Vidyo Ups Channel Ante With Cloud-Based Video Routing

Vidyo on Tuesday introduced VidyoRouter Cloud Edition, another step forward for the fast-rising videoconferencing upstart as it looks to up its channel influence and scale its technology through partner-led sales.

The Cloud Edition of Vidyo's VidyoRouter allows users running Vidyo conferences to span multiple networked VidyoRouters, enabling as many concurrent multipoint connections as there are routers deployed, according to the company.

Network latency is low, because each participant connects via the VidyoRouter located geographically closest, and video streams go over the WAN only once -- the local VidyoRouter does the rest. Vidyo offers secure firewall traversal using the system for no extra charge, meaning VidyoRouters can be deployed in combinations of corporate networks and the public network.

Each VidyoRouter, which Vidyo touts as eliminating the need for traditional Multipoint Control Unit (MCU) support to do videoconferencing -- supports up to 100 HD ports.

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"The technology is several years ahead of the competition, and we have the opportunity to change the market and be disrupters," said Ashish Gupta, Vidyo's chief marketing officer and senior vice president of corporate development. "It allows partners to add so much more value than just a bang-and-nail sale in a conference room."

Gupta joined Vidyo in January following a long career at Microsoft. His is a long channel resume, in which he previously headed up channel sales and marketing for Microsoft's Real Time Communications Group, and was core member of the team that launched Lync, Microsoft's updated UC suite, in fall 2010.

Vidyo's channel acuity may define its progress going forward, Gupta said. The company is looking to attract VARs and more traditional A/V integrators who built their businesses on MCU technology, as well as draw in software developers and service providers -- "tele-VARs," Gupta called them -- who deliver communications solutions as a service.

"People want to communicate on their desktops, not a $15,000 legacy machine," he said. "We want these new end users to get services, and want our service provider partners to say, wow, you can now deliver end-to-end video conferencing at cents per minute compared to the several dollars-per-minute in legacy environments. The cloud addition is important for our VARs doing systems integration as well as our service providers to scale the infrastructure and localize the traffic."

Gupta and his team will work on building Vidyo's channel programs to reflect Vidyo partners' various economic models. Training and certification programs, as well as better outreach to software developers through API extension, will come later. Vidyo will also continue to pursue OEM relationships like the ones it has with HP's Visual Collaboration portfolio, and more recently, Ricoh's new UC offering.

Gupta described his move from Microsoft to Vidyo as a unique opportunity.

"This the the privilege, I would say, of changing the industry and could never be delivered before in architectures offered by legacy players," he said. "We're also doing this in a way that can be easily scaled through partners. I love working for the channel and I'm very much a channel guy."