MSP Success: Video Cloud New Face of Video Conferencing
By Sharon Linsenbach, Channel Insider
With CompTIA's support, start-up Video Cloud sees incredible opportunites to bring video conferencing and unified communications solutions to the SMB market.
It's hard to be optimistic in troubled economic times, but Jim Drohan and Paul Goldman, co-Founders of Video Cloud are just that. Fresh from the launch of Video Cloud in May 2009, Drohan and Goldman are seeing incredible interest in their managed video conferencing solutions both from small-to-midsized businesses and solution providers serving that market.
"Contrary to what you might think, the timing is just great. Solution providers are looking for new solutions that they can offer customers that are affordable, easy to deploy and use," says Drohan. With corporations trying their best to slash budgets and do more with less, Drohan says travel budgets are one of the first line-items to be eliminated from yearly budgets, making video conferencing solutions an even more enticing alternative.
"In the current economic state, travel is just out of the question. Even on a personal level, people aren't traveling even for vacations, much less to trade shows or for on-site sales meetings," Drohan says. Video Cloud offers a hybrid appliance/managed service delivery model, and will go to market exclusively through reseller partners.
The appliance is installed at a solution providers' site, and then that partner delivers video conferencing solutions — as well as unified communications capabilities — on a monthly subscription model, Goldman and Drohan explain.
Though video conferencing solutions have been available for at least ten years, widespread adoption has been hindered by technical glitches, performance degradation and a high total cost of ownership, says Video Cloud co-Founder Paul Goldman.
"We're feeling that the market is giving us validation now because we can offer solutions engineered to provide a very predictable end-user experience," Goldman says.
To help facilitate that experience, Goldman and Drohan spoke to many potential customers, and were surprised to find that less than half had positive experiences with video conferencing solutions they'd tried in the past.
“There are some really stellar high-end enterprise solutions from Cisco, Hewlett-Packard and others, Goldman says, "But there aren't any really good solutions for the SMB market," he says. Video Cloud aims to fill that gap with simple solutions that are IP-based and use legacy data center and networking technology to provide these services. Video Cloud's solutions are so easy to use and deploy, says Goldman, and extend all the way to users' desktops without the headaches of a system that exists only in boardrooms and that customers have to schedule usage time, he says.
Though Video Cloud doesn't currently have a client base and won't report annual income until the end of fiscal 2009, Drohan says that solution providers were quick to see the opportunity in the solutions and are clamoring for more information.
"The Video Cloud solutions are great for solution providers with existing telephony or unified communications practices, since they can go back to existing clients with products and services that can increase collaboration and cut costs," he says. Video Cloud's solution and market focus are also perfect for solution providers looking to differentiate themselves from the pack when prospecting for new business.
"This is something new for customers that provides a clear ROI, a green impact for clients, which are two very important issues today," says Goldman.
Video Cloud's CompTIA membership is playing a huge role in helping Video Cloud develop its business and achieve success, Drohan and Goldman say.
"This is definitely a niche play within the larger managed services platform that CompTIA supports, but we believe they're still going to be instrumental for us as we grow," Drohan says.
The most important benefit derived from CompTIA membership is the sense of community and the ability to collaborate with other members, partners and CompTIA itself to drive new business opportunities, Drohan says. And that's definitely a resource Video Cloud is going to take full advantage of.
"We're absolutely going to leverage the CompTIA community to partner, drive new sales and increase revenues," he says.
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