TalkingHeadz with Karl Hantho, Americas President for Pexip

by Dave Michels

I wonder how this pandemic will be remembered, though I suspect it will forever be associated with video. Sometime in the past year just about every company, medical provider, and education institution embraced video like never before. Not to mention all those book clubs and family events.

Video meetings have been both the star and punchline of the past year. In a way, the video industry has been preparing for this pandemic for decades.  Not very many industries can absorb the unexpected demand that video communications saw in the past 12 months. I doubt the video industry could have either had this occurred ten or more years earlier. The industry was ready because the technology was ready — along with cloud infrastructure, the web browser, video and internet standards, broadband providers, webcam makers, and some pioneering video executives.

Quite possibly the most influential company in video was Tandberg. The company was acquired by Cisco about ten years ago. It was a smart acquisition for Cisco which still dominates the video sector with both equipment and Webex (an even earlier acquisition). However, a lot of that entrepreneurial talent at Tandberg was more interested in starting video companies — about a dozen companies can be traced back to Tandberg.

Two of those companies were Pexip and Videxio which merged together in 2019.  Pexip is a wonderful success story. The company partners with the biggest names in the industry, completed a successful IPO last year, and was well positioned for both the pandemic and increased security concerns.

I really enjoyed talking to Karl, but unfortunately he didn’t have the best audio equipment during our session. Please don’t let that deter you. There’s a lot of great stuff covered in this podcast.

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(best effort by

Dave Michels 0:12
Welcome to talking here today, Evan. And I’ll be talking with Carl Hantho of Pexip But, before that, congratulations, I saw that you have now tweeted over a million times,

Evan Kirstel 0:27
you know, I’m not sure if congratulations are in order or I should hide my head and

Unknown Speaker 0:31

Evan Kirstel 0:31
What what what do

Dave Michels 0:32
you? That’s a good? It’s a good question I was I was kind of running the number of million. I mean, I thought I tweeted a lot. And it’s like, I’ve got like, 50,000 tweets. And so like, I’m about a million shy from a million. This is basically what it boils down to. But I do a little math, if you’ve been on Twitter about 10 years, that comes out to about 270 something tweets a day.

Unknown Speaker 0:55
That’s a slow day. Yeah.

Dave Michels 1:01
So if you and how many monks,

Evan Kirstel 1:03
in all fairness, there are 24 hours in a day. So let’s not forget that.

Dave Michels 1:09
That’s true. That’s true. There are 24 hours in a day and that helps. It’s still 270 tweets a day, but I keep on thinking of these you know these James Bond villains are they open the door and they have all these guys doing kung fu training? I keep on thinking like you have a backdoor, your wherever you live. And there’s like 50 guys in there doing doing tweeting for you all of the little smartphones.

Evan Kirstel 1:30
I wish there were a million gold bars in the social media command center, but a million tweets will do. The big question is how do I monetize all this? What’s your advice?

Dave Michels 1:38
The future is podcast.

Evan Kirstel 1:40
I thought the future was NF T’s.

Dave Michels 1:43
Oh my gosh, you should put NF T’s on your tweets.

Evan Kirstel 1:46
I’m going to not put NF T’s on my tweets. I’m going to put my tweets into NF T’s.

Dave Michels 1:50
Oh, is that the way it works? Yeah.

Evan Kirstel 1:52
So this is the future. Just ask jack. Are you on musk?

Dave Michels 1:55
It was the future last week dumbed down, that has already happened. And now it’s over. It’s done. All right.

Evan Kirstel 2:00
Let’s move on with our next future. The future video conferencing.

Unknown Speaker 2:05
TalkingHeadz is a semi monthly podcast with interviews and other discussions about enterprise communications. Your hosts are Dave Michaels and Evan curse dal, both of which offer extraordinary services, including research, analysis and social marketing. You can find them on Twitter, LinkedIn, or a talking point that calm that’s points with a Z and Evan curse That’s KI r s t e L.

Evan Kirstel 2:34
And on today’s TalkingHeadz, we have Carl Hantho, the President of Pexip Americas. Karl, welcome to the show.

Karl Hantho 2:42
Great to be here, Evan. Thank you. Thank you. So

Evan Kirstel 2:44
you have a title of President, which is very presidential. Tell us how you’re organized. And what’s the role of a president at pexip? Is it like more on the king side? Or on the Emperor side?

Karl Hantho 2:56
There is nobody kissing my ring? And if that’s the the real question here. So now, so I’m responsible for pecs up here in the Americas. And what we do is basically we are the sales, marketing and everything is customer facing partner facing for pexip in the Americas I’m responsible for. And maybe just to step back for one second. That’s the presidential role. And on the who was pexa part of that same conversation, we were a video first meeting platform that enables anyone to join from any technology, keep it simple, make it effective. And we offer that up both as a service as well as a self hosted solution, which makes us quite unique. But

Dave Michels 3:35
you’re president of pexip Americas and it’s a Norwegian company. So how many presidents are there?

Karl Hantho 3:41
There are three of us, one for the Americas one for Amir and one for Asia pack.

Dave Michels 3:46
So it’s just one of you then great. Okay, so So prior to this gig, you were president of the deck CEO, also of a president of America’s fidencio.

Karl Hantho 3:57
I love that title. Did

Dave Michels 3:59
you were there almost six years at the deck CEO? Yes, the company is merged in 2018. So is there much difference between being America’s president of the deck CEO versus American president, the

Karl Hantho 4:10
Pexip. The job description is exactly the same. However, if you go back to that video, I was employee one on the next deal here in the States. And so the work that I did may have been very different than today. We’ve got almost 100 people here in the Americas. So it’s the it has changed for sure. But the title is the same.

Evan Kirstel 4:30
So you’ve had four jobs, really, four jobs have had you. But I’m wondering how your perspective on the industry has changed from bt visual imaging in the Americas launching Tandberg in the Americas, and then the deck so America is now pexip. What’s really changed with video and what’s your perspective? looking backwards? Yeah, so

Unknown Speaker 4:53
it has been a good long run. So I got into video conferencing, as you pointed out me back in 94. We’ve become called DT visual images that was acquired by Tandberg in 97. And then I ran tandberg from 97 204. And back then it was all about hardware. I mean, the cool thing is that I’ve been a video conferencing bigot since the beginning. So I, maybe we have something in common, Evan.

Evan Kirstel 5:21
In a good way.

Karl Hantho 5:22
Yes, in a good way. You know, so I’m most productive when I’m on video. And I find that well, I love the ability,

Dave Michels 5:29
you must love being on an audio podcast. And that’s,

Karl Hantho 5:32
well, you know, I was hoping there was a video component to be to be honest day, but that’s okay. At least we can see each other in the preparation for the audio podcast. But yeah, so so so I love the application. I’ve been a diehard believer and how it improves live, meeting productivity and other applications. What’s different to your question is that back in those tambor days, we were selling hardware was super expensive, it was very complicated. The implementation cycle times were long, the technology refresh cycles were expensive. And today, fast forward when I was offered the opportunity to come into the nexio. It’s everything as a service. And as a service completely changes the rules, right, it makes it much more accessible, much more easy to rule out, much more effective at being able to see the difference that enabling anybody anywhere into meetings can happen. So I’ve loved the change. And then the merger to your point sort of puts a software layer on top of it so that we can address both self hosted as well as cloud services. So it’s very different worlds.

Dave Michels 6:35
So tell us a little bit more about this merger. I guess it was announced in 2018. Close in 2019. What was the logic of Pexip and Videxio getting together? Who had the idea first?

Karl Hantho 6:46
Oh, my gosh, I don’t, I’d love to think that we’re both brilliant since it was a merger of equals. But it was a long time coming, I would say because if you sort of it is really cool. When you have two companies that were formed on the basis of a dream that was probably established while they were working at Cisco, they had a dream of enabling meetings to be better. And they left Cisco and they had their tamper DNA attached to that. And they started up pexip and vaxjo, within a year. But we’re part both about making meetings more effective, making it easier to join meetings, breaking down the barriers, both going through channel partners 100%, which is the unique differentiator for our business, both with very similar cultures, one had a mission to do that, as a service, one had a mission to do that as the software. And so with the merging of these companies was super simple on some levels, because the people fit in on the culture side, you know, perfectly they backed, we knew each other a lot of us. We had the same go to market, we had the same mission. We had a different product, but they were super complementary. In fact, the pexip infinity software powered the bid SEO service. So we were technology partner relationships already. And the big difference was we had different workflows. And so we had to work through the integration of workflows to do it in a better way for ourselves and for our partners. And that’s, you know, that was two years ago. So we’ve come a long way since then, but it was the supernatural merger supernatural, I guess, you could say in both the supernatural sense as well as just a very logical merger of the two companies.

Evan Kirstel 8:17
Yeah, both companies were offshoots of Tandberg, or more specifically, the Cisco acquisition of Tandberg, back in the day, two looks like in my count about a dozen Norwegian video companies that came from Tandberg. After that acquisition, what is in the water in Norway, or the air that breeds video conferencing companies?

Karl Hantho 8:39
These software is sort of the the Silicon Valley for videos. So yeah, so there’s, there’s a lot of creativity, I think, the exciting part that there weren’t to your point of and a number of companies that spun off from that era and started up different kinds of businesses built around video conferencing technology platforms to meet the needs that we’d had learned during our 10 years in video conferencing timber and Cisco to do things differently. So yes, it’s there’s a lot of friends and family and it’s a pretty tight family. one big happy family.

Evan Kirstel 9:11
So Pexip created a platform for service providers and the nexio was a service provider that use pexip auroa. If I confuse things here, so what do you offer today and and how is the merger gone?

Karl Hantho 9:25
You haven’t confused things at all. In our go to market we saw the end users we still really three different markets if I could we fell into the the enterprise. The larger the organization, the more complex their needs are, the better Where’s we’re suited to help them solve some of their communication problems. We fell into the government where security and privacy and scale is our hallmarks and that’s what they’re looking for. And then we fell into the healthcare organizations because they’re looking for a telehealth platform that allows for integration of customized workflows and branding and so we fell into those markets. There is a natural distinction between, you know, which of the product sells into which of these markets as a bias depending on the simplicity of the implementation and or the customer’s bias towards security and self management of those solutions. So, we played both sides of that leverage portfolio, You make

Dave Michels 10:17
it sound so easy, but how did it go for your channel partners of both companies? Are they all selling products and services? Or is it products or services? So, I

Karl Hantho 10:27
would say that most recognize that the the opportunity that the full portfolio presents them is a conversation with a customer that isn’t trying to sell them on why cloud or why self hosted and then, you know, pitch the solution. It’s more listen understand your challenge. And what is the best way for you guys to deploy this technology? Would you prefer it as a service? Or would you prefer self hosted or maybe it’s a combination of the two, it’s it’s a hybrid model. But that allows for a much more collaborative conversation. The more interesting thing was because the two businesses already had a go to market strategy that was through the channels, there was a fair amount of overlap between the two of us. And so on some levels, the benefit of us coming together was one, we’re able to be more relevant to those partners and those partners became more relevant to us because we sort of collapsed our businesses together. And through that, we were able to distinguish more carefully, who were the ones that were really into us versus partners that we’re trying to figure out the space. And then this last year has changed everything I would say, because so much of their partner’s core business was put into a state of deferral, that they were looking to figure out how to keep lights on how they they meet the changing demands of the marketplace. And, and they see us more strategically as an important part of their arsenal for the future. So we’ve got great partner commitments, as they look forward into what we all hope to be a return to the office, there’s a whole nother subject. But as we get back to a return to some degree of normalcy,

Dave Michels 12:01
I’m glad I’m glad we’re talking about channel partners, because, you know, we talked to a lot of the a lot of the vendors, a lot of the providers, and of course, it’s no secret that most of video providers did really well during the pandemic. Certainly pexip did, I think I saw a figure like 83%, up year over year and one of your quarterly results and revenue. But how did your channel partners do during the pandemic? I mean, he just said the word deferral, for the general partner see the DEP or do they see an increase?

Karl Hantho 12:29
Certainly we do is through the channels. But they’re, you know, we’re not we’re not all they do clearly. Right. So I think that it’s probably a question best left to them. But I think on the high level that I think it’s easy to say that a lot of the projects that involve doing something in offices, where are those stalled, decisions stalled, or work stalled, and has been a tougher year for our partners? For sure, in the macro sense, some of that to make some changes in personnel staffing reductions, some have just been more careful on what kind of business they go after. We haven’t lost any partners, and no partners have gone into chapter 11. So from that standpoint, I’m hopeful that for them, the year ahead looks more promising than a year behind. For us, we get probably 60% of our lead flow comes within through our partner community through events we put on together. And our relationships, they have severe, a vital part of our community. And we it’s important that they stay healthy.

Evan Kirstel 13:23
Yeah, Dave asked that question because he used to run a channel, Matt have a channel. He was always bitching about his his margins. So I think there’s some some residue issues, residual issues there.

Dave Michels 13:37
At any point in my life, you can say I was always bitching about something.

Karl Hantho 13:42
Yeah, so I was just on that side, because I think there’s another one of the important parts of what differentiates PepsiCo just so that because we have, we’ve never veered from our commitment to our partners. And I think other vendors in the space have come and gone and have been inconsistent and how they treat the channels, we’ve been perfectly honest and straightforward all the way through. And our partner program provides for vulnerable partners as an example, when they register a piece of business, they basically get to F the discount for that piece of business and they’ve left things they need to do mean they need to demonstrate value, they need to demonstrate relationships, they need to be very much part of the sales process. But you know, the way that we structure deal registration is such that those partners that we’re working with that we approved the deal registration for, got our undying focus, and we don’t look at other types of resellers. as competitors, we focus on the customer’s needs and and external competitors. So I think the channel partners blinked our margin opportunity that we present to them, and it’s a recurring revenue model for us. So that’s always good.

Evan Kirstel 14:43
Well done. So looking towards last year, last May almost a year ago, you guys did an IPO. Do you think in retrospect the pandemic helped with that IPO process? Or was it a real challenge to navigate the process in the midst of it pandemic.

Karl Hantho 15:01
I think there are two answers to that, Kevin, I think the process became more challenging because we have to move everything into a virtual set of meetings, which is demonstrating our technology, which is not all bad. But it did. We made the decision to go public in 2018, we knew that there was a market opportunity to we knew that we wanted to accelerate our growth. And so you know, I don’t know if we determined at that point in time exactly how we were going to raise capital, but we made that decision, and then the pandemic hit. So this was an opportunistic, but it was certainly opportunistic timing, because the pandemic, while it may have made the process to go public a little bit more challenging. You know, our business was certainly usually the the benefit of helping customers, whether that’s an enterprise or in healthcare, to accommodate the very quick shifts that were taking place in their requirements. And so we were well positioned to help. At the time of going public, it was a very successful IPO, our company raised about $100 million. And it was significantly oversubscribed. And those monies were completely earmarked to accelerate our growth, largely through hiring people. So we were 200 people roughly at that point in time. Today, we’re over 400 people around the world, in the US. and Canada, we were probably just shy of 40. Today, we’re just shy of 100. And that’s actually since January of last year. So I mean, it’s, it’s crazy how fast we’ve grown to take advantage of the opportunity that’s been presented to us. That’s amazing.

Dave Michels 16:29
You know, Evan, and I talk a lot to different companies, a lot of different cloud companies. And to kind of summarize, they all say the same thing. They all say, blah, blah, blah, is as a service is the future. And they’re all pretty excited about that. Now, your company kind of says that, but that’s up infinity is can also be hosted on prem or through a combination of both. So did you not get the memo? Or what’s what’s going on with that?

Karl Hantho 16:57
I think we’ve all got our blah, blah, blah story, for sure. In the future is bright, I would say I I’m thrilled to not have to go into a customer and say, Hey, you know, have you ever thought of using video conferencing? You know, it’s a great tool, we can help you with productivity? since everybody uses videos. And the question now is, you know, are you using it to obtain the best results for your business? Are you on the right platform and, and that’s where to your question day where our narrative on infinity is a little bit different than other cloud providers, because we can provide all the benefits of a cloud service capability, but with a little bit more customer involvement, if they want to be involved to host that themselves to have better control of their data to customize workflows, leveraging our API’s. And we’ve just launched actually in the same vein in in December, something called pexip, private cloud. So that again, trying to simplify how customers can deploy with us and treat it as a service at the end of the day is a self hosted service where we take away the I wouldn’t call it the pain, but the challenge pains, okay, you can even call that the pain of managing that.

Dave Michels 18:06
You call it that when you take it away, you’re not supposed to call that when you’re when you’re advertising is a new feature. But when it goes away, it’s okay.

Karl Hantho 18:13
There’s a benefit somewhere, it is about trying to simplify the lives of administrators so that they can roll it out more quickly and focus on what they should be focusing on let us manage through the redundancy, the resiliency of the actual compute aspect of our platform.

Evan Kirstel 18:29
So a pexip is a relatively small company compared to Cisco or zoom, or even Google Microsoft, how is that going for you? Yes, you

Karl Hantho 18:38
are correct in saying that we, you know, so So Dave made the mention, we’re about, you know, $83 million business and annual recurring revenue. So we definitely are smaller, we’re much fewer people. That’s true. We’re very focused, we know we do well, but we’re very proud last week to have been on the frost radar, which is a grouping shows that sort of competitive positioning of the top providers in the space. And we are in the top right hand quadrant, alongside some of those majors you just described. Evans. So we’re very proud to be there. But I think it’s because we stick to our knitting, we know we do super well. And we can work with those guys. You know, we do cooperate, there are some customers that, for example, will work with Cisco who have on the desktop side or working with Google meet. And in their shop, they’ve got a lot of Cisco endpoints. And we can work with Cisco to provide that interop

Dave Michels 19:28
capability with their customers. So we’re not always competitors in this ecosystem, we can find ways to, to work together where it makes sense. One of those companies you interoperate with is Google. That’s that’s got to be an interesting story by itself. Because, you know, first off, not many companies interoperate with Google. So that’s unique, I think. But secondly, Google keeps changing what you interoperate with. I mean, I think when you started, it was interoperating with Hangouts, and now I presume it’s interoperating with meat, and I don’t know how many videos actually have. Tell us a bit about that Google relationship. How does that work for you?

Karl Hantho 20:04
It’s good, actually. So it goes back a couple of years. And we are the only ones that are a certified internal partner to Google. So we, we provide the interrupt between it was to your point A, that was hangouts today, it’s meat, and we help traditional endpoints from Cisco from Polly, etc, be able to interrupt into a Google meet session. And that relationship is very strong, it’s very productive. Yeah, we enjoy working with them. Just to do the other part of it being a certified partner, right is that when they make changes, for the most part, they remember that we’re here. So they’re talking to us that we can do the test work in our labs and make sure that whatever they’re going to be rolling out next doesn’t create any interop issues or any other challenges for our customers. So that speaks to the strength of these kinds of partnerships.

Evan Kirstel 20:52
So in addition to Google, the other 800 pound gorilla, besides David Michaels is Microsoft. So who’s a bigger part of your business mix or ecosystem? Is it Google or Microsoft,

Karl Hantho 21:06
bigger would be Microsoft is because they they are such a strong force in the enterprise space. And, you know, we’re we’re one of four certified partners that work with Microsoft, I would say that, I’d like to think that Microsoft was the as their preferred vendor, because we don’t have a competing audio conferencing capabilities. So we’re not competing on this space, we are very much focused on trying to when we go into an account with Microsoft is running on teams, or even with Skype for Business, we’re helping them with that interrupt capability back to the traditional, some call them legacy endpoints came from that world. So I hate to say the word legacy, because I quite like some of these products. And it could be a transition moment before they move to mtrs, Microsoft team rooms, but we we fill an important role in that ecosystem. So we work very closely with Microsoft as we go into these larger organizations and help them with that migration between technologies platforms.

Dave Michels 22:01
So you know, you mentioned that you have a unique relationship with Google. But as Evan pointed out, as you know, the Microsoft ecosystems kind of crowded, there’s a lot of different video options out there. What makes pexip compelling, do you think, what’s your distinctive competence,

Karl Hantho 22:18
I could tell you where we’re going, but then I probably have to kill you, Dave. But today, I’d say that competence speaks both to the kind of the quality of the experience, the focus we have on these experiences. And then as we get into some of these verticals, the ability to leverage our platform to really customize the workflows to meet their needs. And that’s when I look in if you pick healthcare as an example, we distinguish ourselves from others, because we have a platform that, that our partners, like customer partners, that is like the VA, like Kaiser, like cario health have taken the platform and customized it to meet their requirements so that their patient provider experiences the way that they want to have it. And then it integrates into other workflows, including things like epic. So that customization of the experience, the branding of that experience, from a platform level, is how we would distinguish ourselves. So infinity is definitely from a self hosted standpoint, something completely that we really do distinguish ourselves with. On the service side, our biggest challenge as we came into this pandemic is that no one knew us. So we weren’t positioned to sort of jump in front of the massive uptick in usage that the world thought the good news is that they were being reevaluated as organizations rethink what they want to build their futures on. And in that sense, I think some of the strengths that we would promote would be things like our security posture, our scalability, our global into this backbone, so that we provide the kind of experience that our enterprise customers are looking for, that we’re adding new pieces of functionality all the time to try to improve the number of use cases that they can leverage on our service.

Dave Michels 24:02
So Carl, let me ask you in this video space, what kind of innovative approaches is pexip taking to improve the meeting meeting experience,

Unknown Speaker 24:11
we have a number of things actually, that we’ve announced recently and more in the in the books we’ve got. So I don’t know how many meetings you’ve been on to what types of day but we we launched last year. And it’s now integrated into the service, something that we call adaptive composition. Adaptive composition is a means to take a meeting, look at all the individuals in a meeting through the the camera on your device, and then capture those heads in a way that will zoom crop, put them into a logical sequence in the actual display, so that everyone feels about the same size. They’re all feeling like equal participants, and it’s a much more natural meeting experience. And that is all done in the backend of our service. So that’s camera independent. And if customers have got cameras, I’ve got tracking and other kinds of devices. It doesn’t supersede what Those are capabilities are, but it does make everyone part of the meeting and we’re doing a number of other things that speak to how do we because this really I think is the next generation of meetings is how do we leverage AI to improve that meeting experience? How do we make it easier for the join aspect of it? How do we do a better job on the post meeting experience capturing meeting notes and or action items? You know, how do we do a lot of that so that the user participates in the meeting and a lot of the stresses that they may have on how do I join by using the right camera and the right audio experience, those kinds of meeting startup issues are taken off the table, and we make it simpler. So I think AI in general is going to be super helpful in helping users have better experiences, having meetings more productive. And those are the kinds of things that our development team is working on, as we speak.

Evan Kirstel 25:53
Wow, that’s impressive. Just as a feature, I always prefer David Michael to be smaller and less impressive than I am. So just keep that in mind.

Dave Michels 26:02
Everyone is smaller compared to some people.

Evan Kirstel 26:06
Now, when it comes to security, I’m reading here you have, you know, a more secure end to end solution than a lot of vendors out there. But tell us our why pexip claims to be more secure? Sure. Good

Unknown Speaker 26:18
question. So, you know, I think on the meeting service side itself, you know, there’s lots of technical details on us versus others, and where we would show our strength on security, our most demanding customers who are looking for the most secure solutions in the federal government in governments at large, and healthcare, they’re leveraging our infinity platform, our software, to where they’re self hosting it in their compute environment of choice, managed by themselves, or maybe managed by a third party, but it’s keeping the data in their control. If they’re leveraging our private cloud capabilities. Again, they’re able to control where their data resides. So that fundamentally allows for them to feel whether it’s real or perceived much more safe and secure on how their meetings and their data is being managed.

Dave Michels 27:10
In our last podcast, I love it when our podcast actually kind of relate to each other. So in one way or another, but in our last podcast, we had Scott orden from Logitech. I suspect that somebody you know, I know Scott for many years. Yeah. Now, I don’t know what was bigger news from Scott, he announced the Logitech rally bar, as you know. But then the other good news was that pexip was getting into the meeting rooms with the rally bar, I don’t know which is bigger. So So tell us how you decided to get into the meeting room space and why you picked the rally bar to do that.

Unknown Speaker 27:44
Logitech has been a fantastic partner for us, when I talked to our development team, they have been just super to work with and the architecture of their platform and how we view the world are in perfect harmony. So I think the coming to the market together with their new product portfolio has been well received. The reason we did it, and we’re not trying to get into the endpoint business per se, because we don’t sell hardware. So this is definitely leveraging the channels and capability of Logitech is that we’ve got customers that use our meeting service. And what they found frustrating is that they didn’t have a way to enable a physical room with a device that was offering a pexip meeting experience. And so to those kinds of customers that are looking for enhancing the types of meetings, then we now have got a better way to address that void in our portfolio.

Evan Kirstel 28:37
Good stuff. Let’s take a look at web RTC, which has been a long time coming. I recall pexip was one of the first to demonstrate web RTC back in the day. Is WebRTC still an important agenda item for you? Or is it kind of now just baked in the cake.

Unknown Speaker 28:54
I think it’s baked in the cake. And I mean, we’ve been promoting for an awfully long time the join from any device on any browser story. You know, clearly we’ve got our own app. And there are benefits to the app in terms of control and our ability to understand what’s going on from a quality perspective and, and do the analytics piece. But from ease of join, I think that it is baked into the cake. You know the ability to join from any device on any browser and just make it simple is one of our hallmarks. Yeah, and

Evan Kirstel 29:25
speaking of apps, you guys have made quite a few announcements in the telehealth and health tech space. I imagine that’s been quite an eye opening year for you from the start of the pandemic till today. It’s crazy, you know, I

Unknown Speaker 29:40
telehealth back in the day we call the telemedicine and it’s always been from the standpoint of me understanding that application. I’ve always said that it made total sense and why isn’t it taking off and for our telehealth customers for health care customers and service providers. You know, this has been a crazy year. We’ve seen that went from having like 2500 session a day to over 60,000 sessions a day. I mean, they’re just crazy growth in volume, which challenged us, quite honestly, because we had to keep up with them in a very short period of time. But it’s probably the most rewarding if I look at all the applications that we enabled and how we helped our customers. It’s the one vertical that I think I’m most proud to say that we were part of because they have to shift and pivot to meet a requirement that was about providing care to individuals that needed it, that we’re no longer going to get access to a hospital or clinic. And they needed to do it yesterday. And so the creativity and resolve that they had to, to deliver virtual healthcare, telehealth was phenomenal. We are, we’re in a good place to help them get there and very proud of that, that vertical market

Evan Kirstel 30:50
as you should be. And I’ve used telehealth apps over the last year and it’s a tremendous lifesaver, literally, in terms of time, convenience. Otherwise, one day, we may even get Dave Michaels to use a telehealth app, he’s usually you know, faxes, a doctor, you know his request. So you might even get him to come around. He’s just very healthy. He’s a healthy man, he

Unknown Speaker 31:12
doesn’t need the doctor.

Dave Michels 31:13
That’s it. One of the competition is, as I recall from pexip, is to improve your brand recognition, how’s that going?

Unknown Speaker 31:21
It’s a journey. It’s a journey. So we have that is one of our top seven initiatives. This year, we’re spending a lot of money and promoting efforts through social media and leveraging our partner community to try to drive better brand recognition. We spend more and more times with talking points and with other analysts who may or may not know us as well as we’d like and trying to get onto their radar screens to help broaden our awareness in the market. If it doesn’t happen overnight. That’s for sure. And so I think that when I reflect critically on where we are, we are not a household name. And I get that. But I do think that that more and more organizations that are looking for video conferencing platforms that are doing their research are finding us. And that’s heads and tails above where we’ve been two years ago, and we’ve got a long ways to go. It’s a journey. Anything you could do, though, Dave to promote, that would be super fantastic. So continue down that path. Yeah,

Evan Kirstel 32:19
we should even start a podcast.

Unknown Speaker 32:20
I think it’s a I liked that idea. And I liked that idea.

Dave Michels 32:24
You made a vague reference to the future. You said everything’s confidential. So I’m going to ask you again, because we love confidential information. It is just as no one’s listening to this podcast, don’t worry. But let me ask you what’s next? They will maybe not necessarily from a pexa perspective. But what’s next in the video industry? Because over the years, you know, we’ve certainly nailed the high definition video, we’ve nailed noise management, virtual backgrounds, auto framing, you know, we’ve nailed all this stuff in the movie mirror, what’s what’s the head, what’s what’s coming up, what’s the big challenges that we need to solve?

Unknown Speaker 32:58
We haven’t given up yet on the core technology. So we still are all about improving the quality of the audio and video experience. So that’s not dead. I do think though, that now that everyone quote unquote, everyone is using video conferencing, the opportunity for us is to do a better job with integration into other workflows, so that it becomes a much more natural meeting experience to move. Well, I’m going to say from one technology to another because I also have a fundamental belief that there never is going to be a standardization on one solution fits all. So I think that that and most of the research is borne out that that organizations have 234, or five platforms that they leverage for different kinds of application requirements or different divisions, organizations, teams within the organization. So so you know, so if there are so many different technologies that don’t work natively together, how do we piece it together, how to provide a better integrated experience. So workflow integration, I think is going to be critical to really making you know, the meeting experience more productive. So that’s one area, I do think AI is exciting, I think there’s so much that we can do to continue to anticipate the needs of those participants, before they even think they have thought the need so, you know, go back to the joint experience if I if I know what camera choices you’ve got here. And I can see that there’s a better camera that you know, I can do the selection. You don’t even have to think about it. I can make these things happen without you having to worry about technology. These are great enhancements, I think to focusing on what the participants there to do, which is just have a meeting. All right.

Dave Michels 34:36
Well, that sounds like a bowl feature. Oh, well, I think that wraps up our time for this this interview. But this has been a fantastic conversation that I really, really excited about what pexip is doing.

Unknown Speaker 34:46
Thanks, Dave. And thanks, Evan. appreciate both your time today.

Evan Kirstel 34:49
Likewise, thanks so much. Wow, it was great chatting with Carl. I think we need a road trip to Norway to check out the video.

Dave Michels 35:00
I didn’t even mention that with him. I’ve been to pexip world headquarters in Oslo

Evan Kirstel 35:05
via video conference or I’ve actually

Dave Michels 35:07
been there. I walked in the door. I sat I sat in the conference room. This was what, three years ago, but I was there. I been there. And I have to say, the video is not so bad.

Unknown Speaker 35:18
How is the beer in the herring? Well,

Dave Michels 35:21
the hearing is fantastic. I’m not I’m not big on Scandinavian beers, but the hearing was fantastic.

Evan Kirstel 35:26
Well, I have never been there. So I look forward to the pandemic, coming to an end soon and getting on a plane to Oslo. Let’s do it.

Dave Michels 35:34
Let’s do it together. All right.

Unknown Speaker 35:37
You want some information on compensation?

Unknown Speaker 35:48

Unknown Speaker 35:52
You gotta get out of here.

Unknown Speaker 35:56
The phone

Unknown Speaker 36:00
in your phone

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