Fast-Growing NJ Startup Vidyo Aims to Disrupt, Again


Ofer_Shapiro_of_Vidyo

Vidyo, the Hackensack startup backed by Juniper Ventures (Palo Alto), among others, that is trying to transition from late-stage startup to full-fledged corporation, announced another salvo on July 23, 2012, to disrupt the videoconferencing market.

At a series of briefings with reporters and analysts, the firm introduced VidyoWay, a free service for occasional B2B users that lets businesses with disparate legacy videoconferencing systems conduct videoconferences with one other.

The firm made no bones about it: the free cloud-based offering — which Vidyo claims is the “first free interconnectivity service to support multivendor, business-quality videoconferencing for multiparty or point-to-point meetings” — is aimed at disrupting business at Glowpoint (Murray Hill, N.J.), Blue Jeans (Mountain View, Calif.) and Vidtel (Sunnyvale, Calif.).

The cloud offering works with Cisco Systems, Polycom, LifeSize Communications, other H.323- and SIP-based room systems, Microsoft Lync clients, mobile devices and telephones.

For Vidyo, the service will act as a powerful lead generator, CEO Ofer Shapiro admitted, giving the company further entrée into the legacy systems world. Vidyo has more often been adopted by companies that have not yet set up their videoconferencing systems.

Companies that have invested hundreds of thousands of dollars in legacy systems have been slow to embrace the newer technology. However, they do need to set up conferences between, say, a manufacturer and its suppliers, all whom may be on different videoconferencing systems.

Although solutions exist to achieve interconnectivity in this kind of situation, they are fairly complicated and definitely not free, and free is just the price point that will make businesses give Vidyo a try, Shapiro said. And, he added, Vidyo will offer a high-quality experience at that price point.

In a statement, a Vidyo spokeswoman noted that the solutions offered by Cisco and Polycom remain limited. Users cannot obtain interoperability among more than two different vendors in one call, for instance. Further, those solutions are complicated to use. Employees need to have their IT department involved to connect each call, the spokeswoman said. “VidyoWay is not only free, it can connect several systems from different enterprise videoconferencing vendors on different kinds of devices in a super simple way that doesn’t require IT to set up each call,” she noted.

It’s no secret that Vidyo is attempting to accelerate its growth in the B2B market by trying to make videoconferencing as ubiquitous and easy to use as is audio conferencing. The firm has been beefing up both its offerings and its management team. Just this month Vidyo introduced a new CFO, David Kaminsky, who is experienced at stewarding growth-stage companies. Kaminsky comes to the company from NTT Data, where he was CFO.

NJTechWeekly.com reported that Vidyo has also announced some significant product integration with companies like Microsoft,  Barco, and Philips — all of which are stretching the firm into different market verticals. Vidyo powers Google’s hangout product, part of Google +, and every time a hangout is started, Vidyo profits.

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