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 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:

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Background Noise:

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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.

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

User Adoption and Video Conferencing Deployments

Adoption-ServicesOne fish, two fish, three fish…Go!

When fish swim in the same direction in a coordinated manner, it’s called “schooling.” Fish evolved to swim in schools to improve foraging, swim more efficiently, and to protect themselves from predators. Just as schooling is essential to the livelihood to an individual fish, at Vidyo we believe a strong user adoption program is essential to the livelihood of a new technology. To create new behaviors via user adoption, however, you must understand the motivations that influence user behaviors.

In today’s technology driven work environment, often employees are living in a world of digital overload – faced with new software landing on their computer, smart phone or tablet almost daily. At the same time IT staff is required to support multiple technology initiatives with a scarcity of resources amidst launching new technology to the rest of the workforce. As a result, many companies struggle to motivate their employees to embrace newly implemented software, there are simply too many competing priorities.

How do companies find the harmonious balance to get every benefit from their technology investments and ensure those investments are being adopted and fully leveraged? They can start by investing in an innovative user adoption program that embeds technology into workflows to enhance productivity and motivates employees to use the software in their daily work.

Vidyo Adoption-Services

Top 5 Tips for Driving User Adoption:

  1. Create a strategic program plan with Executive sponsorship that assesses organizational objectives in alignment with the solution launch to support your plans for business process transformation.
  2. Promote a tactical awareness campaign that includes a comprehensive communication and marketing strategy to motivate, inspire and prepare employees for the launch.
  3. Provide ongoing training and support resources aligned with workflows and use cases designed to influence how the solution can be used in daily work.
  4. Leverage champions. As employees begin to make the solution part of their everyday workflow, they become powerful advocates, exploring new ways to use and evangelize its benefits to others.
  5. Incorporate feedback and share success stories once the solution is live to show how it is impacting company objectives and goals.

Vidyo User AdoptionNeed some help getting started with user adoption?

Our expert consulting, workflow design, and change management practices bring high touch professional services to customers and drive customer satisfaction. Learn more or about our user adoption packages here. Engage Vidyo’s Adoption Services Team now!

Here are a few success stories from Vidyo customers who have embraced user adoption programs:

A large cloud hosting company generated great excitement with their awareness campaign by producing posters, tabletop displays, banners, and customized videos to educate their employees about the benefits of Vidyo. They invested in a strong user adoption approach and successfully on boarded six thousand employees in the first 6-months of their launch.

“Fortunately throughout our experience with Vidyo there has been an emphasis on collaborating with us to provide the most effective training material and presentations to make the user experience a positive one. The efforts have resulted in identifying and eliminating system issues or stumbling blocks, which would have been missed in the absence of these efforts. I can say that we are impressed and thrilled by the efforts of Vidyo’s Adoption Services, who have provided us premier class customer treatment and high quality artifacts.” – Anonymous, Project Manager for Financial Services and Banking Company

Visit our Vidyo Knowledge Center to access quick tutorials on how to use Vidyo

Register for our free instructor-led training that including topics such as feature highlights, etiquette best practices, and getting started with Vidyo products

Customer Engagement Best Practices: Are Your Customers Camera Shy?

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A wide range of businesses from brokerage firms and banks, to hospitals and HMOs, to online retailers and big box stores are launching video-enabled customer services embedded in portals and websites via ATMs, kiosks and mobile apps. Today Verint® Systems Inc, a leader in work force optimization, announced it was using the VidyoWorksplatform to enable video interactions between customers and service employees as part of its Verint Engagement Managementsolution. SEE THE PRESS RELEASE

The more video is used, the more these newly launched customer services face a challenge that is far from technical. Put simply, their customers are camera shy. Will camera-phobic consumers scuttle your plans to add video enabled customer engagement to your business? Not if you do your homework before rolling out the service.

Here are a few tips to ensure your video enabled service is well received by your customers:

  1. Know your customer demographics. Studies show that millennials are significantly more comfortable using text chat, video chat and learning via on-demand video. If the customer base you are targeting has a high percentage of millennials, you can launch new communication channels with confidence. If you serve a mix of demographics, make sure you continue to offer more traditional channels in addition to text and video. 
  1. Is a high degree of intimacy and trust critical to your customers? Deployments of video enabled customer care in highly personalized industries such as healthcare and wealth management have demonstrated that when intimacy and trust are an essential part of the customer relationship, customers of all ages are more open to using video. If trust and intimacy are key, your customers are much more likely to embrace a video experience. 
  1. Do your customers interact with the same account rep or relationship manager each time they interact with your company? Consumers may not be comfortable conversing with a complete stranger over video, but are much more at ease when conversing with someone with whom they are familiar. To this end, if your customers interact with the same person or group of people on a regular basis, they will be more open to adopting video as a tool.
  1. Let them opt out. Your best strategy to alleviate camera shyness may be to open every call with one way video. The customer can see the agent’s video and have a conversation, but the customer’s camera is not activated.  If the customer is comfortable using video, they can opt to turn their video on by clicking a button on the screen. If not, they can still benefit from seeing the agent demonstrate a product or technique, share documents or educational videos, and provide non-verbal communication through facial expression and gestures.

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. Ready for more? Access a 21 Day FREE Trial of Vidyo today!

 

Vidyo in India: Embracing Video Conferencing

Over the past few years in India, Vidyo has seen a significant upswing in adoption of its video conferencing technology, deployment of integrated video communications applications, as well as partnerships across verticals and with service providers– a true testament to the scale, flexibility and value of the VidyoWorks™ platform!

India Government Mobile Video Conferencing

VidyoMobile™ being used by the Government of Andhra Pradesh on a tablet. 

Because Vidyo works on virtually any device and network, either in the cloud or on premises – it is the perfect fit for the specific market challenges in India. With bandwidth being a constant obstacle, Vidyo is the foolproof solution to connect and collaborate using public Internet and wireless networks that can affordably scale as needed.

The need for reliable, scalable technology has become particularly relevant in the Government sector. The Andhra Pradesh & Telangana Conferencing Facility is an example of a colossal Vidyo deployment at the state level where more than 1,200 Vidyo rooms have been deployed across Andhra Pradesh & Telangana’s 23 districts and 1,100 Mandals.

To learn more on the Andhra Pradesh & Telangana Conferencing Facility watch this video case study.

Andhra Pradesh Technology Services (APTS) launched the massive network that provides the State Secretariat in Hyderbad with a direct video conferencing connection to all 1007 district zones across the state, facilitating visual interaction between top level officials and field level personnel.

The national and state governments’ focus on ensuring digital workflows has driven large scale adoption of Vidyo’s technology across multiple departments, from State High Courts to the Department of Financial Services and Department of Education to Premier Government Technical and Management Colleges such as the Indian Institute of Technology (IITs) and Indian Institute of Management (IIMs).

Vidyo partnerships with top service providers like SIFY and Arkadin have also contributed significantly to Vidyo’s success in India. Most recently, our partnership with Airtel, India’s number one telecom provider, has allowed Vidyo to not only grow its footprint, but has given us the opportunity to act as a key thought leader in the video communication and collaboration arena.

Airtel and Vidyo Economic Times

Every month over the course of the next year, Vidyo and Airtel, in conjunction with the Economic Times will be presenting to customers and prospects on the value of video conferencing in business work flow. Listen to our first cooperated effort on the power and potential of video collaboration and watch our TV segment on ET Now: Empowering Enterprises.

But of course Vidyo’s versatile technology is permeating several industries across India! Powerful integrations in the financial services space, such as IndusInd, provided India with the first “face-to-face” online banking experience, and Reliance Mutual, a top Capital Asset Management company in India, also uses Vidyo to power their Video Chat function that allows distributors to connect with Reliance Mutual experts. Together these companies are driving interest in Vidyo across banking services throughout India!

IndusInd Mobile Video Banking

VidyoWorks powers Video Branch, a mobile and desktop-based banking service deployed across India. 

And keep your ear to the ground for new Vidyo applications in Healthcare – yet another vertical that is recognizing the immense benefits of real time video communication. Multiple VidyoWorks integrations are on the horizon that will boost the quality of care and promote better patient outcomes in various healthcare platforms across the country.

With a population of more than 1.25 billion people, almost 980 million mobile connections, the impending launch of 4G services nationwide and around 300 million Internet connections* – the Indian market is ready to embrace the next generation of video communication.

Sunny Rao is general manager of India and can be reached at sarao@vidyo.com

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*http://gadgets.ndtv.com/telecom/news/telephone-connections-in-india-cross-1-billion-mark-telecom-minister-712083