Alibaba DingTalk Picks Vidyo for Enterprise Collaboration in China

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Today Alibaba unveiled a new version of DingTalk, its collaboration platform for Chinese enterprises. Alibaba DingTalk partnered with Vidyo to bring secure, HD quality click-to-connect multipoint video to the platform.  

DingTalkandEitanFirst launched in February 2015 DingTalk is China’s leading enterprise communication platform with a user base of more than 1.5 million companies and 200,000+ new enterprises and teams joining every month! Quality, scalability and customization were essential to Alibaba DingTalk and only Vidyo could deliver on all three of these key criteria.

The new version of DingTalk, integrated with Vidyo, enables new features including:

  • Click-to-connect group video conferences with for 100+ endpoints
  • User friendly design – see up to 5 participants in HD on the mobile app
  • HD quality content sharing
  • Flexible display layouts for multitasking – send messages without losing sight of the video conference!
  • Enhanced security
  • Native support for iOS and Android devices, high performance on wireless networks

Alibaba Dingtalk marks another big win for Vidyo in the Chinese market this year, as we announced our work with Xiaomi in February. Vidyo is expanding its footprint globally and has seen additional traction in financial services and other key industries in Asia. Stay tuned for more to come from Vidyo in 2016!

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Vidyo Supports WebRTC Video Conferencing

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The videoconferencing industry and the road toward WebRTC share some common ground. When using WebRTC beyond two-way, peer-to-peer calls, or in networks with significant quality problems, system architects are encountering the same design issues that the videoconferencing industry has been dealing with for a long time. It is not accidental then that WebRTC solutions designed for multi-point video gravitate towards those offered in videoconferencing, or that videoconferencing companies are adapting their systems to become WebRTC solutions. 

In fact, today Vidyo announced availability of WebRTC-enabled products that enable a plug-in free way to join Vidyo meetings from web browsers. Though we’re not betting our business on WebRTC, we see it as yet another choice Vidyo can offer customers and we think it can be valuable to the market place.

Want to know more about WebRTC and why you should care? Vidyo’s resident WebRTC expert (and Co-Founder and Chief Scientist) Alex Eleftheridias addresses scalability (VP8 and VP9), architecture, endpoint quality and platform provider selection in his latest blog post for BlogGeek.me.

Here’s an excerpt: “One may ask, “why care about VP9, I will just use whatever stock codec my browser has and be done with it.”  The answer is that you do want to care, when quality matters.  Depending on the codec used, and the type of multi-point server architecture deployed, the end user will get a vastly different quality of experience.”

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Figure 4: Endpoint Quality Scale: One ordering of relative quality of different codec and endpoint engine combinations.

Read the full blog post

Lights, Camera, Transaction! Video Banking Initiatives Take Center Stage

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Are you ready to meet your banker, face to face, from your smartphone or tablet? New research co-sponsored by Vidyo and Efma indicates that in the most banks will be implementing video conferencing to interact with customers. Video banking is poised to take center stage in customer engagement strategies across industries but the opportunity for banking is exceptional. 

Net Promoter Scores are a consistent measure of customer engagement crucial to several industries, including banking. Banks strive to balance cost, convenience and customer engagement. Branches tend to be high cost, highly engaging but low convenience. Online banking (without video) is low cost, highly convenient but lacks the personal touch so important to the banking industry. Video, however, strikes a balance: it’s a low cost solution that is convenient and engaging for customers. NPS is a statistic that crosses over both audio and video. In fact, Vidyo financial services customers have reported NPS scores doubling after implementing video banking into their customer engagement strategy!

New study by Vidyo and Efma, a not-for-profit association of 3,300 retail financial services companies in more than 130 countries, brings clarity to the role that video banking plays in the digital transformation of banks. The report also highlights video banking deployments from Barclays Retail Bank and IndusInd, one of the fastest growing next-generation private sector banks in India. See the infographic below for a summary of the findings and read the full research report here.

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#1 Conferencing Provider Selects Vidyo

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Two weeks ago NCR, the #1 ATM provider in the world1, and Vidyo announced a global OEM agreement. Today I am pleased to announce a strategic partnership with West, the #1 audio conferencing provider in the world. West has integrated the VidyoWorksTM platform into the InterCall® product portfolio from West’s Unified Communications Services and various West vertical application offerings, now generally available. 

West Unified Communications Services offers a full UC portfolio and resells 3rd party offerings, but wanted to upgrade Unified Meeting 5 (UM5), its own branded web conferencing service. As the world’s largest conferencing and collaboration provider, the company needed a video solution that was not only extremely scalable but high performance, HD quality and interoperable with third party systems.

The integrated InterCall UM5 product portfolio combined with Vidyo capabilities provides:

  • Best-in-class video performance and reliability over public networks
  • Support for HD video capable devices
  • Massively scalable video conferencing
  • Leverage existing video or teleconferencing systems by connecting boardrooms to desktops
  • Enterprise network optimization with optional on-premises media server extensions

West delivered 27 billion minutes of audio conferencing usage with 737 million participants last year and the company counts among their customers:

  • 10 of the top 10 Healthcare Companies
  • 9 of the 10 Top Financial Institutions
  •  9 of the top 10 Manufacturers.

West has tremendous global reach and an exceptional market opportunity and we are excited by the early customer response to UM5 and look forward to ongoing collaboration with West.

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Connect with Vidyo at Enterprise Connect!

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It’s that time of year again, Enterprise Connect is around the corner  (March 7-10) and Vidyo will have a strong showing both on the show floor (Booth #921) and with a world-class lineup of Vidyo panelists and guest speakers! Here’s a quick look on where you’ll find Vidyo at #EC16, mark your calendars and don’t hesitate to reach out to us  if you’d like to schedule a meeting or demo with our press or sales team!

Stop by booth #921!

The Vidyo booth is the one-stop-shop to see live demos of the latest Vidyo technology. We’ll be showcasing never before seen user interfaces and product offerings, including our finalist bid for Best of Enterprise Connect 2016.

Come say hi to the friendly Vidyo staff, we’d love to show you why we believe quality matters when it comes to video communication and collaboration!

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Speakers and Panel Discussions

Vidyo has a great line-up of speakers at this year’s enterprise connect. Don’t miss these sessions:

webrtc92Monday, March 7th (3:15-4:00): WebRTC And Where It’s Really Heading
Join Vidyo Chief Scientist and Co-Founder Alex Eleftheriadis and other panelists to discuss the current state and future of WebRTC in the UC market.
Location: Osceola B

build92Tuesday, March 8th (9:15-10:00): Enterprise Summit: How Should You Prepare for the Next Wave?
Earlier this year Bloomberg deployed Vidyo to its global workforce. We’re happy to welcome Jeff Fairbanks, head of Global AV at Bloomberg, to Enterprise Connect! In this session Jeff and other industry experts will discuss decision- making and implementation strategies for delivering enterprise communications at scale.
Location: Osceola C

three93Tuesday, March 8th (1:30-2:15 PM): The Collaboration Space of the Future
Do intelligent cameras, microphones, and sketch pads pique your interest? Do you want to know how the newest technology and devices are bringing collaboration beyond the conference room? Then join Nic Reid, Vidyo’s SVP of Product Management, to see the industry’s latest technologies and trends for to build your collaboration space!
Location: Sun B

api92Tuesday, March 8th (2:45-4:00): The API Ecosystem: Getting What You Need
Nic Reid will also be joining a panel of speakers from Twilio, Microsoft, Cisco, GENBAND and more to discuss who’s who in the communications API ecosystem, integration strategies and best practices.
Location: Osceola B

bloom93Tuesday, March 8th (4:30-5:15): How Bloomberg Built and Deployed their High Quality, "One-Click" Video Collaboration System
Jeff Fairbanks will share lessons learned from building and deploying the company’s global video infrastructure, "Nexi," based on Vidyo technology. Jeff will address Bloomberg’s goals, adoption campaign, partnership strategy, and the benefits and obstacles associated with building and deploying a fully customized video collaboration system.
Location: Sun C

Partner Shout-out

Our partners are unbeatable. Stop by their booths to see how they can help you leverage Vidyo technology to meet your needs!  

  • GENBAND Booth #1821
  • Mitel Booth #2001
  • Fuze Booth #735
  • Genesys Booth #609
  • Interactive Intelligence Booth #913
  • Logitech #629
  • NEC #1021
  • Yorktel #529

We’re happy to be a part of this year’s Enterprise Connect and we can’t wait to spend our time there with some of the most informed and enthusiastic communications aficionados in the industry! See you next week!

Xiaomi Loads Vidyo Technology on New Mi5 Flagship Phone

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Yesterday at Mobile World Congress Xiaomi, the biggest disruptor in smartphone market in the last several years, unveiled its new flagship phone – the Mi5. As part of his presentation, Hugo Barra, Head of International at Xiaomi and former Head of Product Management for Android at Google, unveiled a brand new app, Mi Video Call. Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun announced the same in Beijing.

Mi Video Call delivers a completely free high quality multipoint video conferencing application for consumers and is built on Vidyo’s technology. Mi Video Call makes it easy for users to instantly connect with colleagues, family or friends simultaneously on virtually any smartphone and Internet network in a videoconference, in addition to text messages and voice calls.

Mi Video Call will be preloaded onto the brand new Mi5 and is available for immediate download on Android and iOS devices.

Here’s a video of Mi Video Call in action:

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Vidyo Positioned a Visionary in Gartner Magic Quadrant for Web Conferencing

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Today we shared news that Gartner positioned Vidyo as a “Visionary” in the Magic Quadrant for Web Conferencing. We are thrilled that Gartner moved us from the Niche Players Quadrant deep into the Visionary Quadrant. This comes on the heels of another key industry report, the Aragon Globe Report on Web and Video Conferencing, where we were named a “Leader”. And earlier this year Vidyo was also positioned as a “Leader” in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Group Video Systems. We are very honored to be recognized by these well-respected research organizations.

These reports underscore an emerging trend, the convergence of web and video conferencing. The value and demand for a single unified communications platform, that can deliver both the virtues of web conferencing and the quality and scalability of our video conferencing solutions, have prompted many customers to replace their web conferencing with a stand-alone Vidyo solution.

The VidyoWorksTM platform delivers presence, directory and ad-hoc video calling in addition to web conferencing and webinar features, such as click-to-connect, which can simplify ease of use. The Vidyo platform allows customers to address multiple use cases with a single investment.

The VidyoWorks platform to address the evolving requirements of the conferencing market and we firmly believe that offering the highest quality, most scalable and error resilient platform will continue to set Vidyo apart in the future as the web conferencing and video conferencing markets converge.

We see Vidyo’s inclusion in these reports as strong indicators of our continued momentum in the marketplace and we don’t plan to slow down anytime soon!

Google and Vidyo Bring VP9 to WebRTC

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Google just announced that the upcoming release of its Chrome browser, version 48, will have VP9 support for WebRTC.  This is an important milestone for WebRTC and Chrome for a number of reasons.  To appreciate why, it is useful to look a little bit at the history of video codec support in WebRTC as well as Google+ Hangouts, Google’s popular videoconferencing app.

HangoutsWhen Google+ Hangouts was originally launched, it used H.264 SVC, the scalable video coding extension of H.264 that Vidyo co-developed.  The use of scalability in the video codec is essential for implementing a radically different server design for multipoint video, able to deliver an unprecedented range of features: error resilience and localization, rate adaptation, personalized layout, cascading, etc.  More significantly, all this is done with extremely low delay (an order of magnitude less than a typical transcoding MCU), at a massive scale, and without any signal processing at the server.  Vidyo introduced this server design in 2008 in its patented VidyoRouter™ product.

Hangouts moved to use the open-source VP8 video codec in August 2013 so that, among other things, the client could eventually run over WebRTC as explained in interviews by senior Google management. As VP8 does not offer spatial scalability, a simpler version of it called simulcasting was used.  With this technique an endpoint produces multiple video streams at different bit rates and resolutions.  The server receives both, and selects which one to forward to receiving participants. (We later on coined the term “Selective Forwarding Unit”, or SFU, to describe the operation of these servers in a generic way.)

At the same time the transition to VP8 was being made, Vidyo and Google announced that Vidyo would be collaborating with Google to develop a scalable extension for the VP9 video codec as part of the WebRTC client open source project.  The goal is to combine the power of WebRTC with the benefits of scalability to be able to deliver the best possible experience for the end users.

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The inclusion of VP9 in WebRTC in Chrome 48 marks an important milestone in this collaboration.  It is the first widely available software release of this new codec (outside a flag, across all Chrome platforms). The release incorporates the proposed standard RTP packetization for VP9, which was co-designed and developed with Vidyo and Google, and which supports the new scalability features.  Spatial and temporal scalability features in the codec itself are already in the WebM and WebRTC code repositories.

ChromeAs additional experience in deployed applications is obtained, and appropriate API support is made available at the WebRTC layer, we expect they will find their way into future versions of the Chrome browser in a backwards-compatible way.

Vidyo has utilized scalable coding to built a new server architecture for large-scale, very high quality video communication, on virtually any network and device.  This architecture excels in environments that require large scale and/or are hosted in the cloud.  It is also inherently codec-agnostic: the choice of the codec, from an infrastructure point of view, is purely a business decision.  As long as scalability is available, then the infrastructure can perform its magic.

We are very excited that we will soon be able to bring the proven benefits of this design to the WebRTC world. While this release is the first step, as the saying goes, the first step is half the journey.

Does Video Matter to Contact Center KPIs?

Net Promoter Score (NPS) Success - Vidyo

You know that moment when you learn something new and then notice it everywhere immediately afterwards, wondering why we hadn’t noticed it before? Well this time it was a Contact Center KPI called Net Promoter Score (NPS) at the Gartner Symposium in Barcelona, Spain.

That first mention of NPS came from a Vidyo customer on stage, who said that his organization’s NPS “doubled” when it moved users from audio to video. No sooner had I heard that, an e-mail popped into my inbox from one of our customer trials talking of a NPS score of 78%. In the booth, one of the conversations with a CIO was about improving the loyalty of their customers and improving the NPS!

For those who are now asking “what’s NPS?”, well its very simple: the Net Promoter System is a methodology for measuring the Engagement level of a customer. This is often presented as a “would you recommend us to your friends” type question, with an answer on a scale from 1-10. The answer is simply translated as follows

Net Promoter Score (NPS) Diagram - Vidyo

  • 1-6 = Detractor – somebody who would be negative about your company or brand
  • 7-8 = Passive – neither detractor or promoter
  • 9-10 = Promoters – somebody that would promote, recommend or speak positively about you

You calculate the Net Promoter Score by deducting the percentage of Detractors from the percentage of Promoters. Thus the higher the NPS the more people you have promoting your brand within their network. Some light research on the web on NPS indicates that there is a strong correlation between NPS and revenue. One Online Retailer speaks of a 30% increase in revenue from customers whom they service using video

So why is this relevant to a video enabled world?

NPS is a statistic that crosses over both audio and video. It’s a consistent measure, linked to a very key business metric – revenue – and allows us to measure the business impact of a technology, not just quantitative measures of a how efficient a call center is.

Let’s use banks as an example. A Bank needs to balance Engagement, Cost and Convenience. Neither online nor branch completely deliver on all 3 fronts:

Net Promoter Score (NPS) on Banking - Vidyo

Yet video enabled banking addresses all 3 at the same time, its convenient, its low cost and yet its delivering well on the Engagement level which typical Online Banking does not. And it’s this Engagement aspect that is measured in terms of the NPS.

During the Gartner Symposium Vidyo spoke to well over 350 senior decision makers about video enabled Customer Engagement and every single one of them could easily see that Vidyo was leading in this space. Vidyo now powers over 50 video enabled Customer Engagement projects worldwide in financial services alone!

What decision makers were all looking for in a partner was a technology that:

  • Scales: The Vidyo platform can scale to huge numbers, with IndusInd Bank in India offering their Vidyo powered ‘Video Branch” service to 8 million account holders
  • Highest Quality & Reliability: Vidyo is designed to deliver the best quality over any network such as 3G, 4G, Wifi etc, to virtually any endpoint, including mobile.
  • Proven & Mature: Vidyo has 4000 customers, millions of users, hundreds of telemedicine deployments and over 50 customers using Vidyo enabled Customer engagements in financial services.
  • Highly Secure: With customers such as the US Department of Defense, banks around the world & compliance with the likes of JITC, FIPS & HIPAA, Vidyo takes security very seriously

When you take a technology such as ours and integrate it into an existing Contact Center, webchat tool, mobile app, call recording technology etc., you can introduce new, engaging ways to serve your customers over a video channel. For each use case that you enable with video, you provide the basis to improve upon your NPS and increase your revenue.

So there you go. NPS. Net Promoter Score, something that can be improved dramatically by video enabling your Customer Engagement platforms. I learn something new every day and I hope you did too!

Mitel Ups the Ante for Visual Collaboration with Vidyo

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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 worldwide are able to deliver the best in scalable video conferencing and collaboration to virtually any endpoint!

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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!