Optimizing Enterprise Collaboration

infrastructure-innovation

Vidyo was founded with the idea that high quality, large scale video communication should be flexible, resilient and affordable. From day one, we have sought to be innovators, disrupting the traditional model of video conferencing and establishing, what has now become the industry standard software-based video conferencing model. We’ve registered more than 100 patents worldwide and our team is constantly pushing to bring our customers the best experience possible.

Today Vidyo announced new key innovations to the VidyoWorksTM infrastructure and platform. These unmatched innovations are designed to better help IT organizations meet the demands of the ever-changing IT landscape. From the rise of remote workers, to heightened security demands to tightening of budgets, IT organizations are looking for technology that will not only meet their immediate needs but prove to be a valuable long-term investment.

Vidyo’s infrastructure innovations improve upon our market-leading platform. Not only do these innovations provide improved manageability, interoperability and security, these innovations make the software-based VidyoWorks platform an even higher performance platform, enabling IT organizations to extend the value of their investment. Key innovations include:

  • 50% reduction of resource requirements without sacrificing performance
  • Improved security to meet the high demands of financial services, government, healthcare
  • Unmatched bandwidth optimization and video quality via the cascading architecture
  • Eliminates the need for a Session Border Controller (SBC) or SIP-aware firewall
  • Easy system management with new administrative UIs
  • WebRTC support, including support for VP9 and simplified interoperability

Arguably, the most valuable information we obtained during this process is the feedback we received from our customers. Their partnerships and input helped Vidyo take a very strong product and platform to the next level, helping us to continuously innovate, making it even better suited to support the enterprise.

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!

Quick Guide to Successful Video Collaboration

Collaboration TipsCollaboration is necessary to the success of any business. When in-person collaboration isn’t possible (when employees are dispersed or traveling), video conferencing is a great alternative. But how can you ensure meetings will be productive and time-efficient? How does preparing for a video call differ from an audio call? Here are a few tips:

Ensure familiarity with video collaboration tools: If a meeting is with important stakeholders or participants using a video collaboration platform for the first time, perform a pre-call test to ensure all attendees’ technology is working properly. This helps avoid last-minute trouble shooting during a scheduled meeting.

Engage attendees: Participation is essential to video collaboration. Look directly into the camera and make eye contact and address attendees by name when asking questions or for feedback. Assign speakers for various topics throughout the meeting.

Don’t Forget Video Conferencing Etiquette: In contrast to audio-only calls, meeting via video requires participants to be dressed appropriately, ready to meet in a quiet place with proper lighting.

Here are a few examples of how not to conduct yourself on a video conference:

Presentation:

Vidyo-Presentation

Background Noise:

Vidyo-Noise

Lighting:

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Whether you’re meeting with employees or customers, face-to-face meetings via Vidyo are a great way to stay connected.  Easy to use and manage, Vidyo’s technology puts HD-quality, multipoint video communications within reach on virtually any device and Internet connection, anywhere. Share content and videos, collaborate with two or two hundred attendees and benefit from a flawless video meeting experience.

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.

VP9

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.

Change the way you care! Improve Quality of Service with Video-Enabled Assistance

Arioflow video-enabled AssistanceAll support activities are facing the same challenge: how to reduce time-to-answer and improve quality of service while reducing costs at the same time. Video-enabled assistance solutions are gaining support and adoption around the world, fueled by a shortage of experts, and the need to decrease time and costs related to traveling on-site.

To address this challenge Arioflow’s cloud-based field audit apps are built with Vidyo-enabled assistance to provide an end-to-end solution for policyholders, both corporate and individual, and loss adjusters.

“Providing remote loss-adjustment solutions is becoming a pre-requisite for many of our customers that aim at improving policyholders’ experience, containing costs while reducing lead times at the same time,” recently noted Olivier Vial, Managing Director of Cunningham Lindsey France; a market leader in France for claims handling that currently leverages Arioflow solutions equipped with Vidyo.

Arioflow Presence, one of many assistance solutions in use today, allows companies to change the way they care. Designed with a strong User Experience focus, the Arioflow Presence app is a straightforward and easy way to schedule meetings, prepare claims and communicate via video to get your report.

Arioflow video-enabled Assistance on Mobile

Vidyo’s patented technology brings high quality visual communication to the Arioflow Presence app. Video communication helps our team better understand situations and issues while simultaneously collecting relevant data. With Arioflow, the expert has a comprehensive web platform to record the videoconference, take pictures from a smartphone, or prepare an expertise report.

Arioflow video-enabled Assistance on Desktop

We believe that we made the right technology choice for video systems with Vidyo. We put the emphasis on User Experience and it has made a difference to our customers.

With growing data supporting the claim that improved customer engagement service generates new revenue what’s stopping you from changing the way you care, it’s worthwhile.

Resources:

  1. http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20151123005695/en/Cunningham-Lindsey-France-Deploys-Arioflow-Edition-Videoconference
  2. http://www.netpromotersystem.com/about/how-is-nps-related-to-growth.aspx

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!

Count on Customer Engagement this Holiday Season

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

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

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

Have you considered video-enabled customer engagement?

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

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

For more on customer engagement for the modern enterprise, check out these related blog posts, this customer engagement infographic and more from the Vidyo website.


And while we’re in the holiday spirit here, don’t forget to check out our special 35% Off Holiday Starter Package! Just click on the banner below and get the details on this limited time offer. Cheers!

Vidyo Holiday Offer

Mitel Ups the Ante for Visual Collaboration with Vidyo

Mitel MiCollab - Vidyo

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

MiCollab Desktop - Vidyo

MiCollab Desktop Client Integrated with Vidyo

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Vidyo Surpasses 100 Patents and 10 years of Video Conferencing Innovation

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

Vidyo-Infrastructure-Patents

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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