Yorktel Acquires MultiSense, Expedite VCS

Enterprises increasingly rely on secure, high-quality and reliable videoconferencing capabilities as they communicate with mobile and distributed global workforces. At the same time, cloud technologies are rapidly changing how solution providers integrate and manage videoconferencing solutions.

Yorktel, a global unified communications and collaboration company, Thursday said it had acquired two video service providers that will boost its market share in crucial industries: MultiSense Communications, a British firm with expertise in health-care applications, and Expedite VCS, which delivers a strong base of government customers.

Multipoint videoconferencing naturally lends itself to applications in health care and government. Both industries benefit from enabling face-to-face interactions from a distance, but both also have substantial security requirements, said Greg Douglas, who last week was named Yorktel’s executive vice president of sales. Douglas was promoted from senior vice president of business development and channel partners, a role in which he oversaw a tremendous expansion of the company’s channel program through which Yorktel, because of its expertise in video, acts as an intermediary between vendors and other solution providers, usually telecoms and cable providers.

’Ten years ago, much of videoconferencing was supported by highly closed architectures, where you had a purpose-built device that was providing multipoint conferencing services. Today we are moving in the direction of bare metal servers and virtualization, so that you’ll see video services are supported by IaaS companies,’ Douglas told CRN.

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For that reason, Yorktel has evolved over the years from being a traditional system integrator and maintenance provider to a UC and collaboration cloud service. The company is vendor-agnostic and builds videoconferencing systems with technologies from a number of hardware and software companies, including Avaya, Cisco, Microsoft and Polycom.

Yorktel’s VideoCloud offers enterprise-class videoconferencing-as-a-service, with its cloud infrastructure situated mostly at Equinix data centers in the U.S., U.K. and Singapore.

But Yorktel goes beyond bringing video into the conference room.

’We’re pretty much an entire visual ecosystem,’ Douglas told CRN.

That includes a suite of visual communication products, including media services for content creation, live event streaming, webcasting, and post-production editing.

The company also offers VideoKiosk, a product that allows customers to engage businesses via video from customer service centers. It is also a reseller of iRobot, which can follow someone around as they videoconference, and Prysm’s state-of-the-art immersive displays.

About a year ago, Yorktel began to approach its channel partners offering white-label solutions and support, Douglas told CRN.

’We see it as sort of a force multiplier to get into places we wouldn’t naturally get into, especially in the SMB market,’ Douglas said, explaining enterprise customers want one-stop shopping, which includes video capabilities in conference rooms and on mobile devices.

’We stay in the shadows purposely,’ he told CRN.

How Yorktel implements the white-label program for those resellers is negotiable and depends on the needs of the partner, Douglas said.

’These engagements have happened in various ways,’ he told CRN.

’When we talk to the potential channel partners who envision being able to provide a video service, our value proposition helps them to see we can also be a close partner to them when they approach clients about other aspects of that ecosystem,’ Douglas said.

The new acquisitions will further enable Yorktel to provide complete solutions those channel partners can brand as their own, Douglas said.

In addition to government services, Expedite focuses on distance learning, corporate communications and telejustice.

Expedite VCS CEO and President Larry Roher said that Yorktel is recognized as the ’dean of video communications.’

’The company is a proven leader with an exceptional track record of successful acquisition, and we are excited to join forces with such a reputable organization with which we share so many principles,’ Roher said.

MultiSense specializes in developing and deploying medical conferencing solutions for use in remote doctor consultations, telemedicine and clinical education.

’Yorktel’s pedigree as a pioneer in videoconferencing, unified communications and collaboration is second to none,’ said John Scambler, MultiSense’s owner.