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VideoCentric's New "VideoCloud" Available For Partners and Resellers
As video technology continues to become more accessible and affordable, users are being offered an increasing array of video conferencing options. Organizations are deploying new video tools, including various mixes of software and software elements, often from multiple vendors. As a result, VC service providers need to stay on top of the latest developments from every corner of the industry, to ensure full interoperability and support capability. I recently spoke with Craig Brown, Technical Director at VideoCentric, a UK based video service provider focused on supporting today's complex and varying VC environments. Craig brought me up to speed on VideoCentric, and its new VideoCloud service portfolio, launched in October. More recently, VideoCentric released a new partnership program, offering this service portfolio to partners and resellers.
VideoCentric 's founders came from the world of video hardware, working at VCON in the 1990s. They became frustrated with the industry's insistence on what Craig described as "selling square pegs to users with round holes." As a result, their vision is to meet user needs as cleanly as adding a missing piece to a jigsaw puzzle.
The VideoCloud offering is based on flexibility. Every organization's existing communications structure is different, and every organization's final communications goal is unique. A "one size fits all" video service offering will not be optimal for every customer. As a result, VideoCentric works with customers to develop tailored solutions based on specific requirements, whether it be basic cloud video, hardware acquisition, or something more specific like ISDN interop or concierge-level support for a TIP based immersive room. Their years of integration and service experience, supported by the capabilities of the VideoCloud offering, qualifies them as a VCMSP worthy of interest.
VideoCentric's VideoCloud Offering
I had a feeling the VideoCloud's virtual room capability (1 of the 12 VideoCloud services) might be powered by Blue Jeans Networks, being as our briefing was held in a Blue Jeans virtual room. Craig made no bones about it, when Blue Jeans hit the scene with their cloud-based VC interop rooms, VideoCentric determined that it wasn't in their best interest to try and compete. Instead, they have incorporated the Blue Jeans virtual room capability into their platform. VideoCentric has a number of internally developed technologies and other tools which work together with the virtual rooms, to form the complete VideoCloud Suite. The result is more capabilities for the user. For example, Blue Jeans by itself does not natively support SIP or ISDN, but the VideoCentric VideoCloud does support these, and other, connection types.
As of today, VideoCentric's partners and resellers can offer their own VideoCloud powered service, and provide their own customers with the choice of available options. VideoCloud offers a number of service options, including virtual rooms, desktop apps, SMARTboard collaboration support, Firewall traversal, gateway / transcoding support, monitoring, reporting, scheduling, and even concierge service. Some elements, are supported by internally developed VideoCentric technology. While all of these elements can be crucial for a typical enterprise environment, I want to give VideoCentric special props for aggressively working to support SMARTboards, as I believe these types of collaborative add-ons can exponentially increase the value of a video solution, in the right circumstances.
VideoCentric Demonstration Suites
VideoCloud was developed with the assistance of their extremely cool demonstration suite. The demo suite brings me back to my days managing the Wainhouse Research VC Test Lab, where I learned first-hand that the only way to master these systems, is to dig in and start making the test calls.
VideoCentric's demo facility is loaded with room, desktop, and mobile videoconferencing solutions from leading vendors. In addition, they have network infrastructure demonstration abilities, supported by a range of MCUs, gateways, gatekeepers, firewall traversal, etc. I really like these types of facilities as they allow customers to check out the experience first-hand, and they can be used to test out configurations to meet exotic customer needs. Access to the demo suite (and access to VideoCentric's technical team), is included in the new partnership program.
VideoCentric might not be the biggest service provider on the block. They have that family company feel, but they can (and do) support the needs of large organizations. I think they are particularly well suited for companies first experimenting with video, who need some help understanding all of their options and crafting a tailored solution for their unique organizational needs.
About the Author
David Maldow, Esq. is a visual collaboration technologist and analyst with the Human Productivity Lab and an associate editor at Telepresence Options. David has extensive expertise in testing, evaluating, and explaining telepresence and other visual collaboration / rich media solutions. David is focused on providing third-party independent analysis and opinion of these technologies and helping end users better secure their telepresence, videoconferencing, and visual collaboration environments. You can follow David on Twitter and Google+.
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