In this series, Simon Dudley, LifeSize’s video evangelist, provides his “two cents” about the video conferencing industry and why video calling should be as ubiquitous as a phone call.
There’s a famous story in the computing world about a senior IBM executive who stated in the 1950’s that “there is a world market for maybe five computers in the future.”
It’s quite funny how many people have scoffed at that statement over the years. I agree, how could he be so wrong? They got it wrong by four. There is, in effect, simply one computer now. You know it as the Internet. Oh sure, there’s lots of computing power in a number of different places, but now they are all effectively a single machine.
You may think I’m wrong, but consider how useless every piece of technology you have would be if it weren’t connected to the Internet? I might love my iPhone, but if you took away the Internet, I’d rather have my Nokia 2112 from ten years ago (at least the battery would last a week).
Once you have a single computer, it makes logical sense to start running all of your applications on that computer rather than a dedicated tin somewhere off the network. Companies like Salesforce.com pioneered this sort of thinking and have been wildly successful. VMware built the technology to get rid of dedicated hardware for each and every application, and allowed applications to live effectively anywhere. This fundamentally changed the game.
But what does all of this have to do with video? Video communications has traditionally been all about highly expensive, dedicated hardware infrastructure. But with the advent of technology such as VMware and the remorseless march of Moore’s Law, even the most complicated applications (such as recording, streaming and bridging) are now possible without hardware. Cloud-based solutions are gaining in popularity as well, proving this theory further.
After high definition video conferencing came to the market in 2005 (a video solution people actually wanted to use), the next challenge was to make the infrastructure affordable, scalable and easily deployable.
Enter the LifeSize UVC Platform, an infrastructure solution offered in a VM-sliced manner to give customers the opportunity to massively deploy video across an entire organization, scale as you grow (not the size the hardware requires), and do it all simply and easily. Try doing that with a hardware solution.
Do you think software is eating the world? Is hardware on its way out? Let’s talk about it. Leave me a comment below.