January, 2013 … the beginning of what promises to be a pivotal and exciting year for all of us in the video communications world. And to start the year off with a bang – how about a BOLD statement from industry pundit, Elliot Gold – founder and publisher of Telespan — in his industry “Predictions for 2013.” (Elliot isn’t shy about boasting his 75% accuracy rate in 18 years of making these predictions. Out of 170 predictions, 127 have been correct.) Elliot predicts that in 2013, Polycom will fall behind Vidyo as sales of software-based video communications will surpass sales of hardware-based solutions. Wow, Elliot! We’re hoping that this prophecy falls into your 75 percentile!
To explore why Elliot, as well as others in the industry, are foreseeing such increased growth from Vidyo, we turned to Jim Fairweather, Vidyo’s Vice President of Worldwide Channels, for some answers.
What are the most exciting proof points of success that Vidyo has had in the channel this year?
Vidyo’s top 25 channels have grown over 400% since Q1/2011…which by anyone’s measure, is phenomenal. Our channels continue to experience favorable growth and profit due to many compelling factors. We are now being recognized as having a growing leadership position within the industry. We have been first to market with technology that subsequently others have been trying to follow. We are meeting the demands of a large cross section of users in a variety of different markets: healthcare, education, enterprise, SMB. In addition, channels can leverage Vidyo technology to sell their own value-added services. We are satisfying the needs of many, not just a select few.
What do you view as the top reasons for Vidyo’s success in the channel?
We are providing the right product/technology at the right time. Vidyo was established to support the changing and growing needs of this industry and we have repeatedly fulfilled that challenge. We have addressed the trends and growth in desktop and mobile with extreme ease-of-use on those devices. We offer reduced cost of ownership. We give the channels the ability to choose between selling the product as a service or as a product, and at the same time sell at very favorable margins. Plus, Vidyo technology allows channel partners to leverage their value proposition and consultative relationships with their clients.
With the overall industry down, why is Vidyo such a compelling option?
Customers are looking for affordable, scalable, software-based video clients and infrastructure versus expensive room systems and hardware MCUs. Channels can generate new customers with Vidyo-based products because they can ride the growth of mobile, desktop and cloud and not cannibalize their original customer base. There’s no other option on the market today that is able to offer such a wide cross-section of capabilities at such an affordable price point, and that is being recognized in the industry. For example, in his latest report, Piper Jaffrey’s Troy Jenson says this about Polycom: “…We believe (Polycom) is playing catch up with other service and software competitors…like Vidyo.”
Where has Vidyo seen its strongest growth and why?
Because of a high level of partner dedication and loyalty, we have seen strong growth across the globe, in all regions. In 2012 we significantly expanded the number of our distributors worldwide and our named user CSP model has expanded greatly.
What products are resonating with all channels?
In general, the channel is demonstrating high interest in our flagship products such as : Vidyo Mobile and Desktop and the Vidyo Infrastructure. Newer products such as VidyoWay and VidyoRouter Virtual Edition are gaining momentum since they significantly expand the scalability and deployment capabilities of Vidyo technology.
How is Vidyo positioned in terms of future growth?
Legacy video conferencing companies and “market insiders” alike have finally acknowledged what we at Vidyo have been saying all along – sustainable, future-proof business models must be based on software-based solutions. Vidyo has the competitive edge as many companies, like Polycom, are just beginning their software move. Vidyo introduced its first software-based product 5 years ago!
From your point of view, why are competitors losing ground in their channels?
Our products alone cost less than what our competitors customers’ are paying simply for maintenance on legacy technology. Many channels have said they view us as an up and coming threat to Polycom and Cisco. We feel confident that more and more customers will choose software based solutions instead of room systems … and the most logical choice is Vidyo.
To what do you attribute Vidyo’s fast paced partner growth in the past 12 months?
Focus and support on OEMs, Premier Partners (direct resellers), Distributors and CSPs that believe in the growth and profitability of Vidyo Products, Services and Programs.
Have you seen demand change over the past 12 months in the channel?
Yes. We continue to recruit new channels in the traditional video conferencing space as well as channels in the UC and IT markets. For instance, IT Data VARs from companies like VMware and IBM are very interested in our Virtual Edition product oiffering.
Anything else of note to share about Vidyo’s phenomenal growth?
In summary, this is a really exciting time for Vidyo and our channel partners. Vidyo is growing faster than the industry average growth, which among other factors, demonstrates the remarkable commitment between Vidyo and its Top 25 partners which includes resellers and service providers. By the way, this 400% growth is in addition to (not including) the various strategic partnerships Vidyo has with companies such as Google, Nintendo, etc. Vidyo has come of age and we are looking forward to a great 2013!
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Jim Fairweather is Vice President, Worldwide Channels and Sales. Jim drives the recruitment, growth and profitability of Vidyo’s Global Channels, OEMs and Service Providers. Jim has held several Executive Management positions in the VC and UC market for over 13 years. His long standing commitment to client relationships and customer satisfaction has been a key contributor to his success. Prior to joining Vidyo, Jim was VP of Worldwide Sales for HP’s Visual Collaboration Business Unit. He was responsible for global sales, channel strategy, and HPVC field engagement with over 25,000 Sales Professionals at Hewlett Packard. Jim grew HPVC revenue, established sales plans and recruited strategic distributors and channels. Prior to his tenure at HP, Jim was Vice President, Americas & US Sales at Polycom, PictureTel and MCI WorldCom. He was responsible for the revenue attainment of over $1B, and led several large sales organizations. Jim is very well known and highly respected in the industry. His strategic relationships and influence have significantly contributed to the growth of the UC industry over the years. Jim completed the Executive Management Program at the University of Michigan and holds a BS in Accounting from Bentley University.