The Wainhouse Research Blog
News & Views
on Unified Communications & Collaboration
Arkadin recently pulled the wrap off its new service, ArkadinVision. While this unveiling came with the usual press-release fanfare, the solution deserves another layer of analysis to understand what is really going on here.
What it is
ArkadinVision is an audio, video, and content collaboration solution that supports a now-familiar digital meeting space experience - each host receives their own meeting URL, supporting ad-hoc and scheduled meetings. For context, a similar experience can be found in PGi iMeet, Cisco WebEx, and Microsoft Skype for Business. The user interface was developed internally, combining elements of Arkadin's own web platform, audio conferencing platform, and the Pexip Infinity platform - all hosted from Arkadin's datacenters. The service has interoperability at its core, supporting plugin-free WebRTC browsers, H.323/SIP video systems, traditional PSTN callers, and Skype for Business clients - including full audio, video, and screen sharing capabilities. ArkadinVision will initially be available in Europe for 39 EUR per-host-per-month, a price that includes unlimited local (toll) audio conferencing. Other regions and a mobile client will roll out by mid-year.
What I think
ArkadinVision represents an important milestone in the company's evolution from an audio conferencing-centric vendor toward a complete communications technology service provider. The service places equal emphasis on audio, video, and content sharing, and effectively integrates multiple platforms to deliver a unified meeting experience. ArkadinVision is well positioned to support an enterprise at any stage of the UC journey - acting as a bridge between from conferencing to UC and supporting several common use-cases and configurations:
Arkadin's decision to own the user experience while leveraging cross-platform technologies behind the scenes creates an interesting balance between best-in-class experience and fleet-footedness. They are providing a unified experience leveraging proven platforms, but should be able to augment and add features based on their - and their partner's roadmap. New features can be delivered at the speed of API integration, as platforms can be added, changed, and deleted behind the scenes. We could expect future feature expansion to include persistent messaging, perhaps even call control, by integrating ArkadinVision with Cisco Spark, Alcatel Lucent Enterprise Rainbow, Avaya Zang, Twilio, Vonage Nexmo ... or any of the growing number of vendors providing micro-service integration options.
Overall, Arkadin is riding the hottest of the collaboration market trends including the rise of API integration, mobile-first users, an increased focus on the user experience and business workflow, the shift from capex to opex purchasing, increasing demand for cloud-based services, and the growing enterprise appetite for unified access to audio, video, and web collaboration. And as any ITDM with experience rolling their own UC&C service knows, the devil is often in the details - specifically, the network details. Re-creating a collaboration network that providers like Arkadin have spent years building and optimizing can be expensive and challenging, to say the least. By integrating elements of Arkadin's distributed collaboration platform with Pexip's Infinity platform, ArkadinVision provides a good combination of quality, flexibility, and interoperability, all served from the company's proven and trusted cloud infrastructure.