Pexip reaches out to Microsoft customers with new free CVI promotion

The offer to new customers for both Microsoft Teams and Surface Hub 2 is also intended to get some Pexip channel partners from the AV side of the house to work more closely with Microsoft.

Karl Hantho, Pexip’s President – Americas

Oslo, Norway-based video conferencing and collaboration vendor Pexip has announced it will offer free Cloud Video Interop [CVI] services to new Pexip customers for both Microsoft Teams Rooms and Surface Hub 2 systems. The offer, which targets customers of competing enterprise video collaboration vendors, provides twelve months of free service. Pexip sells entirely through channel partners, not all of whom work closely with Microsoft, and this promo is intended to encourage these partners to deepen relations with a company that is a critical strategic partner for Pexip.

Pexip was formed in 2012, but the company today is very different from six months ago, because of the finalization of its merger with Videxio in January of this year.

“Both Pexip and Videxio were formed out of the genesis of Cisco purchasing Tandberg,” said Karl Hantho, Pexip’s President – Americas. “Videxio was founded in 2011, while Pexip was born in 2012. Both were based in Norway. The difference was that Pexip solved problems using software while Videxio was a service.” Pexip targeted its solutions at enterprise customers, while Videxio focused on service providers.

“Working as two companies had the effect of diluting our brand and both the Pexip and Videxio names were muted,” Hantho said. “The merger was intended to create a stronger entity in both of the businesses. The merger was super-easy to bring about, because both companies were similar and both were 100 per cent channel.” Pexip now has about 300 partners globally, which includes eight partners in Canada.

The company’s strength is at the high end of the market.

“We can make anyone happy, but our sweet spot is in enterprise global accounts, including government,” Hantho said. “We can come in on any browser, but we really shine in complicated environments, on either our Infinity software or as a service. We are incredibly scalable.” Their customers include GE, Accenture, and PayPal. Health care is a strong vertical for them, and include customers like Kaiser Permanente and the Ontario Telemedicine Network.

Both Microsoft and Google are key strategic partners for Pexip.

In June, they partnered with Google Cloud to provide native video interoperability capabilities for Hangouts Meet, which lets non-Meet video conferencing solutions join Meet video calls as fully featured Meet participants.

Pexip has a long relationship with Microsoft. In 2017, they announced they would develop VTC [Video Tele-Conferencing] interoperability for Microsoft Teams that lets traditional videoconferencing users join Microsoft Teams calls and meetings, and in March 2018, expanded their Microsoft-certified CVI for Microsoft Teams to provide it as a globally available service as well, and enable non-Microsoft systems to join Teams meetings.

“Microsoft is hugely important for us,” Hantho stated. “That’s one of the reasons why we kept the Pexip name, because Pexip was what Microsoft recognized, not Videxio. We have been addressing the interoperability issue with Skype for Business for years. That’s table stakes now. Last year, we were selected by Microsoft as one of three vendors in this area with early access to APIs – BlueJeans and Poly being  the others.”

The new offer that Pexip has introduced is designed to encourage new customers who have been working with competitive vendors to try Pexip. It provides free CVI services for customers of Microsoft Teams Rooms and Surface Hub 2 systems, for a period of twelve months. It covers up to two licenses with two concurrent call connections to call into Teams meetings.

“The adoption of Teams is accelerating, particularly since Microsoft is going forward with it and has put Skype for Business on end of life,”  Hantho said. “Many customers have existing mixed environments with solutions that don’t talk to Teams. This incentive embraces those companies that want to move forward with a Microsoft experience who have an existing install base with vendors like Cisco or Poly.”

This type of promotion is fairly common in the space, Hantho said, noting that Poly gives away free CVI licenses when you buy their endpoints.

In addition to increasing interest among new customers, Pexip is also anticipating that it will stimulate greater interest in Microsoft among some of the key members of their partner base.

“We have about 40 direct partners in North America, four of which are in Canada,” Hantho said. “They don’t all have a bias towards Microsoft. Some came from the AV side. We hope that this gets them to ‘cross the chasm’ and have conversations on the IT side. It will help them go into organizations in a different way. So this announcement not only shows Microsoft our commitment to them, but helps others see the bigger opportunity here.”

More details about the offer can be found at pexip.com/free-cvi.

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