Radvision – a new force in the VC market

Posted on

The Scopia XT1000 is a dual full HD solution delivering two 1080p 30fpsvideo streams as standard.

Already known as the supplier of the base technology for other VC vendors, Radvision’s acquisition of endpoint manufacturer Aethra has enabled the company to enter the VC solutions market under its own brand. VC Futures examines the company’s aspirations and go-to-market strategy.

While the videoconferencing market has often flattered to deceive, the drivers behind the current market impetus make the adoption of business video communication by the mainstream inevitable. Current forecasts show an average 16% annual growth rate for VC sales, but our view is that the rate of acceleration could be much greater than that once critical mass is achieved.

Perhaps the one remaining objection among the wider business community is that of price, and here the problem of perception rather than reality. The entry of LifeSize and now Radvision to the market has done much to drive price competition, but there will be a time lag before the message reaches end-users.

Products

Radvision made its reputation in video communication as a technology provider to other VC vendors. The acquisition of Aethra’s endpoint business in February of this year created the opportunity for the Israeli developer and manufacturer to offer complete solutions under its own brand.

In essence, Radvision will supply room and desktop endpoints, web-based and mobile solutions plus infrastructure products and technologies to enable resellers and integrators to build end-to-end solutions from the Radvision portfolio. It is true to say that the product range is not as comprehensive as, say, Polycom, but the products are tried and tested, albeit in a different guise.

For those unfamiliar with the products, the room system is called the Scopia XT1000. It is a dual full HD solution delivering two 1080p 30fpsvideo streams as standard. The high end PTZ (Pan-Tilt-Zoom) camera has 10x optical zoom and wide angle capability for viewing details as well as an entire group. It is included in the solution, again as standard.  The second 1080p video stream can be used with an additional 1080p camera to increase coverage, or with a PC for data sharing.

Radvision’s CEO Boaz Raviv: “I am ready to move tens of millions of dollars made through the use of our technology by OEMs to you.”

Radvision says that the Scopia XT1000 represents the best of Aethra’s room system technology supplemented by its own. The product is designed to support continuous presence meetings with up to nine participants, utilising the XT1000’s built-in MCU. Voice capture is handled by a three way Beam Forming Microphone, with 48 kHz (full band) audio encoding. Microphones can be doubled up in larger rooms.

The technology is sophisticated and the components have been extensively tested, but it is the price that will come as a surprise to end-users with the widely held view that VC is expensive. The XT1000 base system, inclusive of a 10x optical zoom camera and 3-way microphone pod, lists at £5,490.  Options include four and nine participant integrated MCUs, 12 Mbps extended data rate and additional cameras and microphone pods.

Personal solutions

Radvision’s ambitions go way beyond the traditional videoconferencing suite or VC enabled meeting room. Scopia technology extends to both desktop and mobile solutions, and an early statement of intent was signalled by Radvision’s partnership with Samsung on the VC240.

Tagged the Scopia VC240 in the Radvision catalogue, this desktop model is all-in-one HD videoconferencing solution has a 24” widescreen LCD monitor, an HD camera, high fidelity speakers and dual echo cancelling microphones. It attractions to the end-user are, first, that it can double as a high resolution monitor for a PC, and, second, the price. It is available to resellers for under £2,000.

Buyers still in need of some convincing even have the opportunity to try out the advantages of business quality video without investing in any dedicated hardware at all. Using Radvision’s Scopia Desktop users have the option of evaluating high performance video conferencing with a standard PC and Internet connection.

The technology of Desktop is a web browser plug-in that is centrally managed and deployed without complex licensing fees or installation issues. It is HD H.264 compliant for both video and data collaboration. Its audio system provides echo cancellation, background noise suppression and is said to be highly resilient to packet loss errors common on the Internet.

As well as enabling end-users to ‘try before they buy’, Scopia Desktop enable remote workers to take part in meetings, participate in video conferences when on the road and to collaborate with partners and suppliers.

For those who need the ultimate in mobility, Radvision has developed an app that enables meeting participants to receive the presentation materials from a meeting with a smartphone or, perhaps more usefully, an iPad running Scopia Mobile. At the company’s recent product showcases for resellers and integrators this mobile functionality was extended with Scopia Control for the XT1000, using the iPad as a control and moderation device in addition to the functions offered by Scopia Mobile.

Channel strategy

Its acquisition of Aethra has enable Radvision to enter the market with a range of infrastructure and endpoint solutions that will appeal to the emerging SME market for videoconferencing, as well as to traditional VC buyers. New players with Radvision’s credentials don’t come along very often in the VC space, and so distribution rights have been something of a hot property.

For the UK, Radvision has chosen to appoint Midwich and the less familiar Video Corporation. The latter is the reincarnation of the former Aethra UK, a venture supported by the highly experienced Imago Group, as is Video Corporation. Radvision’s CEO Boaz Raviv is confident that there will be more than enough business around for both distributors and their channel partners. “I am ready to move tens of millions of dollars made through the use of our technology by OEMs to you,” said Raviv at a Video Corporation hosted product showcase.

From a channel perspective, the exciting thing about the entry of Radvision into the UK market is that the products are not over distributed nor is it ridiculously difficult to get accreditation. The channel is clean. We are assured that is only one direct relationship between a Scottish reseller and Radvision, creating a level playing field for the channel to buy into the brand.

Both Video Corporation and Midwich have dedicated teams to help resellers and integrators new to the market find their feet. Andy Wright, MD of Video Corporation, has a field sales team to recruit and support channel partners. Midwich has a team including Warren Bremnrer and Jonathan Morris, with others undergoing training on the product. Midwich was in the process of opening a London showroom for VC products as this article was being prepared.

Opportunity

The entry of Radvision into the UK market is well timed to coincide with an upsurge of interest in videoconferencing as a means of cutting travel costs and driving business efficiencies. The company is not of course the only provider of affordable VC technology, but the fresh approach, the targeting of new buyers and a commitment to marketing its solutions in partnership with its distributors seems, to us, to offer an opportunity to those resellers and integrators established in the market and those considering entering the market for the first time.


This entry was posted in Features. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

issue link

Channel Zone

Video Reports:

Fatal error: Uncaught exception 'Zend_Gdata_App_HttpException' with message 'Expected response code 200, got 410 GDataNoLongerAvailableExceptionNo longer available' in /var/www/ucnews/wp-content/plugins/VCNews-Youtube/Zend/Gdata/App.php:709 Stack trace: #0 /var/www/ucnews/wp-content/plugins/VCNews-Youtube/Zend/Gdata.php(221): Zend_Gdata_App->performHttpRequest('GET', 'http://gdata.yo...', Array, NULL, NULL, NULL) #1 /var/www/ucnews/wp-content/plugins/VCNews-Youtube/Zend/Gdata/App.php(875): Zend_Gdata->performHttpRequest('GET', 'http://gdata.yo...', Array) #2 /var/www/ucnews/wp-content/plugins/VCNews-Youtube/Zend/Gdata/App.php(763): Zend_Gdata_App->get('http://gdata.yo...', NULL) #3 /var/www/ucnews/wp-content/plugins/VCNews-Youtube/Zend/Gdata/App.php(205): Zend_Gdata_App->importUrl('http://gdata.yo...', 'Zend_Gdata_YouT...', NULL) #4 /var/www/ucnews/wp-content/plugins/VCNews-Youtube/Zend/G in /var/www/ucnews/wp-content/plugins/VCNews-Youtube/Zend/Gdata/App.php on line 709