Arkadin: Video collab players peddling 'boxes'

Vendors more interested in selling hardware than promoting use of video conferencing, and not meeting needs as enterprise customers seek after mobile video conferencing options, say execs.
Written by Liau Yun Qing, Contributor

Video collaboration vendors are currently more interested in "pushing boxes" that enable the use of the technology rather than the use of the technology itself. Furthermore, such an approach no longer meets the needs of customers, many of whom are asking for video conferencing capabilities on the move.

That was the assessment of Arkadin CTO Thomas Boudier, who stated that the traditional video collaboration business has always been about hardware sales and not about selling services. He added that these vendors were "pushing boxes but not pushing the use" of the tech as many of the conference rooms installed with such hardware are under-utilized.

The executive also pointed out during a media briefing in Singapore on Friday that the legacy video systems many vendors are touting are difficult to deploy and use.

"[Such video systems are] not interconnected. We have a closed cloud of video users who can communicate with each other but they cannot communicate with users outside of their cloud," Boudier said.

Serge Genetet, executive vice president at Arkadin Asia-Pacific, who was at the same briefing as Boudier, added that for traditional video conferencing tech to support multiple endpoint devices has been difficult and costly to deploy.

However, mobility is increasingly an important criterion for decision-makers, as they want to be able to participate in video conferences while on the road using their tablet devices and on public networks, he stated.

As such, Arkadin partnered with U.S.-based Vidyo, developer of a mobile conferencing application, a year ago to enable high-quality video conferencing on multiple endpoint devices, Boudier revealed. The latter's software allows users to deploy video conferencing capabilities on various clients such as desktops, laptops and tablets.

For enterprise customers with existing legacy systems limited to on-premise video conferencing rooms, the CTO pointed that Arkadin is able to interconnect these systems with the company's own system using standard protocol and gateways. These companies can then move to deploy video conferencing on desktops, which increases the use of the tool, he added.

Boudier also revealed that the company now wants to extend its services into unified communications (UC) as this is where the future of collaboration is.

It will not be building out its own UC system though, choosing instead to work with existing providers such as Microsoft, IBM and Cisco to include Arkadin's technology in their real-time audio and video offerings, he added.

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