In recent days after the announcement of a new Google+ Hangouts platform, we’ve received many inquiries about just how Vidyo fits into the new solution. First, let me just say how excited we are about Google’s new communication platform. This cross device messaging approach, that connects Android, Chrome, Gmail and iOS alike, is a huge step in making the user experience as simple as can be, and that means wider adoption. It’s also further testament to the success the product has had and how visual communication is becoming an increasingly important part of the way people interact.
Some diligent bloggers have taken a look at the legal notices of the new Hangouts product and noticed that Vidyo’s patent notice is not there, which triggered a lot of rumors about Vidyo being ‘out’ of the Google+ Hangouts platform. Some people speculated that Google had replaced our technology for WebRTC. The truth is this was just an editorial oversight and the media technology in Google+ Hangouts did not change. Our partnership remains as strong as ever, and frankly, we couldn’t be happier. Hangouts is turning into a mainstream and useful form of communication which is in line with the trends we see across our business, from consumers to business applications.
# # #
Ofer Shapiro, Vidyo co-founder and CEO, has been an innovative force at the heart of major architectural transformations in the videoconferencing industry since 1996. He was integrally involved in the development of the H.323 specification and the first IP based multi-point control unit architecture and gatekeepers, developed the use of H.264 Scalable Video Coding (SVC) for video conferencing, and led the development of a new media relay based architecture- the VidyoRouter. Ofer is a named inventor on 40 issued and 28 pending patent families. He was named a World Economic Forum Technology Pioneer, and received the Wall Street Journal Innovation Award for Disruption in the category of Internet, Networking and Broadband.
How have you seen telehealth evolve over the years?
Amnon Gavish, Vidyo’s SVP of Vertical Solutions
Telemedicine and telehealth has been evolving for over 15 years. It is agreed among those who have been following this evolution that economic factors, aging population, the effects of public policies and a growing trend for more resources in care, has generated a strong demand for reform and efficiency in healthcare processes and practices. This trend represents a golden opportunity for integration of telehealth into healthcare workflows. Dr. Dale Alverson, the former President of the American Telehealth Association (ATA) has described it as “A perfect storm.” New technologies are developed and modalities continue to evolve. We’re seeing hospitals connect with other hospitals to provide healthcare services; local health facilities, clinics and nursing homes are no longer confined to the resources available only within their own campuses. The rise of technologies that allow people to easily connect, contributes to the increase of enabling technological developments that, accordingly, promote, validate and inspire the use of telehealth.
Why is Vidyo seeing so much success in the healthcare market?
Vidyo’s unique architecture opens the door to new healthcare applications and services that simply are not possible with traditional videoconferencing solutions. Unlike Vidyo, legacy solutions can’t scale to reach millions across a wide variety of global locations; to connect patients with practitioners anywhere, anytime, and in any place via commodity devices over public networks. Vidyo’s technology eliminates the complex and costly process of installing expensive networks and equipment, making it easy for patients to connect, while offering the high level of telepresence-quality video and audio communications needed to facilitate excellent healthcare delivery.
Why couldn’t this be achieved with traditional or off-the-shelf videoconferencing solutions?
There are fundamental requirements for healthcare-related videoconferencing that address security and patient privacy issues. Healthcare communications and collaboration systems need to have the capability to control who joins the conversation while managing and protecting participant identity. Simply said — this just isn’t possible with any of the consumer solutions on the market. Another key factor to consider is a level of communication quality high enough to help build trust between the patient and doctor. Vidyo’s patented VidyoRouter™ architecture offers unprecedented error resiliency, low latency rate matching thus enabling natural, affordable, high-quality video to work over the Internet, LTE and 4G networks enabling natural interaction between patients and doctors to make them feel as if the other person was in the same room.
What are some of the new healthcare applications and services enabled by Vidyo?
Vidyo’s technology is transforming traditional healthcare processes. From changing hospital workflow in the ICU or extending patient care to the home, Vidyo’s technology enables real-time, high quality videoconferencing that can be applied for use cases like telepsychiatry—used for preventive consultations to help people quit smoking or fight against obesity, for instance. Vidyo’s technology is also leveraged in places like rural Alaska, where remote care is fundamentally needed, but finding the best care means traveling a great number of miles. Vidyo makes it possible for doctors to perform reliable, remote primary care examinations, like ear and dermatology checkups or even oversee a physical exam without having to be physically present.
Vidyo’s technology is also being implemented to streamline hospital services such as improving the patient discharge processes, reducing readmissions and refining overall accountable care. In other cases, hospitals have adopted Vidyo as a part of their call centers where a trial nurse accepts the first call to consult with patients.
What are your thoughts on the future of telehealth and where do you see Vidyo’s role in that?
It’s said by folks in the field that introducing the term “telehealth” actually induced a fear amongst those in the industry and was responsible for slowing down the adoption of “telehealth” solutions. The way I see it, in the not-too-distant future, the separate category of “telehealth” probably won’t exist. Instead, we will likely see that, what is now a distinct adjunct to healthcare will soon become an integral part of standard healthcare provision for all. Overtime, as caregivers and administrators adopt and integrate new systems and technology like Vidyo, and provide more training to staff members on the latest technologies, “telehealth” will play a core role in everyday evaluations, diagnoses and decisions by healthcare providers.
About Amnon Gavish
Amnon Gavish brings more than 15 years of experience in the telecommunications market. Before joining Vidyo in October 2009, Amnon was the Chief Technology Officer at Keisense Inc., an innovator in the field of textual user interface for Computer Electronics devices. Previously, he served as VP of Business Development at RADVISION, where he was responsible for the company’s strategic partnerships and for the definition of the company’s product offering to the service providers market. Amnon was the CEO and co-Founder of Surf Communications, where he was responsible for all activities, from product inception, through go-to-market strategy, strategic partnerships and sales.
If you haven’t been blown away sufficiently by some of the most recent Vidyo-related news you’ve read … here’s the latest on Vidyo’s never-ending list of WOW items! The preliminary phase of a nationwide communications system for scientific collaboration across academic, industrial and government partners has been recently completed by Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), the largest science and energy national laboratory in the U.S. Department of Energy system. ORNL’s scientific programs focus on materials, neutron science, energy, high-performance computing, systems biology and national security.
So what does Vidyo have to do with this system that is now providing the core communications solution to connect such renowned institutions as ORNL, Los Alamos National Lab, Sandia National Lab, Idaho National Lab, MIT, NC State University, Westinghouse, University of Michigan, Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) and the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA)?
Vidyo, in conjunction with Digital Video Enterprise (DVE) telepresence, helped develop the Virtual Office Community and Computing (VOCC) Laboratory that provides, real-time video and information exchange among a national science team engaged in the modeling and simulation of light water reactors (LWRs). The custom-designed Vidyo-DVE network is a unique telepresence and agile video collaboration environment that includes a massive, multipoint energy sciences exchange is able to link all types of endpoints, from tablets and smart devices to immersive telepresence rooms and visualization venues.
For the next phase of development, the VOCC Laboratory plans to continue the partnership with Vidyo to develop a scalable, affordable, secure, and interoperable telepresence that will support collaborative communication between the Department of Energy (DOE) Critical Materials Energy Innovation Hub and their biggest materials customer, the Department of Defense (DOD). The VOCC lab is piloting an effort to establish a multi-user collaboration community using a beta version DOD portal provided by Vidyo. The planned conferencing suite meets DOD Joint Interoperability Test Command’s (JITC) requirements, including related Defense Switch Network (DSN) and IPV6 interoperability requirements. Vidyo is the first software-based, telepresence-quality video conferencing solution to be JITC certified and is fully compatibility with H.323/SIP standards based end points and infrastructure.
For more details about this exciting announcement from ORNL, click here.
Big news for Vidyo, Inc. today in the academic world! Vidyo has partnered with Internet2, a member-owned advanced technology community founded by the nation’s leading higher education institutions, to create and provide a low-cost, subscription-based video communications service for all Internet2 university members and thousands of public K-12 schools in the United States. After a thorough trial run of the Vidyo-based solution at Arizona State, Emory and Northwestern Universities, the Vidyo NET+ Service is expected to be available for early adopter enrollments this May. Arizona State University was extremely influential making this happen; in fact, they sponsored Vidyo as a NET+ Service, based on the great experience they’ve had using Vidyo at ASU for the past several years. Accordingly, we could think of no one more appropriate to share their first-hand experience with Vidyo. The following is an account from Guy Mullins, ASU’s Director of New Media, Academic Technologies:
When we first introduced the use of Vidyo at ASU, it was for one particular purpose: a class at the School of Life Sciences in which our students in Tempe, Arizona communicated and collaborated with leading research scientists and experts from the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute’s facilities on Barro Colorado Island, in the middle of the Panama Canal. We needed a video communications solution that would allow students and faculty at ASU to connect easily and interact seamlessly with the Smithsonian experts in these remote tropical areas. It was no small feat … but Vidyo well surpassed any of our expectations and news of this exceptional communications tool spread rapidly. Mainly through ‘word of mouth,’ we soon had others in our academic community requesting Vidyo and downloading the application.
To date, we’ve seen well over two thousand downloads of the Vidyo client application across our community. In terms of demand, we are about double the number of monthly client downloads over this same time last year.
With this in mind, we have started to look a bit more closely at who among our community are using Vidyo.
Based on our early analysis of our usage data mapped against our general user directories, it appears that Vidyo is still primarily a tool of the technical minded staff at ASU. I anticipate that the next wave of adoption will come from faculty and researchers. Opening up this technology to a much broader range of users through simple-to-use and inexpensive Vidyo desktop tools, we’re finding many more rich, interesting, and innovative uses for video communications across our entire university and beyond.
We’re seeing scientists from a wide range of disciplines collaborate on research with their colleagues from around the world; we have expert guest lecturers being introduced remotely into our classrooms; field reports being filed by our broadcast journalism students; collaborations in the arts, theater, and more. It is inspiring to see how a new technology can really have an impact in improving our teaching, learning, and research capabilities. Given the strong growth patterns of Vidyo usage , we believe we are only at the beginning of what is yet to come in terms of videoconferencing in the academic community. This global thinking has ironically also spawned some new ideas at home that we hope to explore soon; we’ve realized that our campus is large enough and diverse enough that we actually have numerous “field trip” opportunities we can engage in across campus – or even just down the hall – in which Vidyo can be utilized to bring hundreds of students into lab spaces, studios, research environments, and more. We look forward to some of these “inside the box” approaches to deploying Vidyo to enhance our teaching and learning activities.
We are now averaging more than eleven hundred calls per month (1114 calls per month as of March 2013 – see above chart) either person-to-person or in collaborative group meetings. That is far more than we were seeing just a short time ago, and arguably a ten–fold increase over any previous videoconferencing technology we’ve deployed in the past. Again though, looking at our current rate of growth for Vidyo usage and adoption, I’m confident that in another year the numbers we’re seeing today will be relatively quaint by comparison. The future of videoconferencing with Vidyo looks bright at ASU.
# # #
Guy Mullins, Director of New Media at ASU’s University Technology Office, has over 25 years of experience in higher education media production. A focus on documentary and research production combined with networking and social media collaboration, Guy’s work blends both traditional and emerging approaches to educational media applications. Guy has a B.A. from the University of Arizona, where his studies focused on Radio & Television; minor studies include Fine Arts and Business, and a M.Ed., Arizona State University, with an emphasis in Educational Media & Computers.
Not too long ago, my six-year-old daughter wanted to make a kite, so we opened up her laptop and searched “how to make a kite” on YouTube. We had several videos to choose from on the first page of results, and my daughter soon found one that suited her purpose. Within minutes she was collecting material and pressing pause during each step in the video as she followed directions. She could rewind or play the video as she progressed, and an hour later we were testing her kite outside.
Welcome to learning in the 21st Century. Today, students learn from peers, an online community, and experts who share their knowledge through traditional and online publishing resources. University students I work with have access to more information through their cellphones than I did in my entire library as an undergrad.
Smart phones are a wakeup call to educators. The days of constructing four walls with a podium at the front and calling it a school house are over. Today’s students are highly connected and consume information when and where it’s needed. New pushes in augmented reality, combined with the possibilities of hardware like Google Glass, will change the face of education as we know it.
Unfortunately, many educators tend to focus on testing memorization skills—think every multiple choice question you ever endured–but, as Socrates lamented when writing became popular, memorization is no longer important; and the testing of memorization skills is a significant distraction in education. This reliance on a historically structured curriculum leads to one right answer, as Sir Ken Robinson says, “at the back of the book,” rather than opening up the curriculum to multiple questions, ideally generated by the students themselves.
What society needs are people who can ask good questions, come up with creative solutions, critically examine those possibilities to figure out which one creative solution is most likely to be effective, and communicate that solution effectively enough to motivate others to action. Classrooms in the 21st century will take this into account. One step in this direction is the flipped classroom, in which students watch lectures and read course material outside of class, and use class time to engage with topics and course material through small group discussion or individual projects.
The 21st Century Classroom will be a place where students move up on Bloom’s taxonomy (the new version) beyond rote memorization skills to creation skills. These classrooms will be intellectually safe, comfortable places that encourage peer interaction and tactile connections with the material students are studying (virtual or physical) because these experiences inspire creative solutions and communication skills. Successful classrooms will facilitate networking, small group collaboration, and interaction with the subject of study.
These rooms will also be highly connected.Right now campuses have WiFi available but not in all classrooms and learning spaces. New technologies will allow students and instructors to stay connected constantly. Successful educators will be the ones who can connect learning material with the visual, tactile, and social aspects of the subject: e.g., connecting students with professionals who are successful in their respective fields.
Thanks to initiatives like TedTalks and Creative Commons, students have an unprecedented opportunity to listen to lectures from individuals who are the brightest minds in their field. Students also have the ability to securely attend classes through video they may have missed due to illness, or meet with scholars and practitioners virtually as a class through software like Vidyo. Location is no longer a barrier for those who are connected. If the traditional schoolhouse is a wooden building in a field, the 21st Century Classroom is Willie Wonka’s glass elevator, able to move sideways and slantways and even travel outside the factory. The instructor’s role has moved from content deliverer to experience facilitator.
In short, the 21st Century Classroom will be flexible and highly connective. Moveable, comfortable furniture will be important to encourage small group collaboration and communication. The ability to move furniture will also be important to incorporate new technologies as they develop because we don’t know when, where, and how much space this hardware will require. Connectivity through a media that allows as many types of learning as possible will be important as learning institutions seek to distinguish themselves. Learning institutions that thrive in the 21st Century will have classrooms that embrace the social, physical, and emotional aspects of learning.
My six-year-old is now seven, one year closer to higher education. She’s used to having simple questions answered by her computer, and
she’ll be expecting an engaging learning environment.
# # #
Dr. Shawn Apostel is the Instructional Technology Specialist at Bellarmine University where he provides support to faculty and IT to facilitate online and classroom instruction that incorporates technology. Prior to his appointment, he served as the Communication Coordinator for the Noel Studio for Academic Creativity at Eastern Kentucky University and as the Information and Graphics Specialist for the City of Toccoa. He has a B.A. in Journalism, an M.A in Professional Communication from Clemson University, and a Ph.D. in Rhetoric and Technical Communication from Michigan Technological University.
His research interests include teaching with technology, applied creativity, digital ethos, e-waste reduction, and visual communication. He serves as a reviewer for various journals and conferences. His work is published by IGI Global, CCDigital Press, Lexington Books, New Forums Press, and Computers and Composition Online. He co-edited Online Credibility and Digital Ethos: Evaluating Computer-Mediated Communication which was published by IGI Global in December 2012, and co-authored book Teaching Creative Thinking: A New Pedagogy for the 21st Century which was published by New Forums Press in Spring 2013.
In his 1991 classic bestseller, Crossing the Chasm, and the 1995 follow-up book , Inside the Tornado, author Geoffrey Moore offers the concept of a five-stage technology adoption life cycle, with special emphasis on a “deep and dividing chasm” that separates the early adoption of any new technology or technological paradigm from ultimate acceptance by the mass market. Moore theorizes that this wide gap, if not bridged carefully from a marketing standpoint, often threatens the success of new-entrant companies; even those with the most innovative and disruptive technologies. He suggests that if and when a product “crosses the chasm” it then experiences the Tornado, “a period of mass-market adoption, when the general marketplace switches over to the new infrastructure paradigm” which hopefully propels the product into a period of mass-market adoption.
Well, I’m pleased to report that, after years of steadfast effort to build and secure that all important bridge, Vidyo is now solidly positioned on the other side of that chasm and experiencing rapid growth within the tornado … and though it’s a bit breezy at times, the energy in here is great!
Yesterday Vidyo announced that it completed another record year in 2012 — delivering 68% billings growth, with our top 25 reseller partners growing over 435% on aggregate since Q1 2011 through Q4 2012. All evidence points to Vidyo’s holistic business growth, market traction and our leading role in transforming the video conferencing industry.
The new paradigm Vidyo introduced into the video conferencing industry, has truly changed the game and transformed the industry to where incumbent players have not only acknowledged Vidyo’s approach, they have announced support for Scalable Video Coding (SVC), the standard chosen by Vidyo to enable the unique VidyoRouter architecture. SVC has gone from something that only the earliest adopters had heard of five years ago, to a key purchasing criterion for those looking to invest in a video conferencing solution. Vidyo’s new paradigm has brought costs and quality in line with customer expectations and, as a result, opened new markets and usage scenarios that are thriving from the benefit of Vidyo’s architectural advantages that enable our customers to scale their deployments to support 1000x more devices (off-the-shelf hardware like desktops, laptops and mobile) than room systems!
According to Moore’s innovation adoption life cycle, the other side of the chasm is comprised of what he calls the “pragmatists” of the market – those who need to see well-established proof before investing in a product or service. Pragmatists want to know that others are using the product successfully and their risks are minimal. As more and more pragmatists are convinced, market demand increases exponentially, and that’s when a new product or paradigm is “inside the tornado”– being swept up to the top of the technology adoption curve.
Vidyo is well on its way to the top of the mass market curve – we have provided ample evidence that our paradigm is the smart choice! In 2012 we have continued to win many new customers, establish key partnerships, solidify existing ones, and open a variety of new markets. Most importantly, in terms of Moore’s theory, we have secured the necessary “lighthouse” customers and partners whose beacons shine with the successes they are having and illuminate the many technological and economic advantages Vidyo has brought to their organizations. Vidyo has seen tremendous success with the pragmatists (while opening other new usage scenarios in markets comprised of enthusiasts and innovators), a segment of the market that has fueled our growth.
So…what does it look like from the other side of the chasm? From the early majority side, the view is expansive and promising … there are hills to climb, no doubt … but as any mountaineer knows, with the proper skills, tools and experience, the sky is the limit. Vidyo has the insight, a substantial technology advantage and, the proven experience to continue to transform the video communications industry, forging new ground in terms of quality, scalability and affordability. Check out Vidyo’s news and see the view for yourself.
# # #
Ashish is Vidyo’s CMO and Senior Vice President, Corporate Development. Ashish joins Vidyo having successfully led product marketing, product management, channels and business development teams in unified communication, collaboration, mobile and telecom companies with a focus on growing and scaling the business. Previously, Ashish led the Business Development and Strategy team for Microsoft Office Division’s Unified Communications Group. He also led Microsoft’s Channel Sales and Marketing team for Real Time Communications, led and managed key Microsoft Office and Unified Communications and Collaboration strategic alliances and co-led key strategic initiatives. Prior to Microsoft, Ashish was VP of Product and Solutions at Alcatel/Genesys Telecommunications, VP of Marketing and Business Development at Telera Inc., management consultant for Braxton/Deloitte Consulting, and held marketing leadership positions at HP and Covad. Ashish has an MBA from UCLA and a Bachelors in Economics and Computer Science from Grinnell College.
Telehealth adoption is increasing rapidly. Health systems across the country are looking to this technology to help reduce costs, improve quality and access to care across the Emergency Department, ICU and even to the home. Although hospital leaders typically focus on the details of a significant capital appropriation, they often overlook the need for relationship building among their care teams to help sustain the success of the program.
So, we have technology, but do we have trust?
Thanks to interoperability advancements, virtualized teams suffer not from a drought of information access, but instead from the false assurance that having all the information can replace the need for frequent and meaningful bi-directional engagement with the care provider teams physically on site at the patient bedside1. This partnership creates a finely orchestrated collaboration, centered around delivering exceptional patient care and evidence-based software tools that seek to create an environment where: interventions are proactive versus reactive, audio-visual solutions that can bring people closer by producing real-time, low-latency interactions, and a bond between clinicians, whether at the bed-side or remote.
Patient care doesn’t stand still; care enabled through telehealth solutions that can support access and patient care engagement will change the way care is delivered. Thanks to the Philips IntelliSpace eCareManager Platform powered by Vidyo technology, tomorrow’s telehealth solutions can be recognized today. The platform features significant tools for enabling coordination of patient care and monitors patients in the ICU and other areas of the hospital. Whether through mobility strategies focused on getting the right message to the right person, on time, or connecting families across geographies to provide comfort when it means the most, care delivery going forward is reliant on advancements in telehealth – and the collaborative teams and companies working together to provide them.
1. Darek M. Haftor, Anita Mirijamdotter, Gunilla Bradley, Information and Communication Technologies, Society and Human Beings: Theory and Framework, 2011, IGI Global, PA (Chapter 18; p 225-240)
# # #
Karsten Russell-Wood is a healthcare marketing professional with over 12 years of global product development and strategy experience. He currently serves as the Senior Global Marketing Manager for the Philips Enterprise Telehealth Solutions business. Prior to joining Philips, Karsten held global product management roles within GE’s healthcare businesses with an orientation to targeted patient populations. He graduated from The Johns Hopkins University with a concentration in International Relations and Asian Studies. He graduated in 2010 from The Carey Business School, Johns Hopkins with an MBA and is presently pursuing on-going graduate work through the University of Massachusetts centered on public health.
The Vidyo Booth at the VMware Partner Exchange Conference (#707 at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas) will be a great place to explore just what is possible when you combine the technology of two cutting-edge companies: Vidyo and VMware!
Vidyo will be providing a technology showcase that demonstrates an integration between Vidyo’s industry leading HD video conferencing with VMware Zimbra’s open source email and calendar platform. Just how cool is VMware Zimbra? A recent posting in the “The VAR Guy” points to Zimbra as a popular alternative platform for building public and private cloud services. The VAR Guy states that according to a recent article in the New York Times, Zimbra was awarded the third highest number of federal government contracts for which industry Goliaths, Google and Microsoft, competed in 2012. It sounds like Zimbra is disrupting the enterprise email, calendar and collaboration industry in the same way that Vidyo is a game-changer in the video conferencing market. There’s definitely some great synergy and potential here!
“In the mobile era, businesses are demanding simpler and richer ways of communication and collaboration,” said John Robb, GM of VMware’s Zimbra. “IT departments and employees expect cloud-based collaboration that can be accessed on any device with a mix of real time and asynchronous communication. VMware Zimbra and Vidyo address those needs by providing a mix of video, email, calendar and more
in a single user experience.”
The Partner Exchange demo will be of special interest to IT departments and channel parntners looking to virtualize all of their apps. In addition to the VMware Zimbra demo, visitors to the Vidyo booth will also see a technology demonstration of VidyoDesktop™ running on VMware View®, enabling high quality video communication and an enhanced user experience in VMware’s managed, secure environment. Via Vidyo’s flexible API capabilities, adding visual collaboration into the Zimbra workflow is an easy process that enables this powerful integration, allowing users to escalate to visual collaboration when they need it within their email and calendar workflow. As the Partner Exchange demo will show, a user will be able to “right click” on a name or user group within Zimbra email and immediately initiate a Vidyo conference with that person or people. Just as easily, a user will be able to open up a new appointment within the Zimbra calendar application and simply click into a Vidyo meeting.
Although the demo is still only at the prototype stage, at the Vidyo Partner Exchange booth, we are already imagining the possibilities! Stop by and see for yourself! Vidyo Booth #707 at the VMware Partner Exchange Conference, Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas; February 25-27, 2013.
# # #
Michal Raz is Vice President of Business Development at Vidyo and is responsible for strategic partnerships that align with the Vidyo strategy for video collaboration and virtualization. Michal brings over 17 years of background in business development, strategic planning, marketing and engineering. Michal joined Vidyo from RADVISION where she served in a series of roles in engineering, business development, marketing and strategy. Michal is a visual communications veteran with a passion for innovation. Michal graduated with honors with a B.Sc. degree in Chemistry from the Technion, Israel Institute of Technology. Michal also received a Software Engineering scholarship from the Israeli electronics industry consortium and the Technion.
Video conferencing technology has vastly improved over the last several years creating new market opportunities and opening a significantly larger addressable market compared with 2-3 years ago. As mentioned in Frost & Sullivan’s 2013 “Best Practices Research Report,” Vidyo has developed a platform that enabled this growth, and has benefited from the innovations it has brought to the market. Among them is H.264 Scalable Video Coding (SVC).
The recent approval of H.264/MPEG-4 Part 10 AVC and SVC Modes Version 1.0 specification from the Unified Communications Interoperability Forum (UCI Forum) is an important milestone for the entire industry. It is the first step towards offering better video communication to customers by enabling them to deploy mixed-vendor solutions with confidence. The approved specification is also great news for Vidyo, as our customers have repeatedly asked for interoperability. The approval of this specification widens the doorway to seamless interoperability at the media level, as SVC is adopted by more and more vendors.
Vidyo has always been an advocate for SVC and, in fact, helped lay the initial groundwork for the original H.264 SVC specification. Vidyo engineers worked closely within standard development groups such as the ITU-T, MPEG, and the IETF, and even co-wrote parts of the SVC specifications. H.264 SVC technology folds seamlessly into today’s videoconferencing architectures and addresses several issues surrounding visual communications on unreliable networks.
H.264 SVC is an international standard. The large number of options and configuration choices, however, hinders interoperation between products from different vendors. The goal of the UCI Forum H.264 AVC & SVC Modes specification is to provide detailed guidance as to what operating modes and capabilities are required of both decoders and encoders, in order to enable interoperability. The specification that was just completed is the first step: it concerns the video bitstream format only and was developed as a joint effort of the membership of the H.264/SVC Task Group of UCI Forum. As a result, the H.264/SVC specification is not the product of a single vendor, but rather represents the consensus of several different H.264 SVC implementors.
As more companies realize H.264 SVC’s value in addressing market needs, you are sure to see the SVC adoption rise. In fact many companies have begun to adopt SVC in one form or another just this past year. Vidyo has been steadfast in its commitment to facilitating interoperability of the H.264 SVC standard for over six years. Our VidyoRouter architecture, which features H.264 SVC and Adaptive Video Layering, is being embraced by more and more customers from a variety of markets due to the many unique benefits it offers: exceptional quality, highly scalable, affordable video conferencing, accessible via any network using any device, just for starters. We now have thousands of customers using Vidyo’s technology and our 3rd generation video communications products, who enjoy the benefits of this groundbreaking architecture every single day.
We are dedicated to continuing this pursuit into the future and to making this vital technology available to all. So keep an eye on H.264 SVC as more work is underway to enable interoperability at the transport and signaling levels.
For more information about the new H.264/SVC specification, click here.
For more information about SVC and Video Communications, click here.
For more information about UCI Forum, click here.
Alex drives the technical vision and direction for Vidyo and also represents the company on standardization committees and technical advisory boards. He is an award-winning researcher, bringing over 23 years of research experience in video compression and communications to his role at Vidyo. Prior to Vidyo he was an Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering at Columbia University. Alex has more than 100 publications, holds 64 patents (several of which are used in Blu-ray Disc, H.264/AVC, and ATSC digital television systems), and has served as the Editor of the MPEG-4 Systems specification, Co-Editor of the H.264 SVC Conformance specification, and Co-Editor of IETF’s RTP Payload Format for SVC. He is a Member of the Boards of IMTC and of the UCI Forum, and co-chairs the IMTC SVC Activity Group as well as the UCI Forum’s SVC Technical Working Group.
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.
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.