I’ve been reading a lot of articles and blogs about hosted alternatives to traditional on-premises video conferencing. Some solutions take a “meet-me” approach, like Blue Jeans, and while it’s clear that cloud alternatives to video conferencing are emerging as the preferred implementation, I find myself wondering, How much real innovation is going on here? Scheduling a video conference, issuing calendar invitations to the participants, dialing into a bridge and waiting for people to dial in seems a bit archaic when all I want to do is connect over video. Aside from changing who owns and runs the infrastructure, the meet-me hosted model doesn’t add anything new to the experience. I don’t understand why, with all of the capabilities that are possible with cloud services, companies aren’t doing more to innovate around how we use video communications today.

At Lifesize, we think differently. Lifesize® Cloud™ isn’t just video conferencing ports in the cloud; it’s an enhanced experience with awesome features like an easy-to-use interface, screen sharing, calendar integration, chat and audio-calling options that help you drive greater collaboration. And, when connected to our award-winning Lifesize Icon video conferencing systems, it’s a full meeting room solution as well.

Looking for more functionality? Lifesize Cloud Amplify provides every user with their own video library and recording and sharing studio. Throw in our web app, which allows users to make video calls in their Google Chrome™ browser, and you know there is true innovation still occurring in the video conferencing industry.

How did Lifesize Cloud come to be? Quite simply, we asked ourselves, If we could redraw what cloud-based video conferencing should be, what would it look like?

It would start with everything working seamlessly together. Deploying an HD room endpoint in a location on the other side of the world used to be an extensive and expensive endeavor that required IT expertise on-site. Lifesize so simplified provisioning with the introduction of the Lifesize Icon Series that anyone can set a system up quickly with no IT guidance. Users are up and ready to call colleagues, vendors and partners in minutes. When paired with Lifesize Cloud, the room systems become part of a powerful video conferencing network. The beauty of this setup is that Lifesize Icon endpoints and Lifesize Cloud clients are automatically updated with the latest features and software updates. The user and account manager don’t have to do anything. That’s pretty sweet.

It would enable people to communicate effortlessly. Who wants to use a bridge service to schedule a video conference call? I’d rather look at my presence-enabled directory and know right away that the person I need to talk to is available. One click and we are face to face via HD video resolving issues, completing tasks and getting business done. If we need to bring in another person or a conference room system, that’s a simple click—and we can keep on clicking up to 50 participants. We can share presentations and documents on the fly, and if I need to drop out, it’s no problem—Lifesize Cloud conferences are hostless and will continue until the last person leaves.

It would be easy to manage. Every Lifesize Cloud account comes with access to a secure web-based administrator’s console. An account manager can quickly deploy, add or reassign users without help from IT. All the account manager needs is a colleague’s name and email address to quickly create an account for new users. The service handles the rest.

Out with the old. Lifesize Cloud crushes the old rules for video conferencing. It delivers a simple, intuitive, consistent and immersive experience from the conference room to the desktop and even to mobile users. When the video solution is designed as a powerful productivity tool that fits within your existing workflow and enhances how you and your colleagues work together, it stops being a nice-to-have and becomes a business and competitive imperative.

For a full breakdown on the features that set Lifesize Cloud apart from a traditional meet-me cloud service, check out our competitive series entry, Lifesize Cloud vs. “Meet Me” Services.