Peter Csathy, CEO of SightSpeed has written in his Digital Media Update blog about how and why SightSpeed got the Dell VIdeo Chat deal. It is excellent, informative reading. I found myself reading his points, and nodding my head... as opposed to reading other "analysis" of the deal, mainly that it came about because of inside contacts in the "old boy" network, and thinking to myself "would you like some cheese with that whine?"
I think that Peter failed to mention one critical factor - SightSpeed's excellent Customer Support. When Dell went looking for a partner for video chat, they didn't want to choose someone who would make a significant portion of their users angry because it didn't work - and then make those same customers even angrier because when they tried to get assistance, all they got was either ignored, or stupid, useless replies. When you contact SightSpeed Customer Support, you get an answer, it is authoritative and likely to fix your problem, and if it doesn't they will be there to continue helping you until the problem is solved. That counts for a lot. The development and marketing guys are great, and passionate, as Peter said, and they tend to get most of the glory. But those people on the other end of the Customer Support lines can save the day many times over.