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Vidyo Deepens Microsoft Lync Integration

Lync users get better Vidyo experience, including easier dialing into multi-party, multi-device, and multi-vendor videoconferences. Vidyo also plans ultra HD experience with Barco partnership.

10 Social Acquisitions Signify Bigger Trends
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Vidyo is expanding its support for Microsoft Lync as another way of extending the reach and lowering the cost of its videoconferencing technology.

Vidyo offers a software-based video routing and mixing technology that can handle multi-party calls at high definition, undercutting traditional hardware-based solutions on price. The main tradeoff is that it uses a communications protocol that's not as widely adopted. By offering increased interoperability with Lync, Microsoft's unified communications software, Vidyo wants to show that it can reach more people through desktop videoconferencing, while still supporting high-end experiences.

"We can break the cost barriers a lot of enterprises and service providers have felt trying to support a multi-vendor, multi-environment solution," Ashish Gupta, chief marketing officer at Vidyo.

[ Two great tastes, better together? Read Will Social Show Its Face In Unified Communications? ]

"Now we can do anywhere, anytime, anyhow communications," and do it inexpensively, Gupta said. Vidyo solutions themselves can be implemented at one-eighth to one-tenth the cost of conventional videoconferencing equipment, he said.

Vidyo has been making its presence felt in the market, but so has Microsoft, with organizations such as AstraZeneca considering Lync as a platform for broad deployment of voice, video, and text chat communications.

Vidyo already offered plugins for Microsoft Lync and Outlook, but now it has made enhancements to its VidyoGateway, the software it provides for compatibility with video endpoints that don't support its protocol natively. The new Lync features include:

-- Continuous presence within Lync window, allowing a user-defined/selected layout.

-- Connectivity across enterprises using Vidyo and Lync federation and presence.

-- Ease of dialing into multi-party, multi-device and multi-vendor videoconferences.

-- Access to Vidyo conferences from anywhere using any off-the-shelf device.

-- Low cost and high scale for interoperability in hybrid environments.

Gupta said this will help organizations accommodate a range of needs, from the top executives who might participate from room-based videoconferencing or telepresence suites; the frequent participants who have desktop videoconferencing software on their PCs; and the infrequent users who might participate via Lync. Lync offers some native video capabilities, but normally shows only one participant onscreen at a time, whereas with Vidyo integration the streams from multiple users can be mixed and displayed onscreen, he said.

"Different work roles have different needs in terms of video conferencing," Zeus Kerravala, founder and principal of ZK Research, said in a written statement for the press release. "Vidyo meets the demands of those employees looking for multiparty conferences from heterogeneous endpoints and networks. The addition of Vidyo’s interoperability with Microsoft Lync gives a company's CIO the option to provide the Vidyo solution to those who need to engage in HD-quality multipoint conferences, while at the same time gives them the ability to connect easily with other users on Lync or traditional VC solutions."

Vidyo also announced a new hardware partner, Barco, which it is teaming with on ultra high-definition 4K video displays. The system they have partnered to produce enables flexible layouts on a single screen and displays up to 16 high-quality streams totaling 8 megapixels, which can include ultra-high resolution data sharing at up to 3 megapixels, according to Vidyo.

That's higher quality video than you'd get with a standard room-based system, without the cost of a high-end telepresence suite, Gupta said. "We're giving you higher quality together with flexibility for what you want to see in the environment," he said.

Follow David F. Carr on Twitter @davidfcarr. The BrainYard is @thebyard and facebook.com/thebyard

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