Vidyo Integrates with Microsoft Lync, Delivering its VidyoConferencing to Lync Users Anywhere, Anytime

Interoperability is currently at the core of an important debate in the video conferencing industry which will surely escalate in the coming months as more and more players in the market start to embrace standards such as the new extensions to Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) and the H.264 SVC standard (scalable video coding).

Vidyo, as always, is in the thick of this discussion and we’ve been doing our part to further interoperability in this market.  Yesterday, we released the latest in a series of announcements we’ve made over the past six months that demonstrate our focus on interoperability and unified communications: a new Plug-In for Microsoft Lync that will enable Lync users to quickly and easily initiate and participate in HD multiparty Vidyo conferences. Lync users will now be able to access Vidyo’s personal telepresence by simply selecting it from within their desktop application. Vidyo’s Microsoft Lync Plug-In is also backward compatible with Microsoft OCS 2007.

When a user clicks on the “VidyoConferencing” button from a pull-down menu or presence icon for a given contact in Microsoft Lync, the contact is automatically invited to the user´s Vidyo meeting room, and a “guest hyper-link” is provided if the contact is not a registered Vidyo user. Vidyo has also simplified scheduling and guest participant invitations with a separate plug-in for Microsoft Outlook. To create a calendar invite for a meeting, users can simply click the VidyoConferencing button on their Outlook toolbar, adding a URL that takes invited guests directly into the user´s virtual meeting room, providing easy one-click access for invitees.

Want to know more about Vidyo’s integration with Lync? Read the full press release here.

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Related Links:

- More Information regarding Lync can be found on Microsoft’s website.
- Full VidyoRouter Cloud Edition press release: “Vidyo Architecture Offers Unmatched Scalability and Economics for Large Enterprise and Carrier Video Conferencing”
– Mike Vizard’s article about Vidyo’s plug-in for Lync in CTO Edge.

 

 

Vidyo at 2011 Enterprise Connect: A Welcome Disruption

Enterprise connect is drawing to a close, and what a great event it was for Vidyo! We made two significant announcements: VidyoReplay’s recording and webcast features enable users to archive and share their video conferencing content with whomever they like, whenever they want, from any endpoint. VidyoRouter Cloud Edition delivers the most affordable scalability for telecom carriers and large organizations to deploy Personal Telepresence as a cloud service. VidyoRouter Cloud Edition is the answer to the demands placed on infrastructure as mobile endpoints and the need for video conferencing  and cost increase providing up to 90% savings over other solutions while supporting thousands of concurrently connected endpoints.

Vidyo was honored that VidyoRouter Cloud Edition was selected as a 2011 finalist for the Enterprise Connect award and twice as excited that HP’s Visual Collaboration Executive Desktop HP TouchSmart 600 Quad was also a finalist. Vidyo’s CMO Ashish Gupta is pictured here with HP’s Tom Carhart, Vice President of Marketing and Business Development for Visual Collaboration.

Vidyo and HP announced a partnership in June 2010 under which HP would expand its Visual Collaboration offering using Vidyo’s complete VidyoConferencing line of software-based desktop and room system-based solutions running on HP servers. Additionally, Vidyo’s CEO, Ofer Shapiro, joined John Bartlett of NetForecast, Ira Weinstein of Wainhouse Research and Cisco, Polycom, Microsoft and Radvision for a panel discussion about video conferencing interoperability, video protocols, and standards. Last year Ofer Shapiro participated in the same panel when SVC (Scalable Video Codec) was at the core of an industry debate. At that time, H.264 SVC-based technology was relatively new to the market and its impact was still being questioned.  What a difference a year makes! The scale has tipped as many companies followed Vidyo’s early lead by announcing support for SVC. The majority of the panel acknowledged that they are moving to next generation architectures and disruption is occurring in the market today. They also agreed that gateway -based solutions will continue to enable interoperability in the near term. One notable comment came from Microsoft’s Warren Barkley, Director of Partner Engineering, who acknowledged the impact of next generation architectures and even referred to Vidyo as a company leading innovation.

Another interesting session featured customers sharing their experiences and views about the challenges and success of deploying video conferencing. The session was moderated by John Bartlett who was joined by Andrew Davis, from Wainhouse Research and panelists Rob Goodwin of ESPN, Case Murphy of AOL, Russ Cary of SAS, and Charles Kazilek of Arizona State University. A key issue raised was the network overhaul required by many video conferencing solutions. Several panelists voiced their frustration with hidden network challenges. Case Murphy of AOL shared that he was lucky – his network could handle video despite the new requirements with no issues. ESPN and SAS clearly had to rethink and rebuild their network with the solutions they selected. When asked about networking challenges, Arizona State University’s Charles Kazilek paused, smiled, and said “I’d like to say I feel your pain but… I don’t feel your pain since I use Vidyo!” With Vidyo’s technology, ASU didn’t have to make changes to his network: A video conferencing decision shouldn’t require a network overhaul. Nuff said!

The following interview says it all!  Techweb TV’s David Berlind interviewed Vidyo’s Director of Product Marketing, Mark Noble.  Check out why David is so excited about Vidyo:

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-bfLuElKB60

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Related Links:

- More information about Vidyo’s participation at Enterprise Connect: Click here.
- Full VidyoReplay press release:
“Vidyo Announces Availability of Recording and Webcasting Solution for Video Conferencing”
- Full VidyoRouter Cloud Edition press release: “Vidyo Architecture Offers Unmatched Scalability and Economics for Large Enterprise and Carrier Video Conferencing”

 

Vidyo extends HD video conferencing to thousands of endpoints, reduces cost up to 90% and offers free firewall traversal

For years, many industry players have been debating which video codec would propel the market forward into the next chapter of video communications. H.264 SVC has now emerged as the industry’s choice, as more companies align with Vidyo’s groundbreaking platform based on the Scalable Video Coding standard. But the innovation is not in the H.264 SVC standard,  but in how Vidyo’s architecture can leverage  the standard… and today, Vidyo announced the next stage in the evolution of the VidyoConferencing architecture: VidyoRouter™ Cloud Edition.

This game-changing platform allows video conferencing users to get amazing HD video communications from anywhere, on any network, with cost reduced  by up to 90%, and free and safe firewall traversal. VidyoRouter Cloud Edition will be key  in an IT manager’s arsenal as he balances  the challenges of increased user demand for video communications on mobile devices, desktops and room systems with the need to contain network costs.

VidyoRouter Cloud Edition  has been selected as an  Enterprise Connect Finalist and will debut  next week at the show in Orlando, where Vidyo will host  the official conference party  on Monday night. Vidyo  will also host a press conference Tuesday, March 1 to share more on platform leadership.

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Related Links:

- Full VidyoRouter Cloud Edition press release: “Vidyo Architecture Offers Unmatched Scalability and Economics for Large Enterprise and Carrier Video Conferencing”
- InformationWeek article: “Vidyo Intros Scalable Enterprise Videoconferencing
- CRN article: “Vidyo Ups Channel Ante With Cloud-Based Video Routing”
- Lightreading article: “Vidyo Puts Services Spin on Videoconferencing”

Guest Blogger, Lotus Expert Chris Miller, Weighs in on Vidyo’s Integration With IBM Lotus Sametime

IBM Lotus Sametime has an interesting history in enterprise presence, chat, meetings and audio/video communication.  As a merger between two companies, it was hobbled together to emerge as a leader. Databeam and Ubique were brought together to create a single package of H.323 meeting services and a new idea of “presence awareness.”

The core of IBM Lotus Sametime runs with a Lotus Domino server.  This portion of the infrastructure controls presence, awareness, chat and the classic meeting services (such things as screen sharing, whiteboard and some audio/video).  Recently, IBM expanded the product to include installation portions on IBM Websphere Application Server (WAS) to enhance the meeting, client proxy access and media services. Network Address Translation (NAT), proxies and all types of firewall rules stop the current meeting services in their tracks.  This limits the growth of the media services as companies still look to outside vendors to host all types of meeting services.

Video communication has been slowly ballooning into a daily utility instead of only seen in large corporations with global locations. As I participate in more meetings, webcasts, screensharing and casual business calls, I am being asked if video connectivity is possible.

Businesses are moving through stages and evolution.  A big push was the conference calls.  Soon screen sharing was available and travel started declining.  But the face to face portion needed a comeback.  The phone alone does not promote the full mental image of how the person is receiving our message.  Visual indicators have long been a form of adjusting your conversation.  Being able to see a reaction, distraction and provide early action helps everyone feel they are making sound business decisions.

There are quite a few partners trying to integrate with Lotus Sametime, and a new partner recently emerged who exceeded my expectations of capabilities.  That was Vidyo.  I first read their press release and then I read the website to find eight products emcompassing a huge array of capabilities, even up to broadcast TV capability.

Imagine bringing the type of technology that Vidyo delivers to a leader in presence awareness in the enterprises?  Both sides of this puzzle win.  Lotus Sametime users get cutting edge, HD-quality video technology.  Vidyo gains another entry point to new customers to offer more of their portfolio.

With LDAP directory authentication, Vidyo can see your Domino directory.  With browser support across the board, no company should face compatibility issues. And Vidyo can optimize its transport to accommodate any bandwidth constraints.  I am excited to investigate and test their portfolio even more.

Note: No compensation or exchange was made for writing this blog posting.  I’ve spent quite a bit of time reading and testing some of the technology.  That sold me so far.

Here is the video clip of my interview with Vidyo’s Director of Product Marketing Mark Noble:

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Chris Miller is the Director of Messaging and Collaboration for Connectria, the largest hosting provider for Lotus software.  He is known as IdoNotes across the social networks.  He is the founder of Spiked Studio Productions, which produces numerous podcast and webcasts including IdoNotes, TheSocialGeeks, TheSocialNetworker, ConsultantInYourPocket, Lotusphere Podcasts, Notes in 9 and more.  You can find and contact him on any network as @IdoNotes.

Verizon, China Mobile, Alcatel-Lucent and Intel Select Vidyo for LTE Demos

Barcelona, Spain is presently buzzing with close to 50,000 international visitors to the Mobile World Congress, where the best and the brightest companies and products from all over the globe are being exhibited, and in-depth sessions covering the industry’s key growth areas are being held.  It’s a veritable “who’s who” of the Mobile industry and Vidyo is in the center spotlight of several exciting demos from leading players in the market. Check out who is featuring Vidyo at Mobile World Congress!

  • Alcatel-Lucent and Verizon Wireless in a live 4G multi-continent gaming and live video conferencing demonstration between Barcelona and a moving 4G LTE-enabled vehicle in the United States.
  • Alcatel-Lucent in a demonstration of high-quality video conferencing via TD-LTE, between passengers driving in a brand new Audi A8 automobile wired for broadband with LTE, cruising the neighborhood around the Arts Hotel in Barcelona, and people at the LTE TDD/FDD International Summit inside the hotel.
  • Intel in a demonstration featuring a multiparty HD Vidyo™ conference using WiMAX and LTE, connecting three Intel-based tablets running Windows® 7 positioned at different booths located within the MWC Exhibit Hall, and a PC desktop participant at a remote location, connected via the Internet.

If you happen to be at MWC in Barcelona right now (lucky you!) make sure to experience Vidyo in a live multi-player, multi-continent gaming and multi-party audio/video conferencing by visiting the Verizon Wireless booth (Hall 8, Stall 8C55) and/or the Alcatel-Lucent booth (Hall 6, Stall 6C23).  You can also view the WiMAX and LTE demonstration at Intel’s Booth (Stall 8B192 in Hall 8).

Here is a clip of the demonstration of gaming and VidyoConferencing over Verizon’s 4G network at the Alcatel Lucent booth:

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Read the full release here: “Vidyo Featured in Demonstrations of HD Video Conferencing via LTE at Mobile World Congress

Vidyo Wakes up Al Roker and the Weather Channel

In case you missed this,  in early January, Al Roker – from The Today Show – featured Vidyo on his other morning broadcast on the Weather Channel, “Wake Up With Al.” He was highlighting the coolest of the cool products at CES, and Vidyo was a featured segment on hot tablets. Al was clearly impressed with our product and demonstrated that he knows the correct way to spell  V-I-D-Y-O!

Take a look!

Vidyo Flaunts its Flair for Fashion

As part of the ng Connect Program’s Virtual Personal Stylist demo at CES earlier this month, Vidyo’s HD video conferencing technology provided the personal interaction between the demo’s “consumers” and “product consultants.” ng Connect is the multi-industry initiative driving the development of next generation broadband services based on Long Term Evolution (LTE) and other enabling technologies.

The demonstration showcased a technology-enriched retail experience and also involved world-renowned icons of style such as ELLE, L’Oréal USA, Bloomingdale’s and AQUA. Check out this video in which our own Mark Noble, Vidyo’s Director of Product Marketing, explains the demo.  And yes … that gorgeous blonde IS an ELLE model standing next to him!

Vidyo Garners Top Editor’s Choice Awards from Telepresence & Videoconferencing Insight

What a great way to kick-off 2011… with two new awards to add to our ever-growing list of industry accolades. Telepresence & Videoconferencing Insight Newsletter’s list for the Best Achievements of the Year 2010 was just published, and Vidyo was cited for its “innovation, products that disrupt the market, affordable prices, and success in the market place.”

Vidyo CEO Ofer Shapiro with several devices running Vidyo (Room System, HP Touch Smart, Mac, Netbook, Laptop PC, iPad, iPhone 4, Samsung Galaxy)
Vidyo CEO Ofer Shapiro with several devices running Vidyo (Room System, HP Touch Smart Desktop, Mac, Netbook, Laptop PC, iPad, iPhone 4, Samsung Galaxy)

For “Industry Leader of the Year 2010”, the publication awarded the honor to Ofer Shapiro, Vidyo’s co-founder and CEO. According to Richard Line, editor of Telepresence & Videoconferencing Insight, “Ofer Shapiro has over fifteen years of experience in bringing disruptive technology to market … (his) performance as CEO in developing Vidyo, Inc. to such a mature company with disruptive technology over the last five years is an outstanding achievement.”

Vidyo was also recognized for having “The Most Innovative Videoconferencing Product of the Year 2010- The new Vidyo HD videoconferencing architecture called VidyoConferencing™.” According to Telepresence & Videoconferencing Insight: ”Vidyo’s system is simple to use and maintain; it offers a 10 x increase in capacity and it is inexpensive. All these are requirements for mass adoption … The VidyoConferencing architecture provides HD quality video over the Internet and other general purpose networks without causing high latency or picture degradation. These improvements to the video meeting experience are very desirable and represent a new paradigm of videoconferencing recognized by other industry analysts, including Frost and Sullivan (January 2009) and Wainhouse Research (December 2009), and also the Wall Street Journal (September 2010). Vidyo HD videoconferencing architecture is deservedly chosen as the ‘Most Innovative Videoconferencing Product of the Year 2010’.”

We would also like to congratulate Vidyo technology partner Teliris for being named VC Insight’s 2010 Telepresence Company of the Year!

Looking back at CES 2011

Now that we’ve been able to catch our breath after being blown away by the annual whirlwind that’s known as CES, we thought we’d share some of what we thought were the highlights for Vidyo during this truly amazing experience!

First, let’s talk about our great evening at CES ShowStoppers, where Vidyo demonstrated its HD multipoint video conferencing over the Internet. Our demo was quite a hit, as we connected a variety of consumer devices including laptops, an iPad, iPhone 4, Samsung Galaxy Tab and the new Google Nexus S running “Gingerbread” with enterprise room systems. The significance of this demonstration is that, as we enter a new era of feature-rich smart phones and tablets, we’re going to want them to connect with our PCs and Macs, desktops and laptops, even video conferencing room systems… and ONLY Vidyo’s unique architecture makes this possible today. Our solution for mobile devices is currently being piloted by a telecom carrier in Europe and we believe these services will be broadly available to consumers around the world before the end of this year.

Then in the CES Exhibit Hall, Vidyo was rubbing shoulders with some major Fashion Industry icons! Thanks to our collaboration with Alcatel-Lucent and ELLE Magazine, as part of the ng Connect Program’s Virtual Personal Stylist, a new retail concept for shoppers, Vidyo’s HD video conferencing technology was featured, demonstrating “real-time” personal interaction between consumers and product consultants.

The new ng Connect Virtual Personal Stylist Program

In a nutshell … CES was, indeed, a great way to start this New Year and a great experience for Vidyo. We anticipate following this up with more extraordinary events, announcements and industry firsts, and we’ll be sure to keep you posted!

[Click here to read the full press release: "Vidyo Collaborates with Alcatel-Lucent, ELLE as Part of ng Connect’s “Virtual Personal Stylist” Solution Concept at CES"]

[Click here to read the full press release: "Vidyo Extends Multi-Party Telepresence to the Home over the Internet on General Purpose Consumer Devices"]

VidyoConferencing via WiMax

Since the first commercial launch of Mobile WiMAX (IEEE802.16e) approximately two years ago in Baltimore, Maryland, 4G broadband communications have become a sudden reality for vast metropolitan area populations world-wide. By the end of this year, Clear will have launched close to eighty WiMAX networks in the U.S alone - with Clear, Sprint, Timewarner, Comcast, and Best Buy, all selling 4G network service plans for various devices: 4G-ready PCs, 4G USB adapters, 3G/4G hotspots, and 4G/WiFi hotspots to consumers and enterprises.

From a very rudimentary perspective, netbooks, notebooks, slate tablets, and smart phones can be utilized as the traditional cellular phone – in terms of staying connected while traveling in a car, bus, train, etc. Consumers, who had to search out a coffee shop or book store in order to get on the Internet, can now stay connected to the web throughout the city.

Recently, the Internet has unleashed a flurry of uses for both the consumer and the enterprise (e.g. communications, entertainment, collaboration, multimedia, and services like Google Maps, Netflix, etc.). In the midst of all this, a slew of smartphones (like Sprint EPIC 4G, Sprint HTC EVO 4G, Apple iPhone 4, etc.) and slate tablets (the Apple iPad, ExoPC Slate, etc.) have been released like hot cakes into markets.

Sanjiv Gupta, Senior Technical Marketing Engineer at Intel

What makes these smartphones and tablets so versatile and invaluable to the end-user is not just the sexy size, look and feel. There are an infinite number of creative applications and services that can be developed, downloaded, and utilized from an app store, store front, market, etc. using a variety of operating systems such as Meego, Linux, Android, and Windows.  All these applications and services require broadband communications in order to function superbly.

On top of that, when you add entire population centers (Manhattan, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Los Angeles, Baltimore, Atlanta, Portland, Seattle, Phoenix, etc.) sending and receiving huge amounts of Internet data all at the same time, this requires a multi-lane highway with quality of service for each lane: a far left lane for fast power users and far right lane for slower Internet browsers… This is exactly the self fulfilling prophecy behind Mobile WiMAX which was formulated and developed into the one and only 4G reality in the world today by IEEE.

One company, Vidyo Inc., stands poised to harness the broadband infrastructure by offering high definition, low-latency, error resilient multi-point videoconferencing on conference room systems, desktop, and mobile systems strung along the IP network. Intel and Vidyo have performed video conferencing over WiMAX demonstrations during the past several years (Intel Developer Forum 2010 at the Intel Pavilion in the Moscone Center, in San Francisco), Intel Developer Forum 2009 (click here to see Dadi Perlmutter’s Keynote demo on stage at Moscone Center, San Francisco), Computex 2009 (Sean Maloney’s Keynote demo on stage at TICC building, Taipei, Taiwan). For Computex 2009, a Vidyo conference was showcased over the Amsterdam, Netherland’s Worldmax WiMAX network into the TICC Keynote, and for IDF2009, a Vidyo conference was showcased over the Portland, Oregon’s Clear WiMAX network into the Moscone Center keynote.

In addition to being equipped with a USB webcam and a noise cancelling headset, each of the Intel PCs (Intel Core 2 Duo or i3/i5/i7 core processor-based) was loaded with VidyoDesktop software with its configurations managed by the VidyoPortal.  The VidyoRoom was set-up remotely by Vidyo.

Vidyo’s proprietary distributed computing solution significantly eliminates long delays, choppy frames, and broken pictures, etc. in multipoint video conferencing over the Internet – Vidyo technology divides and buckets the video bitstreams into highly reliable and low reliable channels. In this way, the video components allow the distributed system to dynamically adapt to changing network conditions (e.g. network bandwidth, packet loss, jitter, network delay, etc.).

The multiple bit stream components also allow for the distributed IP network to adapt to the dynamic nature of computer processing amongst all the client devices engaged in the video conference. WiMAX, as the wireless broadband communication medium, offers speeds which are ten times faster than 3G with corresponding 10MHz channel bandwidth as well as a QoS infrastructure which intelligently allocates an appropriate modulation scheme for users on the network.

Hence, Vidyo in conjunction with WiMAX offers the most robust video conferencing solutions/experiences to date - especially for clients who are un-tethered to a wired network (DSL, Cable Modem, etc.) and on the go.

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Sanjiv S. Gupta is a Senior Technical Marketing Engineer at Intel Corp with focus on WiMAX enablement world wide – primarily in U.S., Latin America, India and the EU. He has been with Intel Corporation for twelve years and has been directly responsible for the marketing/integration of Intel’s graphics and wireless components into OEM PCs worldwide.  Sanjiv S. Gupta received a BSEE from the University of Colorado, Boulder and a MSEE from the University of Texas, Arlington in 1988 and 1995, respectively.  His experience in high technology spans more than twenty years with past roles as Senior Microwave Design engineer at Texas Instruments, Senior Product Engineer at Cirrus Logic, and Senior Technical Marketing Engineer at Brooktree Corp.