Brian Riggs
Brian is a member of Ovum's Enterprise team, tracking emerging trends, technologies, and market dynamics in the unified communications and...
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Brian Riggs | June 12, 2014 |


Cloud-Based Video Conferencing Makeover: Dimension Data

Cloud-Based Video Conferencing Makeover: Dimension Data Dimension Data's Teliris acquisition bolsters its managed video conferencing services capabilities.

Dimension Data's Teliris acquisition bolsters its managed video conferencing services capabilities.

To complete my triad of blogs on recent activity in the hosted video conferencing services market, let's look at what Dimension Data had before its unexpected purchase of Teliris, what it gets with the acquisition, and what it all means.

What Dimension Data offered before:
Managed Service for Visual Communications, a suite of services launched in 2011 that includes managed (which DiData defines as enterprise-owned systems deployed on premises), private cloud (enterprise- or DiData-owned systems deployed in a DiData data center), and public cloud (DiData-owned systems deployed in a DiData data center) deployment models.

The video network operation center that underlies each of the services is based on technology that came with DiData's acquisition of mvision, and that has been enhanced over the years. The managed and private cloud deployment models are available worldwide, or at least in the many countries where Dimension Data does business. The public cloud service is available only in Europe and North America.

All three offerings support multiple vendors' video endpoints and telepresence room systems. There's no real limit to the number of video conferencing participants for the managed and private cloud services since these are tailored to the specific requirements of certain customers. The base package for the public cloud offer, on the other hand, supports six simultaneous video participants, which can be increased to 25 or more if needed.

What Dimension Data will offer next:
Lentaris, the managed video conferencing service that comes with its acquisition of Teliris. Lentaris is a video conferencing management platform that not only monitors Teliris systems, but can also monitor and manage third-party systems such as those from Cisco, Polycom, and Radvision. Offered as a service to Teliris customers (and now to DiData customers), Lentaris performs remote diagnostics on video endpoints, delivers cloud-based virtual meeting room capabilities, and can facilitate interconnection between businesses deploying video conferencing systems.

A global service with points of presence in the U.S., Europe, and Asia, Lentaris will supplement, not replace, the Managed Service for Visual Communications offerings I just mentioned.

What it means:
If you know your industry history, you recall Teliris as a telepresence pioneer. It introduced three-screen immersive video meeting rooms back before HP, Cisco, and Polycom made them fashionable. One of Teliris's claims to fame was lining up eye lines so participants in a three-screen immersive meeting make better eye contact with one another, rather than looking awkwardly over each other's shoulders, as can often be the case.

Teliris's history as a systems developer is what threw me off when I heard about DiData acquiring them. What's DiData doing acquiring a company that makes room-based video conferencing systems that directly compete with Cisco, Polycom, and other partners? Wouldn't that put DiData in the business of developing solutions that compete with its partners?

As it turns out, Teliris has spent the past year or so distancing itself from its history as a solutions developer. Following a management shake-up in 2011, Teliris started refocusing its business around the managed services sold alongside its telepresence systems. The company will no longer develop its own systems, but rather resell Polycom's. So Teliris will make its money reselling Polycom gear and, more importantly, providing managed video conferencing services.

Which makes DiData's Teliris acquisition make some actual sense: Teliris sees its future as a provider of managed video conferencing services, while DiData is looking to bolster its managed video conferencing services capabilities. So DiData picks up Teliris to add to its arsenal of managed video capabilities.

However, Teliris is a company in transition. None of its video systems that customers have deployed have been officially deemed end-of-life. But neither will they be actively developed, so the company will need to gradually migrate these customers to Polycom systems. This will need to be done at the same time it integrates its services with those of Dimension Data, which is looking to Teliris to help it expand its video network operation centers internationally. All in all, it will be a busy time for both companies.

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