VidyoConferencing: Perfect Fit for Career Training

It’s an exciting time for graduates and the education community, not only do they face an improved job market, advancements in technology provide new avenues to expand and improve career training programs. During the next few weeks, community colleges will be applying for TAACCCT grants.  As they think about creating and expanding partnerships between community colleges and businesses to educate and train the new workforce with skills employers need, they will consider new technologies to enhance industry engagements between students and employers. And Vidyo, will be prepared to help them with our FIS team (fis@vidyo.com).

VidyoConferencing is the perfect fit for career training needs. Vidyo brings a seamless visual communications solution to any program. It provides a platform that connects:

  • students to instructors
  • students to industry
  • students to students
  • students to workforce development
  • instructor to expert
  • instructor to industry
  • instructor to instructor
  • instructor to researcher

The result is that VidyoConferencing provides the industry with the ability to connect their workforce with degree and certification programs that allow for career growth and development.

VidyoConferencing is a software-based visual communications solution that makes the most of the investment that people have already made in endpoints and devices. It brings an affordable, easy-to-use videoconferencing platform to the distance learning room, PC, tablet and smartphone. And existing infrastructure investments in network and security can be harnessed without disruption. Vidyo easily connects to legacy equipment while using less bandwidth and provides dynamic adaptation across the network.

VidyoConferencing is used by higher education facilities for the delivery of course work and training, mentoring and leadership networks, career counseling and interviews, virtual job fairs, workforce and research collaboration, and student recruitment.

And recently, Vidyo announced its partnership with Internet2 to offer Net+ Vidyo services for access by member universities and thousands of
K-12 schools.

Vidyo meets and exceeds the needs of a learning networks while helping community colleges meet the requirements of TAACCCT. With VidyoConferencing, a community college can:

  • deliver distance learning within an industry and across a county, region, state or national network, providing greater access for students who can participate from work or home while eliminating commute cost and time
  • bring experts into the classroom, and connect what is happening in the classroom to what is needed in the targeted industry
  • connect to industry partners and collaborate with research universities to develop curriculum
  • connect community colleges and technical colleges with past TAACCCT awardees – this is essential to building out successful programs and developing leadership networks in the area of career readiness
  • build a platform that provides for student recruitment, job interviewing and placement, and virtual job and career
    fairs
  • provide greater access for creating mentoring networks connecting students, instructors and industry experts who
    can connect from their offices or homes

As community colleges build their TAACCCT program proposal, they may contact fis@vidyo.com for more information.

# # #

Marty Hollander is Vidyo’s SVP of Market Development. With more than 20 years of high-tech marketing experience, Marty specializes in developing lasting strategic assets through creative market development. Previously, Marty served as Vice President of Marketing at Cemaphore Systems, Latitude Communications (later acquired by Cisco) and ProactiveNet (later acquired by BMC). He also founded CollectiveSpace and IntelliCorp, where he played a variety of executive roles. Marty has also held senior level positions at Silicon Graphics and Storm Technology. Marty earned an MBA from Stanford University as well as an MS from Carnegie-Mellon University.

Vidyo Tops Polycom and Cisco, Wins Frost & Sullivan’s Global Video Conferencing Technology Leadership Award

If you’re hearing some delighted hoots and hollers coming from the direction of Vidyo this week, it’s because we’ve got something really great to “crow” about!  According to Frost & Sullivan (F&S), one of the premier global research organizations in the world, Vidyo has shown measurable leadership in the video conferencing arena, based on its innovation and value to customers.  After reviewing and evaluating Vidyo along with two other recognized video conferencing vendors (Cisco and Polycom), it was determined that Vidyo was indeed the technology leader of the group, based on a variety of criteria.  For that accomplishment, we have received the F&S 2013 Global Video Conferencing Technology Leadership Award, and we couldn’t be prouder!

Frost & Sullivan has been around for 50 years with 1,800 analysts and consultants who monitor over 300 industries and 250,000 companies.   So, when this group does an evaluation, they do a thorough investigation! Their decision matrix shows that Vidyo ranked higher than the other two vendors even with a lower Brand Perception. While Vidyo’s technology clearly dominated, it is also important to note F&S ranked Vidyo’s Customer Value ahead of the other two vendors.

To download the full report, click here.

As we’ve been consistently saying for over 5 years now, Vidyo believes that it is essential that video conferencing is simple, natural and universal.  It needs to work with any device, be available on any available network, and be accessible to everyone at an affordable price.  We have been steadfast in our commitment to making that kind of video conferencing a reality and this award is a testament that Vidyo has succeeded.

The F&S report cited that recent product updates, such as VidyoWay and the first $750 Executive Desktop System, were also a compelling factor in the evaluation.  According to the report:  “Vidyo’s solutions have a good fit with the emerging trends and offer customers a new and more scalable approach to video conferencing, eliminating the traditional hurdles toadoption. The VidyoRouter is an apt fit for global enterprises, since it saves on hardware costs that are normally incurred over geographically dispersed
deployments and has a significantly slimmer footprint adding to the operating savings afforded by the lower cost commodity networks. These factors make Vidyo an affordable and scalable solution for virtually any sized enterprise.”

2013 has only just begun … and we’ve still got some mountains to move … but this is a great way to start this year!  F&S’s research reveals the market for video conferencing systems and services stands at a whopping $3.2 billion. The 21st Century technological emphasis on sharing, on openness, and on instantaneous communication indicates this momentum shows no signs of abating.  Well…bring it on!! Vidyo is ready!  We remain committed to transforming the way the world communicates and collaborates … and we’re certain that Vidyo will be front and center in that new world!

To read the full Frost and Sullivan press release, click here!

# # #

Marty Hollander is Vidyo’s SVP of Market Development. With more than 20 years of high-tech marketing experience, Marty specializes in developing lasting strategic assets through creative market development. Previously, Marty served as Vice President of Marketing at Cemaphore Systems, Latitude Communications (later acquired by Cisco) and ProactiveNet (later acquired by BMC). He also founded CollectiveSpace and IntelliCorp, where he played a variety of executive roles. Marty has also held senior level positions at Silicon Graphics and Storm Technology. Marty earned an MBA from Stanford University as well as an MS from Carnegie-Mellon University.

Vidyo Rises to the Top of the Video Conferencing Industry

In the last couple of months, both Gartner and IDC have released their assessments of the major video conferencing vendors. While the two largest vendors have maintained their overall ranking, the real news is that when you look at both of these reports, they triangulate on Vidyo as the number three company in the video conferencing market. And if these analyst firms were to consider Vidyo’s footprint gained through our technology licensing to companies like Google, Nintendo – check out the new Wii U!! –, Philips and Ricoh — it just may be that Vidyo has the largest video endpoint footprint of the entire market.

Gartner – Marketscope for Telepresence and Group Video Systems

This report examines the leading video vendors for both single and multi-codec systems for midsize and large enterprises. Gartner found “a significant shift in customer preference during the past 12 months, with the emphasis on dedicated multiscreen rooms transforming to more flexible and modular alternatives for group video.”

And their assessment of how we’re doing:

“Vidyo has continued to execute effectively on marketing in 2012, driving outsized brand awareness relative to its larger competitors, notably in midsize enterprises. Vidyo’s software-centric model for video does not rely on MCUs to accelerate match and transcode calls. As a result, enterprises can trial and deploy Vidyo’s solution quickly, an important attribute for midsize opportunities. While now being adopted in different iterations by other vendors, SVC, in the context of their patented Adaptive Video Layering technology, remains a differentiator for Vidyo, enabling it to extend video calls effectively over a broad range of networks. While this capability is not essential to mature, internally focused video environments found in large enterprise, it offers important flexibility for midsize enterprises that are more likely to run video over the public Internet.

Vidyo was one of the first movers to support video calling on iPads and Android devices, and offers individual users the ability to dynamically manage video layouts to suit their preferences. Vidyo has addressed the room-centric conferencing environment in several ways. In addition to providing a gateway to standards-based room appliances, Vidyo introduced VidyoPanorama, a fully modular approach that allows displays of varying form factors to be collected into a multipoint experience, engaging Vidyo endpoints from the far end of a room. While VidyoPanorama has not been a primary deployment model for customers, Vidyo continues to innovate against an emerging set of new display technologies and does not tie their value to a specific form factor.”

The overall takeaway is that Vidyo shares the “Positive” category with one other company just behind the two largest vendors in the video conferencing market:

To download the full report, click here

IDC MarketScape: Worldwide Enterprise Video Conferencing Equipment 2012–2013 Vendor Analysis

This study covers nine vendors and looks at the characteristics that IDC believes lead to success in the enterprise video market while providing an overview of the competitive fitness of their global solution.

IDC notes that “the customer experience will rule.” This plays perfectly to the key strength of Vidyo’s Adaptive Video Layering architecture which delivers the best experience for every participant based upon their bandwidth, CPU and resolution. The customer experience will be crucial to driving video conferencing to where it belongs—into “applications with seamless immersion into a company’s crucial business processes.”

For video conferencing buyers, the IDC report gives the following advice (which we feel plays directly into Vidyo’s most recent service provider initiative): “As an alternative to deploying a video network infrastructure on-premise, video-as-a-service offerings today can provide much-needed flexibility and a less capital-intensive option for customers to consider for cloud-based video network infrastructure.” Vidyo’s service provider initiative, called a White Label Service, enables a named user at $30/month with unlimited video conferencing. Vidyo expects this model to be very appealing to a large portion of the SMB market.

Overall Vidyo was ranked third, based upon the Strategies axis and fourth, on the Capabilities axis. See the MarketScape map below, and click here to download the paper.

Gartner and IDC are two of the most respected IT analyst firms, and their assessments have tremendous influence on IT buyers. Vidyo is not just in their sights, but has become the primary option for those who have invested in the two largest installed bases. As Vidyo continues winning strong customer advocates and growing its market share at a much faster rate than the two larger and older players, I predict that Vidyo’s ranking will go even higher in the years to come.  (Everyone’s making 2013 projections, so this is mine!)

# # #

Marty Hollander is Vidyo’s SVP of Market Development. With more than 20 years of high-tech marketing experience, Marty specializes in developing lasting strategic assets through creative market development. Previously, Marty served as Vice President of Marketing at Cemaphore Systems, Latitude Communications (later acquired by Cisco) and ProactiveNet (later acquired by BMC). He also founded CollectiveSpace and IntelliCorp, where he played a variety of executive roles. Marty has also held senior level positions at Silicon Graphics and Storm Technology. Marty earned an MBA from Stanford University as well as an MS from Carnegie-Mellon University.

Vidyo Excellence Honors Developer Community

Vidyo started as a company licensing the SDK for its next generation video conferencing technology even before it brought its VidyoConferencing product line to market. For years, Vidyo has been supporting development teams to build our video conferencing architecture into their own unique solutions. So it should come as no surprise that Vidyo has evolved the tools it offers developers into a rich set of Web Services APIs and Client APIs to make VidyoConferencing a natural part of the business workflow.

The number of developers who have integrated video communications within their applications has grown dramatically. Vidyo now has a team solely dedicated to making these partners successful, as well as growing the set of support tools to make this integration effort even easier. The range of Vidyo APIs is expanding to enable broader integration of the larger product portfolio. In fact, just added with the recent release of V2.2 are APIs for VidyoReplay.

With so many developers creating interesting and useful integrations the time has come to recognize these excellent innovations by our community. Vidyo opened the competition to our developers and selected winners in three application areas: healthcare, customer service and resource scheduling. Here are the Vidyo Excellence winners!

Healthcare
HealthSpot earned the Vidyo Excellence Award for Healthcare for its Care4 Station, a walk-in kiosk with integrated medical devices that connect patients to healthcare providers over real-time, high-definition videoconference appointments.

“HealthSpot selected Vidyo as its exclusive video conferencing platform based upon Vidyo’s media-aware, intelligent routing architecture that enables access to high quality video communications via a wide range of devices and networks,” said Dave Sebenoler, HealthSpot’s Chief Information Officer. “This visual communications technology, in concert with Vidyo’s enterprise-ready APIs, has allowed HealthSpot to create an industry leading self-service kiosk solution. The APIs allow HealthSpot to run advanced technology ‘under the hood’ while providing an intuitive user experience that distills many complex processes into a seamless patient experience.”

Customer Service
The Vidyo Excellence Award for Customer Service was earned by UST Global for iDispatch. The iDispatch application gives field technicians complete visual communications with a team of experts who can assist in solving problems while the technician is on-site.

“Using Vidyo’s rich set of web services APIs we were able to create a conference solution that is tightly integrates with an enterprise mobility platform for customer service,” said Tony Velleca, UST Global’s CIO and VP of Services and Solutions.  “This direct integration plus our hosted VidyoConferencing service provides our clients with a turnkey solution without the need to install additional hardware or software.”

Resource Scheduling
The Vidyo Excellence Award for Resource Scheduling was earned by Soltrite for See-Speak. Soltrite created an on-demand language interpretation solution customized for each client organization that may choose the languages they want to offer, as well as a variety of routing choices to select the interpreter that best meets their needs.

“We have essentially created a ‘Vidyo ACD’ product and an integration that can be molded to different client requirement situations,” said Scott Colesworthy, Soltrite’s CEO. “Vidyo allows quality over uncontrolled networks to a variety of devices enabling client locations to use non-QoS enhanced networks to lower bandwidth cost and allow the interpreters to be located in their homes.”

Congratulations again to these developers for creating stand-out videoconferencing integrations!

 

# # #

Marty Hollander is Vidyo’s SVP of Market Development. With more than 20 years of high-tech marketing experience, Marty specializes in developing lasting strategic assets through creative market development. Previously, Marty served as Vice President of Marketing at Cemaphore Systems, Latitude Communications (later acquired by Cisco) and ProactiveNet (later acquired by BMC). He also founded CollectiveSpace and IntelliCorp, where he played a variety of executive roles. Marty has also held senior level positions at Silicon Graphics and Storm Technology. Marty earned an MBA from Stanford University as well as an MS from Carnegie-Mellon University.

Vidyo Selected by IBM as Only Video Conferencing Application Partner to Join PureSystems Global Rollout

Vidyo is among the first application providers to be certified on IBM’s new family of expert integrated systems.

Communications is a critical service that demands very high availability. In contrast to a telephony application, videoconferencing has not been expected to be reliably available at the same level. For videoconferencing to be viewed as a widely deployable communications service by IT, it must vastly improve to become a dependable utility. Large organizations and service providers have found that employing virtualization dramatically improves high availability by abstracting the application from the physical hardware, and enabling deployment on-demand to any available server. This may be the key for video communications when deployed in large scale to support personal devices.

Vidyo has moved rapidly to support deployment in virtualized environments. Near the end of 2011, Vidyo announced that it had virtualized the media plane for videoconferencing and Ofer Shapiro, Vidyo’s CEO, made the statement, “Vidyo’s virtualization of the media plane is as significant to the video conferencing industry as VMware’s virtualization of the compute plane was to the data center.”

Just last month, Vidyo announced the VidyoRouter™ Virtual Edition, and demonstrated this running on VMware at Enterprise Connect. Today, Vidyo is thrilled to make IBM’s list of business partners certified as ready for PureSystems.  With this certification, we are excited to change the enterprise IT experience as we know it and welcome our customers to the next era of videoconferencing reliability and scalability with availability of VidyoRouter VE this summer.

Vidyo is uniquely positioned to deliver video communications as a virtual application.  Vidyo’s endpoints and infrastructure components are software running on general purpose processors. But the key factor is that the multipoint requirement for rate and resolution matching is performed by merely making intelligent packet routing decisions upon encoded packets. This is a lightweight computational task compared with the resource intensive challenge of transcoding required by all of the legacy vendors to deliver equivalent functionality. With Vidyo, the media plane is easily virtualized, consumes resources efficiently and scales to support large numbers of simultaneous connections. Perhaps this is why IBM selected only Vidyo as a videoconferencing application partner to participate in the global rollout of IBM PureSystems.

Organizations need to be confident that video communications will be “always available” if they make it core to their communications platform. Now with Vidyo’s leadership, organizations that want to deploy highly available videoconferencing multipoint infrastructure can do this as a virtual application, so the hardware variable is removed from the reliability equation. With Vidyo, everyone can meet face to face, remotely, with confidence.

To read the full IBM press release, click here!

Who’s First? The Race for Mobile Video Conferencing…

…And does it really matter?

      • December 2010 – Elisa service on Galaxy- first mobile service offering
        by a telecom provider on a tab and phone
      • August 2011 – Vidyo’s mobile client is available in the Apple App Store
        delivering multipoint HD videoconferencing for both iPhone and iPad
      • October 2011 – Polycom announces first enterprise HD video software
        solution for tablets

Who was first? Others have called out Polycom for making this false claim.  While Vidyo was both first to demo multipoint video conferencing on a mobile device (January 2010 in Paul Otellini’s CES keynote) as well as deliver multi-party videoconferencing on a smartphone and tablet, the real issue for enterprise decision makers is not about who is first, but about who can deliver a complete solution. With the memory of Steve Jobs still in sharp focus, I’m reminded that it is not about a specific product, but about delivering for the user the most satisfying effortless experience.

With the memory of Steve Jobs still in sharp focus, I’m reminded that it is not about a specific product, but about delivering for the user the most satisfying effortless experience.

In videoconferencing, porting an application to run on a device is only a small part of the requirement—this just delivers the potential for a personal video communication device. Having an intuitive UI for entering and interacting within a videoconference is another part of the experience. But the most important aspect is the actual video interaction that makes the communication experience natural and engaging. The challenge is that mobile devices use wireless networks—WiFi, 3G or 4G—and packets will be dropped and bandwidth may be limited as well as highly variable. And, an enterprise quality solution must be capable of multi-party conferences that enable communication with other mobile devices as well as desktop and room system participants who may encode at far higher resolutions.

Delivering on this challenge requires a completely different infrastructure architecture than what is offered by the old market leaders such as Polycom whose MCU architecture was designed for perfect connectivity such as provided by ISDN, and has now developed Band-Aid approaches including Forward Error Correction, Loss Packet Recovery and others to deal with the Wireless.Wild.West non-guaranteed QoS bandwidth. The result is lackluster performance and increased overhead that further exacerbates the challenging network conditions.

And the bad news gets worse for legacy MCU architectures when it comes to multipoint. When you have a mobile device interacting with another mobile device and an HD room system, the MCU transcodes and gives the gift of additional latency. Since it must transcode to enable disparate devices to be in the same multiparty meeting, it degrades the video quality in the process as well as adds delay. The problem is that for a natural interaction to occur on a mobile device, there just is not any time available for transcoding. Sure you can do it, but the experience is no longer satisfying. You’ll speak over each other, develop a tendency to pause before speaking, and other unnatural behaviors that will make you long for just a phone call or in-person meeting. Clearly, not an “Apple-quality” solution.

Vidyo was built with mobile devices in mind. Vidyo pioneered the use of the recent video compression standard—H.264 SVC— in video conferencing because it enables a latency-free way to adapt to packet loss.  Vidyo created an architecture that intelligently routes packets to each participant’s device based upon the resolution required, computational capability and bandwidth available, and to do so by dynamically adapting many times a second to changing conditions. And in a multiparty conference, it does this without transcoding so it maintains original video quality and adds less than 10msec delay because it makes packet routing decisions with no need to perform complex computational gymnastics. The user experiences natural HD quality multiparty videoconferencing that is engaging.

While this alone differentiates the Vidyo solution, the win for an enterprise deployment is that the Vidyo infrastructure can be deployed for 10% of the cost of the old Polycom MCU architecture. A single 1U VidyoRouter device can support 100 simultaneous participants. VidyoRouters can be geographically deployed to minimize bandwidth consumption. Since Vidyo is a software solution with central capacity license management, the full pool of licenses is available to all VidyoRouters as needed. The result is a dramatically lower number of licenses required to be purchased. And best of all, Vidyo only needs non-guaranteed QoS networks including internal bandwidth. The cost savings of moving away from dedicated video networks may pay for the entire Vidyo infrastructure!

So maybe this is why Polycom resorts to a misleading announcement. It craves for leadership, but it’s saddled with an old architecture that just can’t.

——————————————————————————————————————————-

Marty Hollander

Marty Hollander is Vidyo’s SVP of Market Development. With more than 20 years of high-tech marketing experience, Marty specializes in developing lasting strategic assets through creative market development. Previously, Marty served as Vice President of Marketing at Cemaphore Systems, Latitude Communications (later acquired by Cisco) and ProactiveNet (later acquired by BMC). He also founded CollectiveSpace and IntelliCorp, where he played a variety of executive roles. Marty has also held senior level positions at Silicon Graphics and Storm Technology. Marty earned an MBA from Stanford University as well as an MS from Carnegie-Mellon University.

 

Legal Industry is Poised for Explosive Growth in Personal Telepresence

Time is an expensive commodity. And few industries price time higher than in the legal profession.

So utilizing video conferencing to collaborate more efficiently and eliminate costly travel time, has been a high priority for law firms. Most major firms have been using the legacy video conferencing solutions.

A very large percentage of legal work involves collaboration, whether that is for attorneys working as a team or negotiating with counterparts representing the other side. While the legal profession has recognized the value of being able to meet face-to-face to accomplish their work, the video conferencing tools they’ve used have mainly been room-based. This experience has not been compelling because they’ve sat at traditional conference tables and had the experience of seeing their counterparts as barely recognizable figures around a large table. Well, times are changing for law firms, and today we just shared the Vedder Price story. Vedder Price upgraded from their Polycom legacy past to the modern Vidyo world.

Vedder Price has now used VidyoConferencing for almost a year. Vidyo was chosen to replace the firm’s legacy system which, according to the company, had become extremely limited in terms of flexibility and scalability, and wanted to ensure the new solution fit their UC strategy. Since they were a Polycom customer and had an investment in legacy room system and MCU hardware, they wanted to be sure that making the switch would deliver the desired benefits.

According to Lonnie Horvat, Vedder Price’s Audio-Visual Systems Specialist, “When I was approached about testing Vidyo as a possible component of our Unified Communications strategy, I was already familiar with the Vidyo online demo but hadn’t put the actual equipment to the test. We rigorously tested the VidyoGateway, VidyoRouter, VidyoPortal, VidyoRoom Units and VidyoDesktop for nearly 3 months. Our conclusion was that Vidyo provided the best high-quality image with the smallest network footprint; equipment and infrastructure cost was considerably lower than any other comparable option, and Vidyo provided the most flexible solution for now and into the future.”

Vidyo has other law firms as customers and many more doing their own trials. We are encouraged that the legal industry is coming to recognize that democratizing video communications to each person’s office or even to their iPad for mobile access is now the priority over just outfitting conference rooms for meetings. Having a major success within her firm, Vedder Price’s MIS Director says it better than I can:

“Vidyo offers significant advantages over other options, allowing us to easily and affordably expand into the future with incredible geographic flexibility, interoperability, and the choice of using a variety of different devices to access video conferences,” said Maureen Durack, Director of MIS at Vedder Price.  “After using Vidyo, we realized that legacy systems like Polycom are archaic solutions. Those companies can only go so far in reengineering what they have.  Vidyo’s one-of-a-kind SVC-based software platform with Adaptive Video Layering is a totally new approach that is much more suited for firms such as ours that have an immediate need for cost-effective, high quality video conferencing. With Vidyo we won’t have to worry about expansion and updating in coming years because they’re committed to staying on the forefront of technology and keeping up with new form factors such as mobile devices.”

Vedder Price is currently using VidyoConferencing for daily interactions among the firm’s attorneys across all of its locations, ongoing continuing legal education trainings for Vedder Price attorneys, and for remote depositions with clients and outside firms in various cities around the world.  We look forward to delivering this same value to all of the other major law firms and freeing them from the inflexible proprietary hardware architectures of the legacy video conferencing suppliers.

——————————————————————————————————————————-

Marty Hollander is Vidyo’s Senior Vice President, Market Development. With more than 20 years of high-tech marketing experience, Marty specializes in developing lasting strategic assets through creative market development. Previously, Marty served as Vice President of Marketing at Cemaphore Systems, Latitude Communications (later acquired by Cisco) and ProactiveNet (later acquired by BMC). He also founded CollectiveSpace and IntelliCorp, where he played a variety of executive roles. Marty has also held senior level positions at Silicon Graphics and Storm Technology. Marty earned an MBA from Stanford University as well as an MS from Carnegie-Mellon University.

 

Cisco’s InfoComm Announcements – What Were They Thinking?

Cisco made a big deal about a set of Telepresence announcements on June 14th that in any other industry would have been labeled as “bug fixes” and “playing catch up”. These announcements put into question how much in touch is Cisco with the industry or perhaps, Cisco thinks that their customers are unaware of what is going on in the market outside of “CiscoVille”.

According to Cisco: MX200 is Priced to Scale

Cisco introduces an HD videoconferencing room system endpoint for $21,600. At that price, it includes a 42” screen delivering 720p at 60 fps. What is amazing is that every other significant videoconferencing room system manufacturer has had lower priced, higher performance solutions available for years!

OK, it will natively connect to a $300,000 Cisco TP room without transcoding. But recognize that there is NO IMMERSIVE experience when the MX200 is involved in the meeting. It is just an HD videoconferencing room system. And if you want 1080p, rather than 720p, that upgrade will cost you even more!

To be fair, the real value is that it includes a monitor stand and is ready to run in just 15 minutes. For that wonderful convenience, Cisco views that its customers are willing to pay a tremendous premium for a run-of-the-mill HD videoconferencing room system. What game do they think they are playing?

According to Cisco: Telepresence Conductor Simplifies Multiparty Video Communications

Cisco customers have really needed this product for a long time—too bad that they still need to wait for the scheduled release in December. With this announcement, Cisco is admitting to the following:

  1. Customers want to have ad hoc meetings without having to schedule infrastructure resources.
  2. A hardware-based infrastructure creates a fixed limit on the number of multiparty participants.
  3. Smart meeting organizers reserve more hardware ports than they require just in case additional participants need to join. This practice guarantees unused, but yet unavailable hardware ports.
  4. A “switching” videoconferencing infrastructure architecture for telepresence combined with a “transcoding” MCU architecture for rooms and desktops causes an administrative nightmare.

People who use web conferencing, audio conferencing or VidyoConferencing will wonder how on earth anyone lives with these needless restrictions. Well, Cisco has realized that this complexity is getting unbearable for their customers, and risks Cisco’s ability to be competitive. In the very near future, Cisco customers will find more videoconferencing users who want to connect from personal devices—personal computers, tablets or smartphones—so Cisco has announced that Conductor will fix these problems. That is good news for 2012 planned upgrades.

If you look below the surface of Conductor to understand the problem it tries to solve, you begin to see the complexity caused by having different video infrastructure architectures.

  1. Cisco gives you a “switching architecture” for ensuring the low latency telepresence experience for the CTS Series endpoints.
  2. A more affordable “MCU architecture” provides transcoding to attach endpoints to a multiparty video conference, but needed ports may not be available.
    - A customer may have different MCU versions with some having SD hardware ports, and others having HD hardware ports that must be matched to the meeting requirements
    - MCUs may be physically located in a different geography than where the resources are needed at any time during the day.

So Cisco’s solution to addressing the administrator’s nightmare is to sell the Cisco Telepresence Conductor and remove the administrator from having to handle all of the choice management complexity. Since the hardware was inherently underutilized prior to Conductor, Cisco hopes that a customer can justify this new purchase on the basis that Conductor will hopefully better utilize the legacy architecture resources. Cisco realizes that without Conductor this nightmare is not sustainable as administrators face increased demand for more multiparty connections as users move to personal communication devices.

What is most surprising is that Cisco views these announcements as wonderful news for the industry! Putting a Band-Aid on Cisco’s high cost, high complexity, multipoint infrastructure with additional costly add-ons is not something most companies would proudly announce. But Cisco must view that with enough positive spin, customers will continue to be happy to buy Cisco, and pay more knowing that they are making the SAFE choice. But beware, not everyone plays CiscoVille (apologies to Zynga if this analogy is upsetting)

——————————————————————————————————————————-

Marty Hollander

Marty Hollander is Vidyo’s Senior Vice President, Market Development. With more than 20 years of high-tech marketing experience, Marty specializes in developing lasting strategic assets through creative market development. Previously, Marty served as Vice President of Marketing at Cemaphore Systems, Latitude Communications (later acquired by Cisco) and ProactiveNet (later acquired by BMC). He also founded CollectiveSpace and IntelliCorp, where he played a variety of executive roles. Marty has also held senior level positions at Silicon Graphics and Storm Technology. Marty earned an MBA from Stanford University as well as an MS from Carnegie-Mellon University.

 

Vidyo and Interoperability

At Vidyo we often get asked if we can integrate with Skype. Lots of people already have this application loaded on their computer and use it for IM, voice and even video calls. Everyone says that quality of the video experience varies, and this has a lot to do with packet loss over the Internet—exactly where VidyoConferencing™ excels.

Interoperability

But does interoperability give you what you need? Consider two popular webconferencing solutions—Webex and GoToMeeting. If your organization has selected Webex for webconferencing, you’ve downloaded the client, and probably used it in meetings. And if someone in another organization invites you to a GoToMeeting, you don’t ask if it interoperates with your Webex client, you just click on the link provided, download the GoToMeeting client and join the meeting. The differences in functionality & UI are significant, and the download effort is insignificant, so everyone does it.

The Vidyo™ client is available on Windows, Mac and soon Linux, and it is going to be available on a host of smartphones and tablets (Vidyo has release an SDK for Android and a technology demonstration on a popular tablet can be found on this website). It is just another app that one downloads. So interoperability is really about ensuring that the experience is optimized for the communication device you have, is available for download to the device, and lets you have multipoint videoconferences with anyone else.

This analogy is useful for organizations thinking about longer term deployment issues. They want to choose a solution that will:

  • interoperate with any video-capable device,
  • scale to support large numbers of endpoints,
  • operate over whatever networks are available, and
  • deliver a natural HD quality, multipoint video experience.

Only a small number of “legacy architecture endpoints” are purpose-built for a specific codec and don’t enable software downloads. In these very limited cases, Vidyo has a “migration” option that enables interoperability through a gateway. With the VidyoGateway™ an organization with an existing investment in legacy architecture video appliances in rooms today can continue to get value from those room endpoints, while they move to a new architecture based upon downloadable applications on the broad range of devices that will be chosen by their organization’s employees.

And IT knows that either they must have an infrastructure to support the personal endpoint choices of their organization’s employees, or they will lose control of the collaboration infrastructure and be worked around with consumer solutions such as Skype and Apple’s FaceTime.