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 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!

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.