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Platform as a service's video APIs enable video in every app

The newly released Vidyo PaaS, Vidyo.io, has won TechTarget's Network Innovation Award, for allowing developers to embed video conferencing capabilities into business apps.

For years, Vidyo has provided the enterprise with multiparty video conferencing capabilities, both as an on-premises platform and more recently as a cloud-based service. Now it's also offering a new platform as a service (PaaS) called Vidyo.io -- the winner of TechTarget's latest Network innovation Award. Vidyo.io offers a DIY version of the company's flagship technology, letting developers embed multiparty video conferencing into any business application. With tools and video APIs available at no cost, developers can experiment with the technology with little risk and the promise of significant rewards -- crystal clear video, reliable call quality and a slew of promising use cases.

SearchNetworking spoke with Eran Westman, president and CEO at Vidyo, to learn more about the new platform as a service.

Editor's note: This interview has been lightly edited for length and clarity.

What problem does Vidyo.io solve?

Eran Westman: Vidyo.io is for anyone who wants to add video conferencing into an application -- whether for healthcare, education, customer engagement or any other use case. We offer high-quality, embedded video at scale, in a very simple set of video APIs that an HTML developer can edit.

Why make the video APIs free for developers to try?

Westman: We have worked with thousands of customers to build applications with embedded video, but there are only so many users we can reach with our own sales force. Because of that, we tend to focus on certain verticals, such as healthcare and financial services, but I believe there are endless opportunities and use cases for Vidyo -- in healthcare, banking, education, artificial intelligence, the internet of things, virtual reality and more. Our vision is to video-enable anything, anywhere. We want to make it available to everyone, so the video APIs are free for everyone to try.

Video maintains those relationships that disappear when users rely on text messages or voice calls.

How has your experience in on-premises video conferencing influenced the new Vidyo.io platform?

Westman: We have worked so long with the enterprise that we have an advantage, which helps us offer the right set of simplified video APIs in Vidyo.io. Bloomberg is a great example. They really helped us harden our platform and understand their requirements for security, scalability and how to make video collaboration a mission-critical tool. This experience enabled us to offer the right set of simplified video APIs in Vidyo.io.

How does the technology work?

Westman: Our 'secret sauce' is in our video routing. A selective forwarding unit, or SFU, makes the infrastructure dynamically optimize the video transmitted and received on any endpoints. The SFU is continually assessing any endpoints on the call to make sure users get the best output possible. At any given time, we are measuring CPU, bandwidth and real estate -- whether a laptop or mobile device, we optimize the video for the given screen.

Unlike many other technologies, we are not going to reduce the call to the lowest common denominator, which means if someone calls from a mobile on a bad wireless network, we are not putting everyone on that same poor quality. We give every caller the best quality they can receive and transmit.

Can you describe the experience of a new Vidyo.io user?

Westman: Developers can visit our Vidyo.io website, where they can sign up for free. Then they can look at a sample application that we have built, and they can start to play with the video APIs. Basically, they can edit an existing application or build their own application. Everything else is managed by Vidyo.io, so they don't need to think about hosting. They don't need to think about video streaming. They don't need to think about management. The only thing they need to do is to take our video API and embed it into whatever they are building through the API code. Everything else in the background is managed by Vidyo.io, including analytics.

Can you give us an example of an existing Vidyo.io user?

Westman: Two customers -- OnCall from Canada and PlusGuidance from the United Kingdom -- both offer telepsychiatry services. Both were actually using different video conferencing platforms from other providers, and they were not happy with the quality -- they experienced poor resolution, calls failing to connect and calls disconnecting in the middle of conversations.   

In video, everything that goes wrong is obvious to the end users. If you spend money to build an application, you charge money from your customers, and you give them something that is unreliable, they are not very excited about that.

You say Vidyo envisions a completely video-enabled world. Why is that important?

Westman: We believe it improves productivity and makes life easier. Video also maintains those relationships that disappear when users rely on text messages or voice calls. I enjoy every time I do a call over Vidyo. Look at us having this conversation -- next time we see each other, it will be as though we have already met.

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