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Mitel, Vidyo bolster partnership, video collaboration tools

Mitel has strengthened its partnership with Vidyo in order to boost video collaboration tools within its unified communications services.

The popularity of video collaboration tools among enterprises has been gaining steam, prompting unified communications (UC) vendors to ramp up their offerings to meet the growing demand.

Mitel Networks Corp., based in Kanata, Ont., is one of the latest UC vendors to enhance its video collaboration tools. The company recently announced a fortified partnership with Vidyo, a software-based video company based in Hackensack, N.J. 

The OEM agreement lets Mitel leverage Vidyo's APIs to embed multipoint video, audio and collaboration features inside various Mitel services. The VidyoWorks platform is now fully integrated into Mitel's MiCollab software, allowing for expanded video conferencing capabilities by providing scalability across different endpoints on a service that already included real-time voice, video, instant messaging and Web collaboration.

The agreement means Mitel's 3,500 channel partners have "scalable video conferencing and collaboration to virtually any endpoint," Vidyo announced in a blog.

The two companies first partnered in 2013, but Mitel essentially served as a distributor for Vidyo.

IT consumerization drives demand for video collaboration tools

Since 2009, when businesses started buying video applications, more enterprises have adopted the medium for their workers, according to Whit Andrews, an analyst at Gartner Inc., based in Stamford, Conn. This pattern is an example of the consumerization of IT. The more workers used popular consumer video services, such as YouTube or FaceTime, the more people asked for video at work. 

According to an upcoming Gartner report, expected to be released this month, video systems purchased for huddle rooms will account for 10% of the market this year and 20% in 2016. The report estimates that group video conferencing usage throughout the enterprise will increase 400% by 2019.

Several vendors are providing video collaboration tools. The industry is occupied with the likes of Google, Avaya and Microsoft, which recently released Office 365 with enhanced video calling capabilities in Skype for Business.

Cisco, too, recently announced its intent to acquire video software company Acano for $700 million. Though Cisco has WebEx video conferencing, Acano's products can help solve the difficulties companies have in communicating with employees, partners and customers using other video products.

These vendors are looking to fill a demand that is expected to grow next year, according to a report from Nemertes Research, based in Mokena, Ill. The report found that 77% of IT leaders expect desktop cloud-based video use to grow.

Enterprises view video as "another means of communication," said Dan Rayburn, an analyst at Frost & Sullivan Inc., based in San Antonio.

"Every year, enterprises are being told to do more with less, so vendors are trying to cram more functionality in their platforms," he said. Vendors are "trying to integrate more video into collaboration tools."

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