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.

Bloomberg Deploys Nexi Powered by Vidyo

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Building and deploying Bloomberg’s all-new global communications platform spurred a truly remarkable partnership between Vidyo and Bloomberg and being a part of this deployment has been a highlight for me as CEO. We were fortunate to work with Bloomberg’s visionary team, who challenged and pushed Vidyo to new heights. All the hard work paid off when Bloomberg flawlessly deployed Nexi globally to more than 17,000 employees located in 150+ locations in 73 countries in only 60 hours!

Bloomberg required a global, customized, high quality, scalable, solution that could easily bring people in from outside the corporate firewall. Simplicity was key. With Nexi it only takes a single click to connect Bloomberg employees and external participants!

Vidyo partnered with Bloomberg to create a fully customized, unique solution that preserved the look and feel of the Bloomberg brand and we see the requirement for customization  becoming an increasingly important differentiator for us with other customers as well. The VidyoWorksTM APIs lets Bloomberg and other companies build their own custom solution or add Vidyo to existing applications. At Vidyo, we do not believe in a “one size fits all” approach to collaboration and our flexible, powerful platform is the clear choice when customization is desired.

Nexi has taken off at Bloomberg. In the first three months of the deployment Nexi users have logged more than 25 million video conferencing minutes!  Those 25 million minutes were comprised of 600,000+ video calls that were 15 minutes or longer with a minimum 3 participants. And the best part? Bloomberg does not need a dedicated video conferencing support staff  – all  Nexi calls  are initiated by individual users, on a desktop, smartphone or in one of Bloomberg’s 850 conference rooms around the world.

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The speed and strength of this deployment is a testament to the standard of excellence, detail and precision that Bloomberg sets for itself and demands from its partners, like Vidyo. They are an innovative, visionary, exemplary organization, not only in their business but in how they work.

Bloomberg has truly redefined what it means to be a partner – the hard work from their team and ours has not only delivered a great result to Bloomberg, it has helped us build a stronger, better platform, for all of our customers.  We look forward to our continued partnership with Bloomberg to help deliver on their vision.

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!

Vidyo Apps are Alive and Well in the Apple App Store and Everywhere Else

You know the saying “A falsehood can travel around the world before the truth gets its boots on”? Well, apparently it applies to trademark infringement as well…

On Tuesday a company posted an app on the Apple® App Store® to record iPhone® screens without jailbreaking, which it called “Vidyo!” (even though we have been using the Vidyo® brand for more than 8 years). This is not our app, and we immediately contacted both Apple and the company to demand that the app be taken down, since we have rights around the world to the “Vidyo” mark including under US registration.

By Thursday the company had apologized to us and acknowledged that they “had no intention to confuse users or infringe any copyright or trademarks” and that they “simply chose Vidyo as a fun and catchy name.” They committed to immediately change the name, but before they could, Apple had already pulled the app for unrelated reasons. Problem solved, right?

Wrong – because media outlets had already posted about this new app shortly after it was launched, and then posted about its removal with confusing headlines like “Vidyo pulled from App Store”, compounding many false associations in the market and on social media.

We would like to set the record straight – the app misleadingly named “Vidyo!” which was briefly posted in the Apple App Store by Innovative Developers this last week has nothing to do with Vidyo, Inc., or our market-leading video collaboration platform and APIs, and the company had absolutely no rights to use our Vidyo® brand. VidyoMobileTM and all our other Vidyo apps which are transforming telehealth, customer engagement and enterprise communications are alive and well on the Apple App Store, the Google PlayTM Store, from our worldwide partner network and everywhere else fine software can be found.

New Faces at Vidyo

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2015 was a momentous year for Vidyo! We brought new and innovative Vidyo-based use cases to market through our growing ecosystem of partners, celebrated our 100th patent, were named a leader in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Group Video Systems and received validation from Kaiser Permanente Ventures, the Department of Defense, and others of the unmatched value of the VidyoWorks platform.

In 2015 I also stepped into the role of CEO and President and remain more passionate than ever about our market-leading platform and technology and the difference Vidyo will continue to make in the communications marketplace. As CEO I have aimed to establish a customer-centric culture of innovation built upon top talent and because of this effort I am thrilled to welcome Nicholas Reid and Fahim Siddiqui to the leadership team at Vidyo.

Nic ReidNic is Senior Vice President of Product Management and will lead the team responsible for defining, designing and planning the upcoming feature roadmap and user experience for all Vidyo products. Nic is a passionate leader with nearly 20 years experience in product, engineering and technical management. We look forward to the transformative video collaboration experiences Nic and his team will bring to life.

fahimnewhead175.jpgFahim joins Vidyo as Senior Vice President of Cloud Services and is responsible for strategy, business planning and execution of Vidyo’s Public and Private cloud strategy and offerings. Fahim will ensure a frictionless experience for customers using Vidyo’s cloud-based video collaboration platform while fostering developer and partner ecosystems. Fahim brings more than 25 years of experience to Vidyo and we are excited for him to lead this new frontier.

We are building the future of Vidyo and visual collaboration and couldn’t be more excited about the strong team we have assembled. Central to everything we do at Vidyo is the experience our technology provides. When experience and quality matter the most, Vidyo is the clear choice. From telehealth to financial services to customer engagement to field services; customers and vendor partners recognize the competitive advantage of the quality of video that we provide. Video is quickly becoming ubiquitous and we are looking forward to a watershed year in 2016!

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.

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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.

Kaiser Makes Strategic Investment in Vidyo

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Health care companies are actively embracing video-based visits with patients. The general public is more comfortable with video-based interactions. From policy makers to care providers to patients we’re seeing a groundswell for telemedicine. Highest quality, easily available video is an integral piece of the multi-billion dollar healthcare market moving forward and a critical advantage for both healthcare providers and vendors alike.

ipad300x200As we announced earlier today Kaiser Permanente Ventures, the corporate venture capital arm of Kaiser Permanente, made a strategic $10M investment in Vidyo.

We see this investment as validation of the ability of the VidyoWorks platform to address the various needs of major telehealth implementations, especially our ability to seamlessly embed HD quality, reliable video interactions into workflows and applications at scale. Kaiser Permanente CEO Bernard Tyson is “betting big on videoconference technology that will improve online healthcare,” and is “distributing care out of the hospital.”* There is tremendous growth opportunity in the telehealth market, which is projected to reach $34B by 2020.

Vidyo is already strong in telemedicine, nearly half of the top 100 healthcare delivery networks in the U.S. rely on Vidyo for their telehealth applications including Partners Healthcare, Kaiser Permanente, UPMC, Mercy and Carolinas. We have seen significant growth in deployment of integrated solutions like teleICU, patient portals and clinician EHR interfaces. Ours is the only video platform integrated into major Electronic Health Record (EHR) providers, like EPIC and Cerner, accounting for more than 50% of the EHR market, and Vidyo is the platform of choice for Philips Healthcare ICU beds, GetWell Network interactive patient engagement solutions, kiosks deployed in drug stores across the country and virtual care offerings through American Well. Today, there is broad recognition that the future of healthcare is beyond the hospital’s four walls and into the home, and the focus is on implementation.

cart300What sets Vidyo apart is the experience the technology provides. When it comes to making critical health decisions, “good enough” video is not good enough. Vidyo is able to deliver the most reliable, highest quality visual experience that can be completely embedded into applications, workflows or endpoints. Making Vidyo communication a seamless part of the experience is key to driving adoption. We believe that seamless integrations can help eliminate the “tele” in telehealth, and that caring for patients at a distance will become a standard of care that is just part of how medicine is practiced and care is delivered in the future.

Vidyo has seen tremendous traction in healthcare, in fact many times our clinical applications drive interest in Vidyo in non-clinical settings. Telemedicine is a great example of the power of our platform to transform an industry and we are very excited to replicate this success in Customer Engagement, Financial Services, Government and other industries.

* Fortune, April 29th, 2015: The prognosis for U.S. healthcare? Better than you think.