Yesterday eWeek broke the news about CounterPath and Vidtel announcing interoperability between Bria softphones, including the recently released iPhone client, and Vidtel’s MeetMe service. Jim Courtney, who authors VoiceOnTheWeb.biz has been testing Bria and Vidtel for a few weeks chimed in as did the folks over at OnSip.com. In each case effusive with praise came to mind. Like Jim I’ve been using the combination as far back as the beta builds of Bria for iPhone with Video started to circulate having similar high-quality experiences as both Jim and the OnSip folks saw.
What excites me though is the forthcoming Bria on iPad and Android tablets, both of which are in development now. At Showstoppers last week, CounterPath showed the iPad beta off, along with the iPhone client, demonstrating that software on an iPad for video conferencing makes the Apple tablet a far better investment than say a Cisco E20 or the Polycom desk phones with video capabilities for those who want greater flexibility in where they connect from.
In my view, we’re only scratching the surface of where this all will go. With CounterPath’s massive distribution relationships with Broadsoft, Genband, MetaSwitch and hundreds of telecom operators, service providers and an already deep installed user base inside the Enterprise, the ability to see others just got a lot easier, so the opportunity for Vidtel to broaden their reach was their win here. The win for CounterPath is they now can point customers and carriers to a Video as a Service platform that’s priced affordably, and which is standards based, the same point that the OnSip folks have been making for years.
While Skype and GoogleTalk are both interoperable with Vidtel, most enterprise size businesses don’t really “endorse” Skype or GoogleTalk or even the very simple to use Hangouts. With Vidtel’s MeetMe and the suite of CounterPath Bria clients, there’s now an enterprise ready, carrier grade and often approved softclient that can connect to a multi-standards based video conferencing bridging service so anyone can see and be seen. Add in the cost efficiences of both offerings, and all of a sudden the IT buyer has the budget for iPads or Android tablets and alot more software vs. those desk phones or room based video systems.
This is also an example of why some conferences matter. It was last year at eComm in San Francisco that I was able to arrange for CounterPath’s SVP Todd Carothers and Vidtel’s founder Scott Wharton to sit down and talk about what was an obvious fit for both companies, especially surrounding Vidtel’s “any to any “MeetMe conferencing platform that connects just about any video client or endpoint hard or soft.