Meet Via Video Videoconferencing technology comes to the rescue when being there isn't an option.
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Location was almost a deal-breaker when technology entrepreneur Ofer Shapiro tried to hire a senior marketing executive to join his startup team at Vidyo. But he overcame the hurdle by using his company's own next-generation videoconferencing technology to start conducting regular staff meetings between its offices in Hackensack, New Jersey, Northern California and other far-flung locations. The technology has saved Vidyo thousands of dollars in airfare, hotel fees and time wasted in transit.
"I wouldn't move away from California," says Marty Hollander, Vidyo's senior vice president of marketing. "So I declined Ofer's offer. He called back and suggested we use our own product to make it work."
Vidyo, which received a $12 million second round of venture funding in 2007, sells what it calls "personal telepresence" technology. Its products include desktop and room-based videoconferencing systems that promise to deliver the same sort of HD-quality immersive experience that companies like Cisco Systems and Hewlett-Packard tout in ultra-expensive alternatives but at a fraction of their six-digit price tags: Vidyo ranges from $3,000 to $13,000 for the hardware; additional licenses for a Windows desktop or notebook computer are $30. There are also Vidyo service providers with subscription-based Vidyo-Conferencing services.