Another competitor enters the video conferencing arena today as Oslo-based video conferencing startup Pexip, founded by former Cisco and Tandberg executives, announces general availability of its Pexip Infinity video conferencing platform. I spoke with Pexip CEO Simen Teigre about the platform's benefits, customers, and competition.
When it comes to enterprise video collaboration, Pexip identified both strong desire and significant challenges. "Customers love video and want to move to more video," Teigre told me, but struggle to find a platform that can provide scalable, affordable, enterprise-wide audio and video collaboration "without breaking the bank or the network." Pexip Infinity, he explained, solves these problems.
As Sean Michael Kerner reported for Enterprise Networking Planet back in June, Pexip Infinity is a virtual software platform for video and voice collaboration, with a distributed architecture that minimizes bandwidth use. The vendor touts the platform's flexibility and ability to fit with various data center strategies, whether those strategies focus on on-premises deployments, virtualization, or private cloud. Two different pricing models and affordable licensing sweeten the deal.
So does Pexip Infinity's promise of simplicity. "Pexip is all about simplicity. We've made it very simple to buy and simple to deploy, and our partners should enjoy a very simple process in terms of working with us," Teigre said.
As an example, he mentioned a "large enterprise customer" who deployed the solution ahead of general availability. "They got our software and our simple deployment guide. They called us back after 35 minutes. Not to ask us questions or to ask for help, but to tell us that they could not believe how easy this was."
According to Teigre, other pre-GA customers are also excited about the product. Pexip already has twenty channel partners and fifty enterprise customers around the world, four of them Fortune 500 companies. Among those customers are large international law firms, news and media companies, and the kinds of finance and health care organizations that often constitute the crown jewels of a vendor's installed base.
Of particular interest are Pexip's benefits to service providers. There is "a huge push towards consuming this from the cloud, and the interest from service provider partners who want to take Pexip Infinity and build that into their own video-as-a-service platforms has been tremendous," Teigre said. The platform's scalability and flexibility make it ideal for such applications, he explained.
Pexip Infinity's competition
Pexip Infinity is, of course, not the only video conferencing player in the space, but Teigre expressed confidence in the platform's overall superiority. Blue Jeans, for example, is "a cloud service only, whereas Pexip is a product platform that you can buy to deploy on-premises or to use in a service provider platform," he told me. Reiterating his point about service providers, he said that they "want to build a service like Blue Jeans, but on Pexip." Teigre added that "if you like Blue Jeans, you're going to love Pexip." Vidyo, meanwhile, is "doing some awesome stuff, but their technology removes some of the interoperability that's so important," he said. Pexip provides native support for every endpoint, he asserted.
When it comes to video conferencing, Teigre listed five concepts that, in his opinion, are necessary for successful video conferencing solutions. Those five concepts are interoperability, virtualization, distribution, flexible licensing, and a software-only model. Some vendors are achieving some of those goals; Vidyo is the closest, Teigre said, "but they are compromising interoperability." Pexip claims it is the only video conferencing vendor hitting all five points.
The Cisco Tandberg connection
While Teigre freely admits that the Cisco Tandberg experience he and Pexip CTO Hakon Dahle bring to the table has "been fundamental to our understanding of what's going on" in the video conferencing world, he stressed that Pexip brings a whole new approach to the problem. "As we left Cisco, we left all the legacy thinking behind. In fact, we did not want engineers who were stuck in the old ways. We threw everything out and started from scratch," he said.
That approach has so far yielded success for the company.
"We're very proud of the team and what they've accomplished," Teigre said.
Jude Chao is executive editor of Enterprise Networking Planet. Follow her on Twitter @judechao.