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Vidyo migrating to video APIs from enterprise video conferencing

With its video platform as a service, Vidyo is focused on embedding video into workflows. But is this focus too narrow, or can it be positioned as a leading platform?

Vidyo has offered video conferencing platforms to help enterprises run unified communications services on premises and enabled cloud providers to offer the same capabilities as a managed service. Now, Vidyo is launching, a communications platform as a service offering video APIs that enterprises and developers can embed in business applications.

In recent years, enterprises and vendors have migrated from on-premises products to cloud-based services. This migration seems to be accelerating in most areas handled by enterprise IT, and communications seems to be the latest piece in this trend.

Communication vendors are shifting to the cloud by offering unified communications as a service, or UCaaS, and trying to offer communications platform as a service, or CPaaS, on top of their UCaaS offerings.

We've seen this trend in Cisco's introduction of Spark, the growth of Skype for Business and Vonage's acquisition of Nexmo. In a way, vendors are trying to translate their on-premises products into cloud-based services. At the same time, they're trying to gain a foothold in the growing API market.

Vidyo is doing something similar, but different at the same time. Vidyo has translated its on-premises products into a cloud service, called VidyoCloud, and it introduced video APIs for developers.

Vidyo has always had a relationship with developers. From its early days, Vidyo has offered a software developer's kit (SDK) for its scalable video coding technology. At one point, Vidyo's SDK was embedded in Google Hangouts.

While Vidyo's main business focused on enterprise video conferencing, many of its customers seem to have used its API and SDK capabilities, integrating and branding the resulting service. To that extent, Vidyo's new video APIs could extend the vendor's reach toward a larger customer base, with lower friction in the customer acquisition process.

Video APIs an 'interesting gamble'

Interestingly, Vidyo is staying focused on the video communications market. The vendor is not growing horizontally toward other communication capabilities, such as audio-only or IP messaging. Vidyo is opting to bank on its knowledge of real-time video processing.

This approach is different than other UC vendors and CPaaS players. Cisco Spark, for example, is a migration from a phone-centric system toward a messaging-centric service. Microsoft just unveiled Teams to compete with Slack, another messaging-centric service. And Twilio, a CPaaS vendor, is adding horizontal services almost weekly.

This sharp focus on video communications is an interesting gamble by Vidyo. It could be a success, by positioning Vidyo as the top-of-the-line alternative in video communications for developers who wish to embed such capabilities in their enterprise workflows.

Or, it can pit Vidyo against vendors who offer broader portfolios and capabilities. In this case, a target customer could pick a best-of-suite service with a single vendor instead of opting for services from multiple vendors.

Vidyo would do well to get its customers to adopt its video APIs. The vendor could position itself as a leading platform for enterprise developers who need a video communication tool as part of their service.

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