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Alex Doyle Joins Vidtel

January 17, 2013 | Telepresence Options

Alex_Doyle.pngBy Dave Michels UC Strategies

Recently Alex Doyle took on the role of VP of Marketing at Vidtel. If you are not familiar with Vidtel, it offers a variety of cloud-based video conferencing services including meet-me conferencing bridge services and an any-to-any service that traverses video through most firewalls. For its unique and innovative contributions, the firm was featured last year in the Enterprise Connect Innovation Showcase.

If you are not familiar with Alex Doyle, he's been around hosted services for awhile. He was part of the founding team at BroadSoft and helped develop BroadSoft's field sales efforts and most recently rejuvenated Polycom's service provider business. Vidtel intends to leverage Alex's go-to-market experience by helping partners sell Vidtel services. He intends to bring his experience of developing channels and selling cloud to the emerging video-as-a-service market.

Alex will remain based in the Washington, D.C. area. He's the proud father of three which has fostered his side career of coaching youth sports. Off the field, he's been spotted in crossword solving contests.

DM: Alex, this move was surprising to me, why a startup? Why Vidtel?

AD: Vidtel isn't exactly a startup. What's really exciting for me is that the service is live, there's a substantial customer base, and the customer base is growing at a double-digit percentage monthly. Because video has historically been something that's been used by such a small sub-segment of the market, there's all kinds of room for continued growth.

It's no secret that the video collaboration industry is going through massive disruption as this technology shifts from premises-based to cloud-based, and it's great to join a company that is not just an industry leader, but also one that literally helped create this space. I'm also excited about being part of such a great team. I've worked with both CEO Scott Wharton and CTO Daniel Goepp over the years, and they're superstars. What they've built in a short period of time is really amazing.

DM: Cisco and Polycom have seen a recent downturn in video equipment sales, does that mean video peaked?

AD: No, not at all. What we're really seeing, I think, is one market closing, and another beginning. If you think about it, the traditional premises vendors have competed for the largest of the large enterprises, with really expensive, highly complex immersive telepresence solutions. When you see reports of "downturns" in the video market, what you're really seeing is a slowing down of that specific market segment. You can make the argument that that segment is approaching saturation.

But - there's another massive new market opening - the vast midmarket. Historically, these companies were virtually prohibited from leveraging video conferencing because of the cost and complexity of these solutions. But if you think about it, this is the perfect customer for cloud video - this "underserved and overburdened" midmarket.

Saying video has "peaked" - that would be like saying "computing" peaked when IBM mainframe sales started to decline and PC sales started to take off...I think the same dynamic is happening in the video space.

DM: What specifically do you think changed or will change that will stimulate more video conferencing?

AD: It's a combination of product, technology, and demographics. On the product side, as video cameras were built into all manners of devices and tablets, that's helped video become more mainstream. Likewise, on the technology side, this shift we're all seeing towards WebRTC is making video more accessible and stimulating video growth. Finally, we're in the middle of some real demographic shifts - businesses are more flexible, more virtual, and more nimble when it comes to hiring and M&A. They're able to hire the best person for the job, rather than the best available local person.

DM: Doesn't it make more sense to own an MCU? Why use a service with incremental usage costs?

AD: Actually, customers share with us that the TCO for cloud services is less than 10 percent of the costs of a premises system or owning your own MCU. These MCUs are quite expensive - and managing MCUs is extremely complex and extremely expensive. When you consider that the companies that utilize video conferencing are usually multi-site, these operational and management costs are significant.

But the other thing our customers tell us that their main concern is their strategic imperative. Simply put, they want to focus on their core business, not on running an MCU. They think - and I agree - that they are not going to be a better law firm, hospital, architecture firm, or what have you, by managing their MCU better than the competitor down the street. They want to focus their resources on areas where they have a competitive advantage - and get their video conferencing capability from a trusted partner.

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