At Vidyo we often get asked if we can integrate with Skype. Lots of people already have this application loaded on their computer and use it for IM, voice and even video calls. Everyone says that quality of the video experience varies, and this has a lot to do with packet loss over the Internet—exactly where VidyoConferencing™ excels.
But does interoperability give you what you need? Consider two popular webconferencing solutions—Webex and GoToMeeting. If your organization has selected Webex for webconferencing, you’ve downloaded the client, and probably used it in meetings. And if someone in another organization invites you to a GoToMeeting, you don’t ask if it interoperates with your Webex client, you just click on the link provided, download the GoToMeeting client and join the meeting. The differences in functionality & UI are significant, and the download effort is insignificant, so everyone does it.
The Vidyo™ client is available on Windows, Mac and soon Linux, and it is going to be available on a host of smartphones and tablets (Vidyo has release an SDK for Android and a technology demonstration on a popular tablet can be found on this website). It is just another app that one downloads. So interoperability is really about ensuring that the experience is optimized for the communication device you have, is available for download to the device, and lets you have multipoint videoconferences with anyone else.
This analogy is useful for organizations thinking about longer term deployment issues. They want to choose a solution that will:
- interoperate with any video-capable device,
- scale to support large numbers of endpoints,
- operate over whatever networks are available, and
- deliver a natural HD quality, multipoint video experience.
Only a small number of “legacy architecture endpoints” are purpose-built for a specific codec and don’t enable software downloads. In these very limited cases, Vidyo has a “migration” option that enables interoperability through a gateway. With the VidyoGateway™ an organization with an existing investment in legacy architecture video appliances in rooms today can continue to get value from those room endpoints, while they move to a new architecture based upon downloadable applications on the broad range of devices that will be chosen by their organization’s employees.
And IT knows that either they must have an infrastructure to support the personal endpoint choices of their organization’s employees, or they will lose control of the collaboration infrastructure and be worked around with consumer solutions such as Skype and Apple’s FaceTime.