Vidtel: Any-to-Any Video Connectivity With A Channel Embrace


The growth of business videoconferencing is creating a market for vendors and channel partners that can offer any-to-any connectivity between various endpoints and systems, from high-end Cisco and Polycom telepresence to Skype and Google Talk.

One of the key vendors staking a claim to that connectivity is Vidtel, a four-year old Sunnyvale, Calif.-based startup that claims to offer that connectivity using only a customer's high-speed Internet connection (386 K) and leveraging the video endpoints, from smartphones to conference systems, they already have.

Vidtel's hook -- especially against marketing-savvy competitors like Blue Jeans Network -- is that it sells its services 100 percent through channel partners.

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"Yes, Blue Jeans has announced channel plays with InterCall and others, but they're primarily direct, and we don't sell any direct," said Scott Wharton, Vidtel's CEO. "A lot of channel partners not only don't want to compete with their vendors but they want to be able to private label and white label the services. We offer all of that."

Vidtel this week confirmed a reseller partnership with Solutionz Conferencing, a Brentwood, Calif.-based solution provider and national video integrator. Solutionz will offer Vidtel MeetMe conferencing services, Vidtel Connect one-to-one conferencing and Vidtel Gateway, a new Vidtel product, announced this week, that enables Skype and Google Talk connectivity to video MCUs and bridges.

Vidtel launched its channel program in November 2011 to support sales of MeetMe, with Austin, Texas-based CMIT Solutions its inaugural solution provider. Vidtel now has about 40 channel partners, but some of those are franchises that reach into many more reps and dealers. Wharton also pointed out that Vidtel strategic vendor partners like InFocus, Vu and Vaddio offer Vidtel access to their established video and UC reseller communities, which can mean hundreds more VARs exposed to Vidtel solutions.

This week, Vidtel also confirmed a strategic partnership with ZTE USA to bundle Vidtel services with ZTE T800, T700 and T100 videoconferencing endpoints for sale in North America SMB markets.

Vidtel's goal is to make doing business simple while also offering solution providers the deployment options they want, from subscription-based services to white label pricing and bundling with A/V hardware.

Wharton said the video market is undergoing a seismic shift similar to what happened a decade earlier in the VoIP market, when connectivity partners -- and the services they could wrap around VoIP systems -- became crucial to the channel.

"We see a lot of similarities to what happened in the VoIP world 10 years ago," Wharton said. "The debate was who would offer VoIP and when, and how would you interconnect it. Over time, video is going to become more of an IT application."