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Taking Aim and Telling the Truth

A Polycom VSX 7000 camera used for videoconfer...A Polycom VSX 7000 camera used for videoconferencing (top) with 2 video conferencing screens for simultaneous broadcast from 2 separate locations. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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I went to bed last night in Paris after just reading Vidtel founder Scott Wharton's transparent post about the video conferencing industry. It's a must read, not only because Scott is a long time friend, and Vidtel is a client and a company which I'm an option-holder, but because it's just plain fact filled.

Having been involved in video conferencing myself, since SightSpeed was a standalone company, and through their acquisition by Logitech, the idea of reliable, fairly priced communications has not been a pipe dream. In my agency we use video every day and have for years. It could be Skype, it can be using Vidtel's MeetMe in combination with Cisco E20s, Skype and CounterPath's Bria, or even have people on other brands of equipment including Polycom and Lifesize, but at the end of the day, we see each other face to face and we didn't spend a fortune doing it.

That's why Soctt's point about Apple is the key though. Apple innovates in areas where the establishment languish. Look at music, phones and now tablets. For video, its no secret at all that Apple is already dabbling in real time communications with FaceTime, and Tango which first launched on Apple iOS devices is gobbling up market share the same way Viber is in voice. I wouldn't be surprised if Apple buys Tango at some point either, or Vidyo, because of their Enterprise market desires. Of course there's also Microsoft Lync that works well for those who like Microsoft software, so one can only imagine how much video calling is taking place there, given their installed user base. Enter Scott and his early on realization and vision that the installed hardware user base using multiple platforms needed to see each other regardless of brand or protocol.

Scott's point about cost and cost structures are also dead on correct. You can cobble together a video conferencing and calling service for a lot less than the "name" brand companies retail their systems for, and likely have more options. Given Scott's Vidtel was the first true hardware agnostic platform in the cloud (I remember using a Grandstream phone on one end and CounterPath software back in 2008) he's already done the math and woven the fabric of video communications together before anyone else who looked up, saw blue sky and put the video switchboard in the cloud.  Let's face it. When it comes to video few would dispute that Scott has video in his genes.

Scott's point about consertivism in video is also true. When you look at what radical's like Skype and Tango have done, without backgrounds in video conferencing, just smarts, determination and will, you have to realize that the old guard looks at things the old way.  Thankfully Scott looks at video a different way which means more of us will see more of each other.

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