Looking at Video
At the recent UC Summit, I presented some of my thoughts on channel opportunities around video communications. I didn’t get into specific vendors in the presentation, but was approached frequently for suggestions. There’s a lot of activity, lots of great solutions and ever decreasing prices from both the major vendors and some new kids. Here are three vendors, in three different spaces, for channel partners to consider.
An Emerging Leader
Vidyo is the current darling for enterprise video. The firm is experiencing significant growth, yet it is relatively small when compared to its chief rivals. It’s also young which means it’s unencumbered by an installed legacy base.
Vidyo is riding a wave that it largely created around software-based solutions, SVC efficiencies, and the broadening of video into new applications and markets. As with UC, relying on software instead of hardware provides more deployment models, and extends the product’s lifespan. Vidyo recently announced its server software can be virtualized – that was unheard of in video communications just a few years ago.
With less reliance on hardware and its lower bandwidth requirements through SVC, Vidyo is driving down the cost of video communications. Channel partners can integrate it as a traditional room/desktop/mobile solution, or on virtualized servers – even on virtualized desktops. It can also be embedded in applications. Vidyo is growing faster than the industry and that means channel expansion opportunities.
As video communications and endpoints increase, so does the need to connect all of the islands. Video interoperability remains too hard for too many. There’s too many incompatibilities between networks, dialing/directories, and codecs. We often hear about consumerization taking over IT, but it doesn’t have the answer either. Google Hangouts only work with Google Plus users. Skype only to Skype. iMessage is only for Apple users. Enterprise solutions technically support interop, but getting through firewalls or dialing plans remains difficult.
Vidtel solves interoperability – both as a cloud-based “meet-me” service and as a gateway for existing equipment. With a Vidtel account, not only could I connect my LifeSize Passport to my Polycom phone and my Skype account, but my systems also became reachable by others with whatever addressing format they preferred (SIP URI, telno, or IP address).
Vidtel’s go-to-market approach is only through channel partners. That includes anything from hardware OEMs to local dealers. Vidtel isn’t interested in building a direct sales force or consumer sales web portal -- it understands what it does best and what channel partners do best.
The meat of video communications and true collaboration lies in content sharing. Virtually every system somehow enables some form of this, but not as naturally as Magor does. Passive viewing and ball passing are simply steps along the path of true visual collaboration. Magor’s unique approach brings together HD video and fluid workflow at an affordable price. It does so with a peer-to-peer architecture that supports both desktop and mobile devices.
By peer-to-peer, I mean there is no portal/meeting room/server – nor even a need to schedule first. End users directly connect with each other, similar to Skype, but with enterprise quality and richer features. Magor, like Vidyo, eliminates the MCU. The conversations are sent through the cloud without the need or cost of transcoding. By using SVC technology, the network impact is minimized and endpoints adapt to network conditions.
Magor delivers a visual democracy. Each user controls what they see and can jointly share, edit and control content.
Video is moving into a new era beyond big rooms and MCUs (although that business will continue for some time). There are far bigger opportunity emerging around desktops, mobile devices, and solutions that leverage software and cloud more than hardware. As video continues to democratize, the channel opportunity will continue to grow.