Startup Videxio Helping Channel Capitalize On Videoconferencing-as-a-Service Trend

As more businesses embrace Videoconferencing-as-a-Service as a more flexible, lower-cost alternative to traditional on-premise video systems, startup Videxio said it has the right stuff to help the channel make the most of that shift.

Founded in 2011 by former executives of Tandberg, the video communications equipment maker acquired by Cisco in 2009, Videxio offers a cloud-based solution that lets customers consume videoconferencing as a hosted service rather than having to install pricey on-site equipment.

Like competing Videoconferencing-as-a-Service offerings, such as those from Blue Jeans Network or Vidyo, Videxio's service is also interoperable, allowing participants to join meetings from any standards-based video system or web browser.

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But what really sets Videxio apart, according to Karl Hantho, president of Videxio's Americas business, is how it's working with partners. Although the Oslo, Norway-based company only has about 20 partners in the U.S., it sells 100 percent indirect and offers a range of tools and go-to-market options to ensure partners get the most out of the subscription sales model that comes with selling cloud services.

For starters, Hantho said Videxio partners have the option of white-labeling and rebranding the Videxio service as their own, while Videxio still handles all back-end issues, such as ensuring performance levels are meeting customer SLAs.

"We provide the partners with subscription services that they sell to their customer with their brand," said Hantho. "It's their DNA that runs through the experience, but we worry about everything else underneath that."

Charles Crawford, director of technical operations at Technical Innovation, a Norcross, Ga.-based solution provider, said the main reason Technical Innovation decided to partner with Videxio was because of the "brand identity" it offers partners. Technical Innovation has rebranded the Videxio service as its own virtual meeting-room solution, called VMRplus.

"Videxio is one of the few products where we could essentially completely rebrand the product as Technical Innovation's VMRPlus and carry that message to the market," Crawford said.

Videxio also has a partner portal from which solution providers can manage all customer subscriptions, along with an analytics platform partners can use to track customers' use of the Videxio service and identify, remotely, any issues with performance.

Crawford said the Videxio analytics platform is another way Videxio affords partners like Technical Innovation complete ownership over customer accounts.

"It puts the control of the experience and the ability to deliver on [that experience] in our hands, rather than having to create a bunch of external interdependencies," Crawford said.

Hantho, who was president of Tandberg for six years and, before that, headed up the company's channel organization, said Videxio is also unique in that its services portfolio stretches beyond the core videoconferencing or virtual-meeting-room service.

In response to the BYOD trend, for example, Videxio offers an additional service called Personal Video Accounts. The service, Hantho said, essentially turns a Mac, PC or any mobile device into a video endpoint. Users can install and use the Videxio client on up to six different devices at the same time.

Hantho said Videxio's early partners are largely Cisco and Polycom resellers, and that the company is looking to recruit more solution provider and service provider partners moving forward. In addition to the Polycom and Cisco solution providers, he said partners well-versed in Microsoft Lync are another recruitment target for Videxio. Distributors, including Synnex, Visitec and KBZ, also offer Videxio's service.

Hantho declined to give specific sales numbers, noting that Videxio is a private company, but said usage of its service has shot up 40 percent over the past three months.

Earlier this month, market research firm Infonetics said the cloud UC market, in general, is projected to reach $12 billion by 2018, with 62.6 million seats in service.

"It's a right-place, right-time kind of product," said Crawford. "The industry is in transition."