Thursday, January 19, 2012

CounterPath and Vidtel democratize video conferencing for SMEs

VANCOUVER, CANADA & SUNNYVALE, USA: The six-figure upfront cost of video conferencing typically forces small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to make do with consumer-grade services such as Google Hangouts or Skype. To further bridge the gap between these services and expensive telepresence solutions, CounterPath Corp. and Vidtel Inc. have announced interoperability to provide SMEs with an affordable, high-quality mobile video conferencing alternative.

Interoperability between CounterPath’s Bria softphone for PCs and mobile devices and Vidtel's MeetMe service offers users an affordable cross-platform, multi-standards based, enterprise-grade alternative to other more expensive services, without having to make due with unpredictable consumer grade offerings or purchase new and expensive hardware-based video conferencing systems.

Now small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and other businesses can benefit from cost-efficient, high-quality multi-endpoint video conferencing that interoperates with the large installed base of leading room-based systems, executive desktop products, as well as all versions of Bria for Macs and PCs and the recently updated Bria mobile for iPhones that now includes video.

Vidtel also becomes the first IVSP (Internet Video Service Provider) to join the CounterPath Partner Program enabling users to quickly configure their Bria clients without needing to know more than a few provider-supplied settings.

Interoperability between Vidtel and Bria allows SMEs and other customers to:
* Participate in video conferences from hotel rooms, airports, home offices, coffee shops, client facilities and other remote locations with mobile devices.
* Enter a video conference room using the already familiar methods of simply dialing a phone number, PBX extension or SIP address (eliminating the need to add a contact/buddy or learn the unique requirements of third-party services).
* Achieve high video conference quality by using SIP-based native interoperability rather than transcoding.

CounterPath’s Bria is a carrier- and enterprise-grade application that enables unified voice and video calling, messaging and presence management across multiple platforms and endpoints. Vidtel’s MeetMe is a cloud-based service that enables any-to-any video conferencing between room-based systems, executive desktop video systems, PCs/Macs, smartphones and tablets using any combination of SIP, H.323, and other technologies.

With Bria installed on PCs or iPhones, MeetMe can be accessed over the Internet via a wired Ethernet connection, Wi-Fi or while connected over 3G/4G/LTE or WiMax mobile networks.

Existing Bria customers can begin using MeetMe immediately. Available through a variety of channels, MeetMe is affordably and predictably priced, with flat rate and per minute plans starting low as $.15 cents per minute for video participation. Even without a subscription, any Bria user can participate in video conferences hosted by other Vidtel subscribers.

“Businesses of every size value the bottom-line benefits of video communications, including on tablet and smartphones,” said Todd Carothers, CounterPath's senior VP. “The interoperability with Vidtel enables CounterPath to meet that need by providing device- and network-agnostic video conferencing solutions that are as intuitive as dialing a telephone. Together, we’re liberating businesses from the costs, constraints and uncertainties that come with video communication services that are ruled by a single company.”

“CounterPath’s enterprise-grade softphones are a natural complement to Vidtel in a smartphone and tablet environment; both companies are committed to providing SMEs with convenient, cost-effective and high-quality video communications,“ said Scott Wharton, CEO of Vidtel, “We offer no hidden caveats when it comes to price and interoperability. This interoperability creates an exciting range of opportunities for both our companies and our customers, now and in the near future.”

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