Oovoo, Skype, SightSpeed and now Tandberg with the release of Movi 4.0 are all working to make multi-party video happen on the desktop. Tandberg, Lifesize and others are working to connect the enterprise with desktop HD systems. Then there are companies like IOMEET and Vidyo which is the cloud approach of hosted and managed video communications' services while HP with Halo and Cisco with Telepresence are working on the room concept. Google, with their acquisition of GIPS (another former acquired client of mine-#19) is also stepping up their browser based video chat capability too.
But they all lack one key component. Interoperability and inter-connectivity in an easy way. That's where a company like my client Glowpoint comes in. They, along with a few others around the world provide the ability to connect not only one company using say a Polycom Video phone to someone using a Tandberg video phone, or an HP Halo to a Cisco even though different codecs and possibly even standards are involved. In essence, Glowpoint is the middleman making it possible for one to see (and hear) the other.
This role becomes significantly more important with the upcoming release of the new Samsung Tab and with FaceTime from Apple as the uptake of them means that more video endpoints are out there, and people will want to connect to one another regardless of network, device or format. If you think of Glowpoint in the terms of a giant transcoder in the cloud for video, that provides interoperability and connectivity between these different networks and devices, protocols and standards, you'll get the picture on where things are headed in the video calling world. While cross connecting those devices doesn't happen yet, it will some day. Just like in the early days of the telephone, when one network needed someone in the middle to connect calls from one person to another, as history always repeats.
Glowpoint isn't alone in the space. Others are there. But with the relationships Glowpoint has in place and their experience they're moving in the direction of making sure everyone can see everyone, and not leaving anyone out in the cold.