Vidyo Brings Enterprise Capabilities to Google+ Hangouts

By Jeffrey Burt  |  Print this article Print

The VidyoH2O solution will enable Google+ Hangouts users to connect to video communications systems from Cisco, Polycom and others.

Vidyo is expanding its partnership with Google by developing a video conferencing product that will enable users of the Google+ Hangout feature to connect with voice and video solutions from a wide range of vendors, including Cisco Systems, Polycom and Avaya.

In addition, Vidyo's VidyoH2O for Google+ Hangouts also will let remote workers dial into Hangout sessions via traditional phone lines, though they will be able to communicate only through audio.

For Vidyo, the new technology is a way of growing its potential user base and its channel opportunities. For Google, the new capabilities will mean being able to extend its reach deeper into the corporate arena.

"This is part of Google's ongoing push to bring Google Apps into the enterprise and compete with the likes of Microsoft and such," Mark Noble, director of product marketing at Vidyo, told eWEEK.

Google and Vidyo have worked together since 2008, when Google leveraged Vidyo's technology to be the video communication backbone for Google+ Hangouts. However, the problem until now was that Google+ Hangouts is based on the WebRTC standard, while most of the video conferencing systems offered to corporations by the likes of Cisco, Polycom and LifeSize Communications use the H.323 protocol. They essentially spoke different languages, making Google+ Hangouts good for talking with other users of the feature, but not with those using other vendor products.

The new VidyoH2O solution lets those on Google+ Hangouts solve that problem, opening up the use of not only Google+ Hangouts but also the broader Google Apps offerings to businesses, Noble said. Many organizations want to use Google Apps in their businesses, but already have invested a lot of money in video conferencing offerings that support H.323. Now they can bring Google Apps aboard while still using their H.323-based video communicating infrastructures, he said.

In August 2013, Vidyo and Google announced a partnership in which the video conferencing vendor would create a Scalable Video Coding (SVC) extension for WebRTC—a protocol for browser-to-browser video communications without the need for special plug-ins or clients—and VP9, a video compression technology developed by Google.

VidyoH2O is the first of what Vidyo officials said will be a series of solutions stemming from the companies' WebRTC alliance.

The new software offering, which will be available March 31, will be provided to businesses either as an on-premises product starting at $99 per port per month or a cloud-based solution for $149 per port per month.

Vidyo, which was founded in 2005, has been developing software-based solutions designed to let business users and consumers participate in video communications from wherever they are and on whatever device—from room systems and PCs to tablets and smartphones—they want. The company's VidyoRouter technology uses SVC to enable businesses to offer multi-participant calls without the need of expensive multipoint control units (MCUs). Vidyo is part of a larger transition in the video conferencing market away from expensive room-based systems and toward more software- and cloud-based offerings.

Vidyo is seeing success in its efforts. The company in April 2013 said it had raised $116 million in funding since its founding, and that in 2012, Vidyo saw 68 percent growth in billings over 2011.

Patrick Moorhead, principal analyst with Moor Insights & Strategies, is enthusiastic about what Vidyo is doing, noting in a blog on Forbes.com that the company's technology lets businesses expand their video communications capabilities without having to invest in upgrading their networks.

"Vidyo focused its video technology differently by leveraging a given level of bandwidth and delivering the best experience on a PC, Mac, Android or iOS device," Moorhead wrote. "Vidyo solutions don’t require a massive investment in networking or dedicated hardware solutions. Instead, Vidyo runs on standard virtual machines. This allows orders of magnitude more scalability to enterprise and service provider scale."


Originally published on www.eweek.com.