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

#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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Vidyo in the Cloud!

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More and more of our collaboration today is across teams that span geographical and organizational boundaries. A lot of this collaboration is still conducted over email or various chat applications. However, these tools lack the personal touch and generally fail to convey the emotional content which is so very important in developing relationships and quickly converging towards effective decisions and business outcomes. High quality video conferencing-based collaboration provides a significant opportunity to bring the human touch back to team collaboration. To date organizations had to either rely on very expensive room based dedicated systems for high end collaboration or had to rely on cloud based lower quality services. The cloud based collaboration services also fail to optimize bandwidth and connectivity between enterprise campus sites and the internet. Vidyo is changing this, delivering high end collaboration via a cloud-based service. 

Bandwidth-Button300Vidyo is now bringing up to 4K resolution video collaboration service to the cloud with support for hybrid architecture which optimizes on-campus and campus to cloud connectivity. Enterprise customers can now use Vidyo’s cloud based service to replace standalone video conferencing hardware, web conferencing solutions and audio conferencing services with a single high quality subscription solution.

Current enterprises end up spending up to $100+/employee/month in licensing, infrastructure and IT support headcount for standalone solutions from multiple vendors to support their real time collaboration needs. With Hosted VidyoConferencing, enterprises have now the ability to get better service at a fraction of today’s spend and benefit from a global managed service.

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Today Vidyo also announced a developer-focused Platform as a Service (PaaS) offering. With Vidyo PaaS we’ve simplified our APIs to provide a platform for developers to build their own custom applications without sacrificing quality, scalability or security. Stay tuned for more on Vidyo PaaS, coming this summer.

weebutt150All Vidyo offerings – on-prem, Hosted VidyoConferening and Vidyo PaaS include native support for WebRTC and are VP8 and VP9 ready.

We are excited to launch Hosted VIdyoConferencing service for our customers, available now. It enables us to deliver the high quality visual collaboration experience and reliability that Vidyo is known for combined with the ease that cloud services deliver.

Learn more about Hosted VidyoConferencing visit our website or contact a Vidyo reseller. For more on Vidyo PaaS click here.

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 Supports Disaster Relief Efforts In India

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When disasters hit, coordinating the logistics of on-site aid isn’t always a feasible task. Communications are often impaired making it next to impossible to effectively communicate with relief teams. With the help of communication technologies, the nature of emergency and disaster response is changing and video communication, in particular, has shown to play an increasingly important role in these efforts.

Earlier this winter Chennai, a city in eastern India, had record-setting rainfall and was hit with the worst flooding of the last 100 years.  Chennai was nearly underwater. The community was limited access to basic supplies like milk, water and vegetables. Apart from the basic necessities, fuel supplies and travel were also greatly affected, making it difficult for relief efforts to supply adequate medical care.

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Disaster relief campsite in Chennai with Vidyo-powered telemedicine

To help victims without means of travel and in need of medical consultation, Vidyo provided CURA with access to videoconferencing they could use to provide physician services remotely. Doctors were able to conduct interactive, HD quality appointments, despite variable Internet connections and low bandwidth, using Vidyo’s patented technology. Over the course of a month more than 100 stranded flood victims were able to consult with doctors and nurses to get the care they so desperately needed.

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Doctor consulting with victims at a disaster relief camp in Chennai

The ability to leverage video communications for disaster relief can be truly transformative. We wish the community of Chennai a swift recovery.

For more information on Vidyo in India, read this blog post.

Optimizing Enterprise Collaboration

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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!

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.

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