Zeus Kerravala
Zeus Kerravala is the founder and principal analyst with ZK Research. Kerravala provides a mix of tactical advice to help his...
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Zeus Kerravala | March 23, 2016 |


Vidyo's Big Year Continues With InterCall Partnership

Vidyo's Big Year Continues With InterCall Partnership A big financial services win, a new cloud suite, and one partnership agreement after another... Vidyo is on a roll.

A big financial services win, a new cloud suite, and one partnership agreement after another... Vidyo is on a roll.

Vidyo has always been good at creating buzz around its video collaboration technology, but exceptionally so these past few months and continuing into this week.

In January, Vidyo announced that Bloomberg had selected Vidyo video technology for Nexi, the next-generation global communications platform that visually connects its 17,000 employees with the rest of the world (for No Jitter coverage, see "Bloomberg Trades on Ease of Video Calling and Bloomberg IT Exec Shares Lessons Learned on Video Project").

In February at Mobile World Congress, Vidyo and Xiaomi, a global smartphone manufacturer, announced a partnership through which Vidyo will power Xiaomi's Mi Video Call app for Android and Apple iOS phones.

March kicked off with Vidyo rolling out a cloud suite that includes a video conferencing-as-a-service (VCaaS) offering, called Hosted VidyoConferencing, as well as a developer-focused platform-as-a-service (PaaS) solution.

VidyoConferencing on an iPad

With Hosted VidyoConferencing, any business can use Vidyo's high-quality, multipoint, 4K video technology as a pure public cloud service, with no infrastructure on premises. Or, if they prefer, they can use a hybrid environment. The service also includes "bursting" capabilities to allow customers to exceed purchase capacity when usage spikes.

With the PaaS offering, developers can drop Vidyo's video capabilities into any application through an API. This includes support for desktop, Web, and mobile apps. The PaaS-based service lets developers experiment with video, embed it into an app, and then quickly deploy. The offering supports up to 4K UltraHD video and content sharing. Given Vidyo's ability to optimize performance over Wi-Fi and Internet connections, this Vidyo offering should have great appeal to mobile app developers.

Vidyo earned recognition as a Best of Enterprise Connect finalist for the PaaS offering.

A week after the cloud debuts, Vidyo announced a strategic relationship and global OEM agreement with NCR. Through the agreement, NCR will deploy Vidyo's technology so that banking customers can launch video sessions with live agents from interactive automatic teller machines. This is an interesting announcement, one of the first examples we've seen of a company embedding UC functionality into an Internet of Things device.

The momentum continues this week, with Vidyo's announcement of a global strategic partnership with West's InterCall Solutions. InterCall is the global leader in conferencing solutions today, with 737 million participants chalking up about 27 billion conferencing minutes annually. Most of this is audio conferencing, but InterCall does do about 50 million minutes of Web conferencing every month.

West's InterCall has been one of the innovators in audio conferencing, offering features such as click to dial out, recording, and playback capabilities to make audio calls more useful and easier to use. However, the company has lagged behind in video. In the past, InterCall Unified Meeting 5 (UM5) service, for example, used Flash and only delivered standard-definition video.

West's customers are the biggest of the big and the most demanding -- 89% of the Fortune 500, each of the top 10 service providers and banks, and top-tier hospitals. They expect reliable and high-quality communication services; "good enough" is not nearly good enough, as low-quality video can cost banks money, retailers to lose customers, or be the reason why a hospital could not properly diagnose a patient.

West has chosen the VidyoWorks platform for its robustness and ease of use, Jon Bratsis, senior director of product management at West Unified Communications, told me in a briefing on the announcement. The Vidyo solution "just works," he said -- and this is a rarity in the UC industry today.

West has now integrated Vidyo into Intercall UM5, giving it its own branded offering significantly better video than its older Flash-based product. Looking out into the future, West will extend the use of Vidyo into other services, as well. The company already has Vidyo integration into its Webcast Essentials and Webcast Pro solutions in beta right now, with the intention of rolling this out in June. West will also use Vidyo to beef up its WebRTC and mobile video capabilities with general availability of these solutions to be in the back half of 2016.

The partnership is a true win-win. InterCall gets a robust, highly scalable, high-quality solution that can meet the needs of its demanding customer base. Vidyo gets another feather for its increasingly larger cap of top-tier partners, a group that now includes the previously mentioned Bloomberg and NCR, as well as Kaiser Permanente, Mitel, and Genesys.

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