The promise of video conferencing offers benefits that are appealing to almost any company. Employees can collaborate across geographies and time zones without the need to travel, they save money and it improves their work-life balance. As a result, employees are happier, more productive and travel costs and time are significantly reduced.
“Although the adoption of video conferencing has steadily increased, one of the key constraints to date has been that it requires a dedicated IP network connection and this cannot be achieved cost effectively in all cases,” says Craig Watson, director of Q-Distribution.
“The cost of this dedicated connectivity hinders video conferencing from becoming a truly universal tool that can be used by any employee, from anywhere.”
High quality bandwidth can be defined as a connection that delivers high enough bandwidth to avoid congestion or one where the priority of the traffic can be controlled. This requirement can significantly increase the cost of a corporate video conferencing deployment by requiring a business-class service with MPLS for quality of service (QoS). And as users know, quality costs money.
Over the past 10 years, companies have redesigned their data and communications infrastructure to leverage the cost advantages of IP networks. The TDM networks of the past consisted of network silos where a separate network was built for each individual application or service.
With IP, a common transport is used with multiple applications using a common infrastructure. Ironically, the suggested approach to video conferencing from some of the larger vendors is to go backwards in time and build a separate video conferencing network using ISDN or dedicated leased lines.
“There is no argument that video conferencing increases the bandwidth requirements of a network,” adds Watson. “The traditional view has been to build out a separate overlay network designed to support the performance requirements of video. Vidyo has taken a very different approach and created a technology that can actually adapt to the network being used as well as the endpoint device.”
Adaptive Video Layering optimises a video stream based on the network characteristics and endpoint capabilities. This technology delivers native rate and resolution matching, optimising the performance on each endpoint. The significance of this is that it allows any endpoint to become a video conferencing device and it can work over a broadband connection starting at about 500Kbps.
With this approach, companies do not need to deploy additional networks or reduce the priority of other communications traffic using expensive business class services. Rather, they can leverage the lowest cost broadband Internet access available, including consumer grade ADSL.
This changes the network economics of deploying a universal video conferencing solution that can be used by any employee, from almost anywhere.
“While high-speed broadband is becoming widely available, solutions from the traditional video conferencing vendors work best with business-class bandwidth of approximately 1Mbps to 2Mbps, which is not available everywhere,” notes Watson.
“Vidyo has taken on this challenge with its patented Adaptive Video Layering to make high-definition video conferencing not just a promise for the future, but a promise with concrete benefits that can be delivered to every employee today.”