Vidyo Plug-In to Bring HD Video to IBM Lotus Sametime

Vidyo's new plug-in will enable users to IBM's Sametime UC platform to easily initiate and participate in HD video collaboration sessions.

Video conferencing vendor Vidyo next week will show off a new plug-in that will enable users of IBM's Lotus Sametime unified communications platform to easily start and participate in high-definition video conferences

The company will demonstrate the new Vidyo Plug-In for IBM Lotus Sametime Connect at the Lotusphere 2011 conference in Orlando, Fla., which runs Jan. 30 through Feb. 3. According to Vidyo officials, the technology will offer telepresence-like, multiparty video conferences over the Internet on the user's desktop or laptop PC. The plug-in will be available later this quarter, according to the company.

The new technology, announced Jan. 25, will let IBM offer HD video conferencing capabilities in a less expensive format than more traditional telepresence platforms, like those from Cisco Systems, according to Vidyo officials. In addition, it will give Vidyo-which is battling in an increasingly competitive space with the likes of Cisco, Polycom, Microsoft and Hewlett-Packard-access to a Lotus user base of more than 145 million licenses, according to Vidyo CEO Ofer Shapiro.

With the plug-in, those Lotus users "will now have the ability to interact and collaborate using a much higher-quality, natural video communication," Ofer said in a statement. "It makes good business sense for organizations to deploy the Vidyo system to be used as a natural, productive extension of everyday work flow."

Businesses that are looking to reduce expenses-including travel costs-while increasing employee productivity are looking at video conferencing as a key tool. Cisco officials have said they expect that within a few years, video will account for more than 90 percent of Internet traffic, and will be the top driver of a collaboration industry that will exceed $90 million.

Cisco is looking to bulk up its video collaboration offerings through internal innovation and acquisitions of companies such as rival Tandberg, while others-including Polycom-are partnering with a wide range of communications and collaboration technology vendors. Vidyo also is pushing such alliances, such as its partnership with Adobe to integrate its technology with Adobe's Connect platform and a deal forged with HP in June 2010.

Vidyo officials have said their technology enables users to get HD video conferencing capabilities without having to invest in a lot of new equipment or networking gear. They said their deal with IBM will further increase the company's reach. Its technology is based on the H.264 SVC (Scalable Video Coding) standard, and will enable Sametime users to easily take advantage of video collaboration. The plug-in will launch the VidyoDesktop client in a way similar to how other communications technology are launched, the company said. For example, users will be able to initiate video conferences from within the Sametime instant messaging session, and will easily be able to add or invite other participants though a single click via IM, e-mail or a calendar invitation.

Users will be able to check a person's availability through presence and connect through video, text or voice.

The new plug-in supports IBM's Sametime Connect Client version 7.5.1 or 8.0.2 and Lotus Domino Community Server version 7.5.1, and runs on Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7 and Mac OS.