VMware, Mitel, Vidyo Partner on UC, Video Solution for VDI

VMware is integrating technology from Mitel and Vidyo to give VDI users a single and unified collaboration offering.

VMware is working with Mitel and Vidyo to bring integrated unified communications and video conferencing into its VMware View virtual desktop infrastructure offering.

The three companies are demonstrating the joint solution this week at the VMworld 2013 show in San Francisco. The offering integrates Mitel's virtualized Unified Communicator Advanced client software and Vidyo's VidyConferencing solution with VMware View.

The goal is to give users of VMware's virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) offering a single and unified solution that lets them collaborate via any medium with a simple, low-cost solution that offers business-class communications without impact data center performance.

"This development allows us to deliver yet another important collaboration mode for virtualized UCC deployments," Stephen Beamish, vice president of business development at Mitel, said in a statement. "It's further validation of the power and flexibility that enterprise voice virtualization provides for end customers."

The joint solution, which was announced before VMworld kicked off, is designed to offer a range of communications avenues—from video conferencing and voice to instant messaging, audio and Web conferencing, document sharing, voice messaging and email—in a unified package to VMware View users.

They can use their VMware View client or sign on to another terminal and get access not only to their desktops, but also the various forms of communication that the joint solution enables.

According to company officials, the solution separates communications into two parts—rich media and call processing, which sets up the connections. The call-processing component is transmitted via the data center. Meanwhile, the rich media part is transmitted directly to the endpoints over existing networks, protecting the quality of the stream by not sending it through the data center first.

The work with Mitel and Vidyo is the latest example of VMware leveraging third-party technologies to augment its virtualization technology, according to Vittorio Viarengo, vice president of end-user computing at VMware.

"Mitel and Vidyo have demonstrated what is possible with a strong partner community," Viarengo said in a statement. "Both companies are committed to an open architectural approach, and this has enabled us to work together to achieve dramatic technical leaps that better serve our customers."

VMware and Mitel teamed up two years ago when they demonstrated at VMworld 2011 that they could stream virtualized voice to a virtual desktop without significantly impacting performance and latency, according to the companies.

The announcement also comes two months after Mitel and Vidyo unveiled a partnership in which Mitel brought video capabilities to its UC offerings by integrating Vidyo's software-based solutions with its entire line of collaboration products. Mitel also incorporated Vidyo's technology into its MiCloud cloud-based communications suite.

With the explosion of mobile devices and the increasing mobility of the workforce, video conferencing is rapidly moving away from being a hardware play to more of a software-based technology, enabling users to collaborate from wherever they are and on whatever device they want. Not only are established players like Cisco Systems and Polycom rapidly building up their software capabilities, but the drive also has given rise to smaller companies like Vidyo and Blue Jeans Networks, which offer software-only video conferencing solutions.