And the winner is… everyone

Last week at the AV Magazine gala, I was proud to accept the “Collaborative Communication Project of the Year” award on behalf of Vidyo, Inc. It is indeed an honor that Vidyo was co-named as a recipient of this award with global humanitarian organization, Concern Worldwide. Concern services over 25 underprivileged countries, delivering programs that benefit 8.5 million people annually. From tackling health, education and livelihood challenges of the world, the 2,200 Concern Worldwide personnel also face the challenge of visually communicating and collaborating, reliably, clearly and affordably to get the job done. It is humbling and extremely gratifying that Vidyo’s innovative technology has been recognized in helping Concern Worldwide meet this challenge.

According to Vincent Richardson, CIO, Concern Worldwide, “Vidyo makes it possible to conference to the most obscure, underdeveloped locations on the planet … and that’s deeply powerful. What Vidyo offers us is a video conferencing platform that we can use broadly anywhere.” Read the full case study, here.

Often times we think of video conferencing as something only used in the boardroom. Today, with Vidyo’s technology, innovators around the world are leveraging Vidyo’s unique, flexible, architecture in various applications to improve lives and support significant economic and social initiatives such as the Thinking Schools Academy in India or the Haiti Medical Education Project. Vidyo’s technology is making a huge difference, advancing innovative global communications for our partners, our customers and for everyone who has experienced the amazing benefits of the Vidyo-based communications and collaboration tools that are driving these critical humanitarian and philanthropic efforts.

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For the past six years as Vidyo’s Director of Sales, Fraser has been responsible for many aspects of Vidyo’s business. Fraser’s team manages Vidyo’s network work of Distributors & Resellers and spends a large proportion of time working closely with end users. For the past 17 years Fraser has worked within the Videoconferencing industry and during this time worked for VideoServer, Polycom and RADVision in similar positions; responsible for bringing new technologies to market and building incremental revenue. Prior to venturing into the videoconferencing industry Fraser held technical positions in the datacoms industry with leading manufactures such as Chipcom and 3Com. Fraser is married with three children, lives in Dorset is a keen horseman and runs marathons to keep fit.

 

 

Vidyo for Education 2013

Adoption of Vidyo technology in education has come a long way over the past few years, but our influence and adoption continues to grow–inspiring new ways of teaching and learning from boardrooms to classrooms across the world.  In 2011, we released VidyoReplay™, a recording and webcasting component of the Vidyo infrastructure, making it easier than ever before to connect students and teachers from disparate endpoints and capture content and educational lectures for future off-line viewing, anytime and anyplace. We have subsequently announced how Vidyo transforms mediated classrooms at Arizona State University into real time, research and learning environments with the Smithsonian—and shared how our technology links healthcare experts, physicians and instructors with medical students in Haiti via a virtual classroom. Earlier this year, Vidyo again made headlines that focused on our partnership with Internet2, and the resulting news that VidyoConferencing™ will be included in the services available to all Internet2 higher education members and thousands of K-12 public schools Topping off this exciting list of accomplishments in the realm of education, today, Vidyo announced that the number of education
institutions across the globe
that are currently using VidyoConferencing to raise the bar in interactive education through video communications and collaboration continues to increase.

From connecting students and parents from anywhere with school counselors, specialists and faculty to the classroom with virtual fieldtrips that supplement K-12 curriculum with real world interactions, video conferencing adoption
in education is on the rise. To put things in context about video conferencing in education, we created this infographic to understand the usage of video conferencing this academic year (click on the image for a large version):

 

If you’re an educator, a CIO or IT leader from the education community and haven’t yet experienced Vidyo, we can’t wait for you to try it out and let us know what you think.

Simply Amazing: Counting Vidyo Connections at CERN

What’s really BIG at CERN – the research organization that focuses on the smallest objects in the universe?

I’m not talking about CERN’s Large Hadron Collider that has been used to identify the Higgs boson. Nope, it’s the size of their VidyoConferencing deployment and its utilization.

Throughout 2012, the client downloads rose slowly from about 2000 to just under 14,000. Then, in January, the Vidyo service fully took the load and downloads exploded by more than 10,000 downloads to almost 24,000 in just five months.

But it’s not just the number of users that’s impressive, it’s how CERN leverages visual collaboration in their research. They are peaking 600 simultaneous connections at precise points in any given day. Some of these meetings may be small, connecting individuals to other individuals, or can be even larger, connecting groups with groups — in all, these meetings are averaging 2000 total connections a day. But it is the ability to hold large meetings that is really important to CERN’s collaborations. Since CERN started using Vidyo, they’ve had over 1400 meetings where the number of participants ranged between 25–50 connections. And this is all on a self-managed system with a worldwide deployment connecting people with mobile devices, laptops and room systems including legacy H.323 systems.

Two of CERN’s largest research experiments are ATLAS and CMS which are the largest international scientific collaborations in history, involving thousands of particle physicists, engineers, technicians, students and support staff from hundreds of universities and institutes. In April 2013 alone, ATLAS had 1860 Vidyo meetings and CMS had 1183 Vidyo meetings.

Steven Goldfarb, Outreach and Education Coordinator for ATLAS describes why Vidyo is so important to their mission:

Much of our research is done outside of CERN, maybe 10 percent of us are here at CERN. We have to remain connected all of the time. That’s the only way to be able to make decisions and contribute to those decisions as a collaboration.”

In the video conferencing world, numbers like the ones discussed here are amazing numbers. CERN’s self-managed deployment involves more than 20 VidyoRouters spanning the world and 11 VidyoGateways clustered in three locations across the network. Users may connect over wired or wireless connections, and they are able to have large
multi-user meetings. Don’t you agree that this is simply incredible?

Note: you can look at this data yourself on CERN’s public dashboard: http://avc-dashboard.web.cern.ch/Vidyo.

 

 

Maximize Workplace Collaboration with Visual Communications

Don’t know about you, but I often feel like I’m drowning in a sea of digitally communicated words!  Texts, emails, IMs and the like seem to have taken the place of actual conversations. Not only do our personal lives suffer from this, our workplace has transformed into a place where we constantly need to deal with the data driven craze–  as the inundation of electronically transmitted words — information, questions, issues all needing to be responded to ASAP – never seem to end.

But the workplace still appreciates and values face-to-face communications. Don’t you agree? Even more importantly, many organizations require face-to-face meetings with fellow colleagues occasionally, if not all the time. The benefits of face-to-face meetings stretch beyond making decisions on the fly, it also helps people adjust to emotional cues and allows for a better sense of team and relationship building for ultimately better business productivity.

Video conferencing in the workplace:
•  brings people together via face-to-face communications and nurtures a collaborative effort
•  ignites a collaborative culture where people and teams can feel comfortable visually sharing plans and exchanging ideas
•  fosters team and relationship building by encouraging individuals to visually share their vibrant personalities
•  resolves problems quicker and builds strong team chemistry

There are a myriad of reasons why slowly, but surely, face-to-face communications is making a huge comeback.  And no, we’re not talking about having to be physically present in order to have these great conversations.  More and more businesses are turning to high quality visual collaboration and communications via the Internet, 4G and other easily accessed networks, without having to spend a lot of money on equipment and infrastructure – and Vidyo is leading this revolution in terms of technological excellence and affordability.

A rapidly growing number of companies and organizations are already realizing the many benefits of Vidyo’s solution. Take KaBOOM! for example, a national nonprofit that envisions a great place to play within walking distance of every child—serving over 6.5 million children, engaging with over 1 million volunteers and have successfully built or improved over 15 thousand playgrounds in America. You can only imagine the massive scale of collaboration needed to communicate with everyone involved in each project. Vidyo has transformed the KaBOOM! conferencing dynamic. The result is reduced costs, more productive and efficient project meetings, and a quicker and more powerful human connection for the team. Or take Concern Worldwide, an international charity, fighting world poverty, that connects humanitarian aid workers in 24 countries.  Vidyo helps connect 2,200 Concern Worldwide personnel to be able to instantly, clearly and affordably communicate and collaborate visually with field managers in some of the most remote locations in the world.

Collaboration is imperative to success. Whether it’s building a playground for a community or connecting charitable people around the world – video communications in the workplace is making a world of difference.

But, don’t just take my word for it! If you register for Vidyo’s upcoming webinar, you will hear, firsthand, from Vidyo’s CEO, Ofer Shapiro, and our featured speakers, David S. Maldow, Esq. and Howard S. Lichtman, from Telepresence Options, “Why Video Collaboration Will Make Audio-Conferencing Extinct.” Whether you agree or disagree with this premise, we’re certain that this will be a spirited conversation between our presenters … one that you can’t afford to miss!

 

VidyoWorks™ – It’s All About the Platform

The last two weeks were very busy with product news and strategic win announcements for Vidyo:  Important partnerships with the likes of Mitel, Arkadin and CTN, a gigantic win with CERN, and of course exciting news about VidyoConferencing 3.0, featuring major usability enhancements and innovations throughout the Vidyo portfolio including a new Microsoft Lync Integration.  Now, today, we have jointly announced with Ricoh, the U.S. availability of a sleek, portable, light-weight Vidyo-based videoconferencing system that’s the size of a notebook!

So why are all of these announcements significant and what do they have to do with each other? It’s all about a platform that scales! The affordability and innovation enabled by the VidyoWorks APIs has sparked the interest and imagination of a wide range of companies and organizations looking for a solution that satisfies all of their visual collaboration modalities – not just some of them – and does it at a cost that is comparable to voice services.  As the growing number of important Vidyo partners indicates, Vidyo has demonstrated its strength and leadership, not only in terms of technological innovation, but also in its ability to forge new roads in the marketplace that allow our customers and partners access to a level of scalability and geographical distribution that has never before been achieved affordably and with such high quality. By doing so, Vidyo has upped the ante for every video conferencing vendor in the world. Now every significant player is trying to develop a scalable video coding (SVC) strategy. SVC is much more than a compression standard, it allows for a new architecture, which Vidyo has perfected for years from both product and intellectual property perspectives. We welcome these new offerings into the SVC-enabled world as we continue to lead with our field-proven products.

Everywhere you look, it seems, there are new and exciting examples of Vidyo products and services.  Since last week, alone, we have made several impressive announcements: a Vidyo/Arkadin-powered web-based service deployed by the California Telehealth Network that will improve healthcare to patients in rural California, a partnership with Mitel that will result in the integration of Vidyo’s HD video and telepresence solutions across their entire line of unified communications and collaborations (UCC) products, and yet another example of a global cloud-based video conferencing solution, with the unveiling of the P3000 from Ricoh, an important Vidyo partner in the US.

After a very long wait, the visual communication revolution is finally here and we are so proud to be at the heart of it. We would like to thank all of our great customers, partners, investors and, of course, our dedicated and talented employees who have made all of this possible.

***

Disclaimer: Many of the products and features described herein remain in varying stages of development and will be offered on a when-and-if available basis. The product plans, specifications, and descriptions are provided for information only and are subject to change without notice, and are provided without warranty of any kind, express or implied.  Vidyo reserves the right to modify future product plans at any time.

Ofer Shapiro, Vidyo co-founder and CEO, has been an innovative force at the heart of major architectural transformations in the videoconferencing industry since 1996. He was integrally involved in the development of the H.323 specification and the first IP based multi-point control unit architecture and gatekeepers, developed the use of H.264 Scalable Video Coding (SVC) for video conferencing, and led the development of a new media relay based architecture- the VidyoRouter. Ofer is a named inventor on 40 issued and 28 pending patent families. He was named a World Economic Forum Technology Pioneer, and received the Wall Street Journal Innovation Award for Disruption in the category of Internet, Networking and Broadband. 

 

 

 

Vidyo Continues to Push the State-of-the-Art Forward

Come see the future of Vidyo at InfoComm Booth #1581

Today is an exciting day for Vidyo. If you haven’t already, please read our latest announcement on the release of VidyoConferencingTM 3.0 – an upgrade that will move the industry forward by delivering a new integrated desktop, enhancing the user experience to deliver mass adoption of visual communications. It also introduces two new room systems at market-disrupting prices and additional features like an iPad app to share, view, and annotate content.

VidyoConferencing 3.0 – More Functionality, Accessibility, Affordability, and Control wherever you may be.

If there is a theme for this year’s Vidyo showcase at InfoComm 2013, it would simply be “more”. Perhaps that alone is a good place to anchor this discussion. We are now entering our third generation of product maturity.  VidyoConferencing 1.0 brought personal telepresence to a largely room system-based market. We delivered multipoint meetings over any IP? network with so little latency that you could have a natural meeting experience at a very affordable price. With VidyoConferencing 2.0, Vidyo brought about real infrastructure scalability by delivering latency-free
cascading among VidyoRoutersTM that localized traffic for network efficiency. This was followed by virtualizing the entire infrastructure!

And now, with Vidyoconferencing 3.0, Vidyo is leading the videoconferencing market once again, with an advanced end user experience on a
future-proof architecture.

So what’s new?

VidyoWeb: More Accessibility
What? No need for guests to download the software client application to join in a video conference? That’s right. Vidyo is making it more accessible than ever to join a Vidyo conference.  Vidyo moves into the browser with VidyoWeb, TM a simple plug-in so guests can join a Vidyo conference without installing the VidyoDesktopTM client!

And that’s not all! Unified Communications (UC) is a hot topic with enterprise IT, and Microsoft Lync® is one of the leading platforms. Vidyo’s
new plug-in for Lync
gives the full Vidyo experience to Lync users by allowing Vidyo to reside completely within the Lync window. It delivers not only the natural multipoint experience, but enables integration with legacy architecture room systems. And the Outlook® plug-in enables integrated scheduling.

More Functionality
The modernized user interface (UI) exposes new features including integrated chat plus more functional pre-call and in-call capabilities.

VidyoMobile 2.0: More Control
The new VidyoMobileTM app lets you invite anyone from your contact list to a meeting, putting even more power into the palm of your hand so you can schedule or immediately invite anyone to a meeting from wherever you are.

Room Systems Starting at $999: More Affordable
Vidyo continues to disrupt the room system market with even lower prices. Immersive telepresence is now available for under $5000/screen with the VidyoPanorama 600 which supports up to 6x 1080p60.  If your company is considering various telepresence options for purchase and deployment, it’s clear to see that Vidyo’s is the more economical and smarter choice. And with the new Intel NUC (network unit computing)-based VidyoRooms, Vidyo marks the dawn of a new era of software-based room systems and sets the stage for room system prices to
fall at the rate of the PC world.

So, if you’re at InfoComm and want to see the future, be sure to stop by Vidyo’s Booth #1581. We’ll also have a live demo of H.265 running side-by-side with H.264 so you can compare the quality and marvel at the reduction in bandwidth consumption this new technology can bring!  See you there.

VidyoConferencing: Perfect Fit for Career Training

It’s an exciting time for graduates and the education community, not only do they face an improved job market, advancements in technology provide new avenues to expand and improve career training programs. During the next few weeks, community colleges will be applying for TAACCCT grants.  As they think about creating and expanding partnerships between community colleges and businesses to educate and train the new workforce with skills employers need, they will consider new technologies to enhance industry engagements between students and employers. And Vidyo, will be prepared to help them with our FIS team (fis@vidyodev.atre.net).

VidyoConferencing is the perfect fit for career training needs. Vidyo brings a seamless visual communications solution to any program. It provides a platform that connects:

  • students to instructors
  • students to industry
  • students to students
  • students to workforce development
  • instructor to expert
  • instructor to industry
  • instructor to instructor
  • instructor to researcher

The result is that VidyoConferencing provides the industry with the ability to connect their workforce with degree and certification programs that allow for career growth and development.

VidyoConferencing is a software-based visual communications solution that makes the most of the investment that people have already made in endpoints and devices. It brings an affordable, easy-to-use videoconferencing platform to the distance learning room, PC, tablet and smartphone. And existing infrastructure investments in network and security can be harnessed without disruption. Vidyo easily connects to legacy equipment while using less bandwidth and provides dynamic adaptation across the network.

VidyoConferencing is used by higher education facilities for the delivery of course work and training, mentoring and leadership networks, career counseling and interviews, virtual job fairs, workforce and research collaboration, and student recruitment.

And recently, Vidyo announced its partnership with Internet2 to offer Net+ Vidyo services for access by member universities and thousands of
K-12 schools.

Vidyo meets and exceeds the needs of a learning networks while helping community colleges meet the requirements of TAACCCT. With VidyoConferencing, a community college can:

  • deliver distance learning within an industry and across a county, region, state or national network, providing greater access for students who can participate from work or home while eliminating commute cost and time
  • bring experts into the classroom, and connect what is happening in the classroom to what is needed in the targeted industry
  • connect to industry partners and collaborate with research universities to develop curriculum
  • connect community colleges and technical colleges with past TAACCCT awardees – this is essential to building out successful programs and developing leadership networks in the area of career readiness
  • build a platform that provides for student recruitment, job interviewing and placement, and virtual job and career
    fairs
  • provide greater access for creating mentoring networks connecting students, instructors and industry experts who
    can connect from their offices or homes

As community colleges build their TAACCCT program proposal, they may contact fis@vidyodev.atre.net for more information.

# # #

Marty Hollander is Vidyo’s SVP of Market Development. With more than 20 years of high-tech marketing experience, Marty specializes in developing lasting strategic assets through creative market development. Previously, Marty served as Vice President of Marketing at Cemaphore Systems, Latitude Communications (later acquired by Cisco) and ProactiveNet (later acquired by BMC). He also founded CollectiveSpace and IntelliCorp, where he played a variety of executive roles. Marty has also held senior level positions at Silicon Graphics and Storm Technology. Marty earned an MBA from Stanford University as well as an MS from Carnegie-Mellon University.

Vidyo Announces General Availability of VidyoGateway Virtual Edition (VE) and New Software Version 2.2.2

It’s an exciting time for Vidyo and all of its new and existing customers from around the world. We are pleased to announce the general availability of VidyoGateway Virtual Edition and access to download the new Vidyo Software Version 2.2.2, which includes new Vidyo enhancements at no-charge upgrades to Vidyo customers.

The recent announcement of the VidyoGateway and VidyoPortal Virtual Editions (VE) in March completes the virtualization of Vidyo’s core infrastructure and opens the door to mass adoption by offering enterprise customers and service providers high quality, scalable video conferencing at audio conferencing price points. Vidyo’s customers and service provider partners can now realize the significant cost savings, ease of administration and efficiency improvements of virtualization without the performance constraints that have previously plagued hardware-based, MCU solutions.

Available in both physical and virtual form factors, VidyoGateway integrates H.323 and SIP-based video conferencing equipment with the Vidyo infrastructure to extend the life of legacy systems as you deploy new Vidyo endpoints. Because calls through the VidyoGateway do not consume VidyoLine licenses, integration with legacy endpoints is both easy and affordable. VidyoGateway also enables voice integration for enterprise IP PBX systems with Vidyo deployment.

Additionally, Vidyo is releasing new features in its Vidyo Software Version 2.2.2. Features include: VMware Ready Certification for VidyoRouter, 6X HD decoding for its VidyoDesktop and VidyoReplay’s new support for Apple devices.

Reference Files

 

The new Google+ Hangouts

In recent days after the announcement of a new Google+ Hangouts platform, we’ve received many inquiries about just how Vidyo fits into the new solution. First, let me just say how excited we are about Google’s new communication platform. This cross device messaging approach, that connects Android, Chrome, Gmail and iOS alike, is a huge step in making the user experience as simple as can be, and that means wider adoption. It’s also further testament to the success the product has had and how visual communication is becoming an increasingly important part of the way people interact.

Some diligent bloggers have taken a look at the legal notices of the new Hangouts product and noticed that Vidyo’s patent notice is not there, which triggered a lot of rumors about Vidyo being ‘out’ of the Google+ Hangouts platform. Some people speculated that Google had replaced our technology for WebRTC. The truth is this was just an editorial oversight and the media technology in Google+ Hangouts did not change. Our partnership remains as strong as ever, and frankly, we couldn’t be happier. Hangouts is turning into a mainstream and useful form of communication which is in line with the trends we see across our business, from consumers to business applications.

 

# # #

Ofer Shapiro, Vidyo co-founder and CEO, has been an innovative force at the heart of major architectural transformations in the videoconferencing industry since 1996. He was integrally involved in the development of the H.323 specification and the first IP based multi-point control unit architecture and gatekeepers, developed the use of H.264 Scalable Video Coding (SVC) for video conferencing, and led the development of a new media relay based architecture- the VidyoRouter. Ofer is a named inventor on 40 issued and 28 pending patent families. He was named a World Economic Forum Technology Pioneer, and received the Wall Street Journal Innovation Award for Disruption in the category of Internet, Networking and Broadband. 

 

 

Telehealth Talk with Vidyo VP Amnon Gavish

How have you seen telehealth evolve over the years?

Amnon Gavish, Vidyo’s SVP of Vertical Solutions

Telemedicine and telehealth has been evolving for over 15 years. It is agreed among those who have been following this evolution that economic factors, aging population, the effects of public policies and a growing trend for more resources in care, has generated a strong demand for reform and efficiency in healthcare processes and practices. This trend represents a golden opportunity for integration of telehealth into healthcare workflows. Dr. Dale Alverson, the former President of the American Telehealth Association (ATA) has described it as “A perfect storm.” New technologies are developed and modalities continue to evolve. We’re seeing hospitals connect with other hospitals to provide healthcare services; local health facilities, clinics and nursing homes are no longer confined to the resources available only within their own campuses. The rise of technologies that allow people to easily connect, contributes to the increase of enabling technological developments that, accordingly, promote, validate and inspire the use of telehealth.

Why is Vidyo seeing so much success in the healthcare market?

Vidyo’s unique architecture opens the door to new healthcare applications and services that simply are not possible with traditional videoconferencing solutions. Unlike Vidyo, legacy solutions can’t scale to reach millions across a wide variety of global locations; to connect patients with practitioners anywhere, anytime, and in any place via commodity devices over public networks. Vidyo’s technology eliminates the complex and costly process of installing expensive networks and equipment, making it easy for patients to connect, while offering the high level of telepresence-quality video and audio communications needed to facilitate excellent healthcare delivery.

Why couldn’t this be achieved with traditional or off-the-shelf videoconferencing solutions?

There are fundamental requirements for healthcare-related videoconferencing that address security and patient privacy issues. Healthcare communications and collaboration systems need to have the capability to control who joins the conversation while managing and protecting participant identity. Simply said — this just isn’t possible with any of the consumer solutions on the market. Another key factor to consider is a level of communication quality high enough to help build trust between the patient and doctor. Vidyo’s patented VidyoRouter™ architecture offers unprecedented error resiliency, low latency rate matching thus enabling natural, affordable, high-quality video to work over the Internet, LTE and 4G networks enabling natural interaction between patients and doctors to make them feel as if the other person was in the same room.

What are some of the new healthcare applications and services enabled by Vidyo?

Vidyo’s technology is transforming traditional healthcare processes. From changing hospital workflow in the ICU or extending patient care to the home, Vidyo’s technology enables real-time, high quality videoconferencing that can be applied for use cases like telepsychiatry—used for preventive consultations to help people quit smoking or fight against obesity, for instance. Vidyo’s technology is also leveraged in places like rural Alaska, where remote care is fundamentally needed, but finding the best care means traveling a great number of miles. Vidyo makes it possible for doctors to perform reliable, remote primary care examinations, like ear and dermatology checkups or even oversee a physical exam without having to be physically present.

Vidyo’s technology is also being implemented to streamline hospital services such as improving the patient discharge processes, reducing readmissions and refining overall accountable care. In other cases, hospitals have adopted Vidyo as a part of their call centers where a trial nurse accepts the first call to consult with patients.

What are your thoughts on the future of telehealth and where do you see Vidyo’s role in that?

It’s said by folks in the field that introducing the term “telehealth” actually induced a fear amongst those in the industry and was responsible for slowing down the adoption of “telehealth” solutions. The way I see it, in the not-too-distant future, the separate category of “telehealth” probably won’t exist. Instead, we will likely see that, what is now a distinct adjunct to healthcare will soon become an integral part of standard healthcare provision for all. Overtime, as caregivers and administrators adopt and integrate new systems and technology like Vidyo, and provide more training to staff members on the latest technologies, “telehealth” will play a core role in everyday evaluations, diagnoses and decisions by healthcare providers.


About Amnon Gavish

Amnon Gavish brings more than 15 years of experience in the telecommunications market. Before joining Vidyo in October 2009, Amnon was the Chief Technology Officer at Keisense Inc., an innovator in the field of textual user interface for Computer Electronics devices. Previously, he served as VP of Business Development at RADVISION, where he was responsible for the company’s strategic partnerships and for the definition of the company’s product offering to the service providers market. Amnon was the CEO and co-Founder of Surf Communications, where he was responsible for all activities, from product inception, through go-to-market strategy, strategic partnerships and sales.