First Video Infrastructure Now Endpoints Drop
Video communications has been spreading from the boardroom through conference rooms to the desktop over the past several years. But why stop there? 2013 is the year of video everywhere, just take a look here at in the Enterprise Connect exhibit hall. For the first time Vidtel and Blue Jeans have (adjacent) booths on the show floor. These companies have shown that video network infrastructure can be more economically delivered via the cloud (and software) and are replacing traditional hardware-based infrastructure. LifeSize, Polycom, and Vidyo also have as-a-service-based intentions too.
With infrastructure costs shrinking, what’s next? Dramatic changes on the end point side. One player in this market is Tely, based out of Silicon Valley. Instead of the traditional $5k to $50k room systems, Tely is showing high quality video conferencing in from a gadget. The Tely Labs Enterprise Edition appliance runs about $500 (HD TV not included), supports SIP and Skype and now can directly join meetings at Blue Jeans via an onscreen menu. The device can even support document sharing via the telyShare App, which allows live, secure sharing of images or documents with up to five remote participants.
Also at Enterprise Connect is AVer, which looks more like a traditional room system but at the market price point of $999. AVer solutions are compatible with most room systems. The firm announced partnerships with Compunetix and Vidtel at Enterprise Connect. The Compunetix global partnership is to develop, market and sell complete collaboration solutions that include
conference room video endpoints along with voice and video infrastructure. Global sales and marketing will be led by Chorus Call, a Compunetix sister company. Compunetix and AVer, together with Vidtel and BurstPoint, demonstrated a “Total Solution” initiative representing a full-featured video collaboration environment.
After years of video conferencing being about extremes (consumer PC video and super premium telepresence) the battle is being joined for the vast middle ground. Look for more activity in this area with more appliance companies making headway in the near future.
The pure service model also has an interesting new entrant, Zoom.us. Zoom is a “people-centric” cloud service that offers document sharing, video conferencing, and a full-featured mobile client. The company is on a mission to transform real time collaboration for the masses. It’s already hosted some 200,000 meetings, and claims to be the first service to offer a full iOS client that can both start or host meetings as well as screen share.
Zoom’s service is called Unified Meeting Experience (UMX) and at Enterprise Connect announced its service now offers an H.323 connector into enterprise room-based systems.
The Room Connector is a software that can be installed on a virtual machine. It can also support rooms with dual screens for simultaneous video and presentation streams. What makes it even more intriguing is the Room Connector also enables a hybrid premises/cloud solution. Administrative tasks and authentication runs in the public cloud while meetings remain in the private cloud. The Room Connector software is free, and the service runs $9.99/mo per host-capable seat.