Lifesize Communications is adding to its cloud video conferencing capabilities by offering a service that enables users to record, save and share their video calls and to house those recordings in a cloud-based personal video library.
Recording and sharing video calls can be done on equipment that's on the market, but it's not an easy process, according to Michael Helmbrecht, vice president of marketing at Lifesize. There are multiple steps that need to be taken and videos must be downloaded and stored on a user's own system. IT support is often needed, content delivery can need extensive networking support, and security can be dicey, Helmbrecht told eWEEK.
Lifesize Cloud Amplify, which is available immediately, is designed to make the process easier, he said.
"We want anyone to record on any device," Helmbrecht said, noting that users increasingly want to be able to quickly access and share their recordings.
Being able to do so will help a wide range of departments within a business, from human resources professionals who want to record everything from all-hands meetings and training videos to sales groups to capture presentations and share them with prospective customers to teachers who want to keep video of their classes on hand.
Through Amplify, meeting participants only need a single click to record from their notebook, tablet, smartphone or Lifesize Icon video system that is paired with the Lifesize Cloud. The software records not only the video and audio, but also the content shared during the session.
The technology also creates a personal library in the Lifesize Cloud—officials describe it as being similar to YouTube—and automatically stores the recording in the library. Through Cloud Amplify, users can view the recording or share it with other participants. Videos can be added to a watch list, and users can "like" the most popular of them. By tagging colleagues, the recorded video can be added to their personal libraries.
Amplify's cloud capabilities mean greater control and security for businesses, according to Lifesize officials. Account managers can control who sees the recordings, and automatic reporting features let them meter video usage across their company. It's also easily scalable.
Lifesize—a division of Logitech—is offering the service as an addition to its annual subscription, with plans starting at $4,000 a year for unlimited recordings and a 15-hour video library. Current and prospective Lifesize Cloud customers can get a free trial.
Helmbrecht said Lifesize officials are looking at ways to expand the capabilities of Amplify, including enabling users to create channels or federate between libraries.
The Amplify service is part of Lifesize's aggressive push into the cloud, which kicked off early last year under founder and CEO Craig Malloy. The company's move away from its roots as an on-premises video conferencing hardware maker is in line with the demand from businesses trying to manage such trends as increasing workforce mobility, bring-your-own-device (BYOD) and social software. Lifesize has moved quickly to expand its cloud capabilities, including adding a dashboard monitoring system, supporting Microsoft's Internet Explorer and Lync communications platform, and enabling scheduling through Microsoft Outlook and Google Calendar.
Lifesize Cloud interoperates with video conferencing products from the likes of Cisco Systems, Polycom and Avaya.
IDC analysts have been tracking the transition in the video conferencing space away from traditional on-premises equipment to software- and cloud-based offerings.
"IDC survey adoption data indicates that video is still a key component of collaboration and continues to place high on the list of priorities for many organizations," Petr Jirovsky, research manager for IDC's Worldwide Networking Trackers unit, said in a statement in June. "And customers continue to work through determining how best to provision their video deployments, as more software-centric and cloud-based service offerings become part of the enterprise video market landscape."
Other established players like Cisco and Polycom also are growing out their cloud capabilities, while a growing number of smaller vendors—like Vidyo, Zoom Communications and Blue Jeans Network—are pushing their own cloud- and software-only solutions.