifetime award