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Vidyo killed the video stars

Greg Lockley takes a look at how the New Jersey based start-up is disrupting the video conferencing space...
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Throughout the past year, the video conferencing space has undergone dramatic change. What was once a sector predominantly reserved for the big players has been blown wide open, in part, to the efforts of New Jersey-based start-up Vidyo and its growth throughout the year.

Following a self-proclaimed record-setting year in 2011 that saw a 82 per cent rise in value, the firm entered 2012 with almost double the customer base it had to begin the previous year.

Fast-forward to today and Vidyo has just announced its partnership with Imago, leading distributor of audio-visual and video conferencing technology, to deliver Vidyo’s telecommunication solutions.

Ian Vickerage, managing director of Imago Group, comments: “With this Vidyo-based hosted service, VaaS-t, we are now able to offer our reseller network the ability to provide end users an affordable, telepresence-quality visual communication service.”

“This service will be particularly well-suited for companies that don’t have the in-house IT expertise to deploy and manage hardware and software. Accessing our video conferencing service will be no more complicated than renting a movie online,” Vickerage continues.

Earlier in the year, one key player in the video conferencing market, Polycom, announced a damaging earnings miss, which caused shares to fall 20 per cent in a single afternoon.

Shortly after, shares were down a further 57 per cent on the previous year and the firm found itself inundated with reports of slow sales in key areas such as North America and Asia.

When looking at the current state of the video conferencing market, it’s unsurprising to see that whilst its bigger players struggle to maintain their previously tight grip on the market, firms like Vidyo continue to grow in the space. Of course, it’s important to consider why.

Vidyo became the first to offer personal telepresence and has since launched its VidyoWay system, which offers users a simple way of connecting. Simply put, Vidyo aims to provide a low-cost, high-quality solutions.

Luckily, firms using the technology are looking for just that. Many moved away from corporations offering high-end, high-cost solutions, which left them with just low-cost, low- quality options such as Skype.

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Vidyo’s success is built on its ability to offer a middle ground: high-quality, simple to use and cost-effective technology. As a result, firms are increasingly turning to Vidyo and its video conferencing options as it markets itself to both users looking to invest in telecommunications and those already involved but looking to cut costs.

VidyoPanormama, the video conferencing service launched by the company, allows up to 20 users to connect within a single conference call. VidyoWay, which is viewed as a direct competitor to services such as Skype, offers connectivity from smartphones and PCs whilst also being compatible with rival corporate conference systems. It signals Vidyo’s push into the consumer market as the technology is also used to power Google’s newest ‘Hangouts’ service that hosts over 65 million users.

Now, Nintendo has announced that it will use the firm and its service to power the chat functionality offered by its just released Wii U gaming system.

It’s clear that the once small start-up from New Jersey, and others like it, are disrupting the video conferencing business for good.

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