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The video industry as a whole is at a crossroads -- one where there are many new ways to answer traditional questions around the cost and deployment of videoconferencing.
Researcher Baird & Co., in a recent study titled "Video Conferencing: Software-Based Solutions Driving an Inflection Point," cited scalable video solutions based on the H.264 protocol as making major gains against major video incumbents like Polycom and Cisco.
"While several years away, we expect software-intensive solutions to make video conferencing as pervasive as audio conferencing," wrote Baird senior analyst Jayson Noland, indicating that the traditional corporate video conferencing market is expected to hit $3.6 billion in 2011, up 22 percent year over year.
If the software-focused, SVC-based solutions are on the rise, that's good news particularly for companies like Vidyo, which in a few short years has entrenched itself in the channel and won raves for its Adaptive Video Layering (ADL) technology to optimize video quality in each participant's environment, using only data networks and the Internet for connectivity.
Vidyo, which copped a $22.5 million round of Series D funding this fall, recently added a new version of its Vidyo offering in which the media plane is virtualized in much the same way that VMware offers compute-plane virtualization for the data center.
That allows videoconferencing users to flexibly scale-up depending on real-time, not estimated, video conference usage, Vidyo argues, which further means a globally deployed video infrastructure that's as low as 3 percent of what comparable infrastructure and services from incumbent video vendors would cost.
The virtualization aspect, Vidyo notes, is also making Vidyo's channel story more appealing beyond the confines of the A/V and UC communities.
"It allows for not just the traditional A/V or videoconferencing resellers, but now it attracts the data resellers and service providers," said Jim Fairweather, vice president of worldwide channels at Vidyo, in a recent interview with CRN. "Everybody wants to do something with cloud, and it fits perfectly into that strategy with minimal investment."
It's a shift that all video vendors have to be mindful of, argued Baird's Noland.
"Given its large install base, we expect MCU-based solutions to be around for years, but see Cisco, Polycom and others as being ultimately forced to embrace software-intensive solutions," he wrote in the Baird report, citing Vidyo as a disruptor winning large competitive deals.
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