A group of ex-Tandberg and Cisco executives have launched a software-based video conferencing service that works across traditional hardware systems, the browser and mobile devices.
Pexip Infinity is an all-software, pay-as-you-go, virtualized platform that requires no upfront hardware costs. A customer can set up multiple virtual meeting rooms for any number of users.
Services like Google Hangout and Skype provide a mass-market way for really anyone to do video conferencing. These online services have disrupted the video conferencing world. There is also a new generation of video conferencing services that have emerged. But the abstraction of hardware is also making IT rethink its approach to investing in high-end systems that can cost millions to install across a worldwide network of offices.
Pexip executives see its value in running software that can be optimized to the end point where it is running. Pexip Infinity can run on Cisco, Polycom or Lifesize video-conferencing systems. It supports Microsoft Lync and WebRTC. With WebRTC, the browser is the end-point. No Flash or other plug-in is required. Mobile users follow a link to participate in a video-conferencing session.
The Pexip software maximizes the bandwidth. It understands who is presenting and who is watching. A presenter, for instance, would appear in high-definition video. People watching would only get the bandwidth they need to participate.
By licensing its software based on usage, the service is more affordable than integrated hardware and software-based systems. By using a software-only approach, Pexip appeals to the people who work at home on a laptop. People on the road can use an iPad or a smart device to access a video-conference session.
Pexip has people with the experience to appeal to customers who buy high-end gear. But there are a growing number of services that are developing new kinds of software and cloud-based video conferencing services.
In April. Telefonica’s TokBox launched Mantis, a cloud-based platform that adds some smarts to WebRTC. A focus of the efforts is on building out a developer community that will use WebRTC and the TokBox platform to build out their own types of apps and services.
The Pexip approach is less about building a developer community than appealing to the CIO who can use software to cut hardware costs and appeal to all those people who work at home on mobile devices.