The videoconferencing and telepresence market will enjoy an influx of $22 billion as enterprises increase their spending on videoconferencing hardware and software over the next four years, according to a recent report by Infonetics Research. Much of this spending will be on in-house equipment that doesn’t tend to be interoperable. Stepping into this void are Vidtel and Blue Jeans Network, cloud service providers and newcomers to the videoconferencing market that are counting on companies looking for a path to videoconferencing interoperability.
Despite the gains videoconferencing has made in the last two years, one challenge still remains: interoperability. Someone making a Facetime call on her iPhone can’t videoconference with a colleague using Skype. Similarly, a CEO can’t make a video call from a room-based Polycom system to a partner’s Cisco TelePresence desktop. These systems work brilliantly for large international companies that use them for internal communications, but don’t always work when calling partners and clients. Companies such as Vidtel and Blue Jeans Network are trying to address this issue with cloud-based video conferencing services that allow users to make and receive video calls from different platforms.
“We’re solving the interoperability problem for everything from Skype and software clients to high-end telepresence. All these different vendors and proprietary standards [give] nothing for people to easily connect,” explains Mariette Johnson Wharton, vice president of Marketing at Vidtel. “We make it easy for customers to interoperate on any device they want at any time.”
Vidtel’s and Blue Jeans Network’s cloud-based services are similar. Instead of making a direct call, users dial into the cloud service via the Internet. Users call in to the online service