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February 06, 2014

VidyoH2O Brings Google+ Hangouts to the Enterprise

Back in August 2013, Google and Vidyo partnered to align their technology roadmaps and allow Google to use Vidyo’s Scalable Video Coding (SVC) extensions as part of WebRTC. Vidyo has powered Google+ Hangouts for more than a year, but was working to develop a scalable video extension specifically for Google’s free, open-source VP9 codec.

Vidyo just introduced a software-based interoperability solution called VidyoH2O for Google+ Hangouts, enabling Hangouts interoperability with installed enterprise solutions (H2O is short for Hangouts 2 Others). Users can also dial into Hangouts from their regular phone lines, so remote users can join conferences in audio form without needing an Internet connection.

The new solution extends Hangouts by enabling connectivity with H.323/SIP video conferencing and IP PBX systems from Avaya, Cisco, Lifesize, Polycom and Vidyo. The significance of using WebRTC with Google and Vidyo’s collaboration is that developers will be able to use the scalable coding extensions of VP9 without significant changes to their client code and benefit from the power of VidyoRouter.

“For many years the quality of video communications was not in line with user expectations and the high cost to deploy and manage these solutions resulted in limited deployments and form factors, low usage and highly structured interactions,” said Ofer Shapiro, Vidyo co-founder and CEO, in a company blog post. “The VidyoRouter architecture changed this paradigm with its ability to deliver easy to use, reservation-less, HD multiparty video calls over the Internet with the collaboration features of Web conferencing, all for the price of a phone call.”

Image via Vidyo

“Google+ Hangouts creates a new channel and market opportunity for Vidyo, and enabling interoperability with existing video conferencing and phone systems is great news for enterprise users, as well,” said Roopam Jain, principal analyst at Frost & Sullivan, in a statement. “It will be exciting to see what further developments stem from this WebRTC relationship between Google and Vidyo. Vidyo continues to be at the forefront of driving innovation in the video communications market.”

Scalable video coding enables more efficient bandwidth utilization, better performance on tablets and mobile devices, and core routing/control infrastructure. With SVC, users can adjust the frame rate, send smaller resolution or modify the quality of video so it can modify the bandwidth.

The announcement is the first of many of bringing WebRTC to Vidyo environments. VidyoH2O for Google+ Hangouts is scheduled to be generally available March 31, 2014 on a subscription basis starting at $99/port/month for on-premises deployment, or as a cloud-hosted product for $149/port/month.

Do you think this integration of Hangouts with business communications systems will drive the growth of WebRTC in the enterprise? Would you rather pay for this kind of integration or opt for a WebRTC standalone solution for business communications? Let us know in the comments. 

Edited by Cassandra Tucker
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