Vidyo Got a Cloud

by Dave Michels

No other vendor in enterprise communications solicits such broad reactions as Vidyo. I think it is one of the most misunderstood companies simply because it’s not quite like any other vendor.

Some people see their enterprise solutions and see a Polycom. Others see their patents and assume they are a patent pool like MPEG/LA. Then there’s those that see their move from software to services and see them as a pivot. Still others see their use of WebRTC technologies and assume they are doomed. None of these views are right.

Vidyo is actually a company that’s still on its early mission of video-enabling everything. That goal might be considered a BHAG by Collins or an MTP by Diamandis. It’s a broad goal, and the “pivots” in portfolio are representative of how technology evolved. For example, cloud really wasn’t there when Vidyo started.

The big news this month is Vidyo got it’s third CEO. I still occasionally speak with the first and founder CEO Ofer. He’s was the technologist, and he’s having fun now as an angel investor. I just saw CEO #2, Eran, a few weeks ago at the Telehealth Summit. He is likable, yet intimidating. I also briefly met CEO #3, Michael Patsalos-Fox, at the Telehealth Summit.

If you are confused about Vidyo or just want to know more, then download the latest TalkingPointz Research Note: Vidyo Embedded in the Cloud

Patsalos-Fox attended the Summit as a board member. Little did I know he was CEO-on-deck. I did have a few conversations with him, but he’s a quiet one. Perhaps that’s a result of his previous engagement as CEO of Stroz Friedberg. These are Cyber-Security spooks/sleuths.  Michael left Stroz Friedberg after it was acquired.

Patsalos-Fox has been on the Vidyo board since 2013, and Chairman for the past several months. Has a long and impressive background with McKinsey & Company where he served as chairman of McKinsey Americas. He also served as a senior partner on McKinsey’s operating committee for nine years and held a seat on the board for 12 years. No wonder he was quiet when we spoke, I wasn’t paying those McKinsey rates.

The official word is he has no plans to change the current strategy. Yeah, new CEOs generally leave everything the way they find them.

The Telehealth Summit I mentioned above was a Vidyo event in Nashville with over 170 customers, partners, and thought leaders discussing Telehealth in person. It is rare to see an enterprise comms vendor so entrenched in a vertical. That brings me back to the opening point about understanding Vidyo. The company really just wants its customers to build video-enabled applications with its technology. The primary solution for this was VidyoWorks. The new approach is is a video-centric CPaaS. Like other CPaaS models the technology is used to enrich other applications.

Vidyo is working to video enable everything – from hardware devices (such as ATMs), websites, and of course mobile apps. If they do it right, the underlying video technology is completely invisible and embedded. This is what most of the Telehealth companies at the summit were doing.

Vidyo is also building traction in areas such as telepsychiatry, large global banks, peer group mentoring, online workplaces, educational apps, and more.

By the way, what do you see in the Vidyo logo? It’s like one of those Magic-Eye posters because there’s different ways people see it. I see a person talking to another person in a video conference. The room’s floor is blue.