Disruptive Forces in AV/IT — Part 2: Pexip

Pexip-pic-0414Next up in the series is a company who approaches this new age of video communications from a bit of a different angle, one that may look to be more IT-centric mirroring what is currently occurring in enterprise IT, as organizations move toward replacing hardware in the infrastructure with software and virtualized technologies.

Based in Oslo, Norway with offices in the U.S. and the U.K., Pexip is a relative newcomer competing for strategic positioning in the realm of Unified Communications and Collaboration. The company’s core solution Infinity is purely software-based and virtualized and can be deployed quickly and simply with the flexibility to scale as required. Their scalable meeting platform provides personal meeting rooms for any number of users on video, voice and mobile. Comprised of numerous professionals from the video conferencing industry, Pexip looks to build an identity as a true player in the UC&C arena.

Our interview guest handles marketing for the company and also possesses a high end technical background to go along with it. On their website’s team page, the members listed have what I guess you would consider their inspirational phrase next to each of their pictures. Each one was fairly well known, except maybe for one — “All your base are belong to us” — CATS. For those who may not be aware of the quote, it signifies what goes wrong and how all can fail (in this case the game Zero Wing as released in Europe and the U.S.) when the content is not original and does not speak the native language of the audience it tries to communicate with. It also just happens to be the phrase quoted by my blog participant (who by the way also quotes Buzz Lightyear), Anders Lokke.

CM: Anders thank you for participating in this blog interview. Please tell us about the company and culture.

Pexip-logo-0414AL: Pexip was founded in 2012. The founders all have video conferencing and enterprise communications in their blood, much thanks to being integral to the development of video conferencing since the early nineties. With only a few exceptions, every team member has a similar background. Pexip is founded on the knowledge that we can shape the industry with some much needed injection of innovation.

In my near 20 years in the AV industry, I have never before seen such a strong, willing and able team. Every single team member is the best I have seen in their respective fields, and work perfectly together. There are no “individuals” in Pexip, only parts of the team, everything is a team effort.

Importantly, culture is nothing you can apply to a company — it is something a company has in its genes. And in Pexip, it flows through in everyone. It is all about joining the right people together that all believe in a common goal.

CM: What can you tell us about Pexip’s strategic approach to satisfying the needs of enterprise communications and collaboration?

AL: Pexip has a very simple, direct and distinct approach to solving enterprise communications challenges. As a startup, we have no legacy products to protect, and can take on a whole new approach. Our vision is simple; we want to be the meeting platform of choice for the enterprise. We want to equip everyone with video and a personal Virtual Meeting Room as much as they have a phone number and an email address.

On a general level, Pexip does not want to alter the way people work, just enable them to do it more efficiently. For instance, the battle for the soft enterprise endpoint application is in my eyes already over; Microsoft Lync will be the way people communicate at large. But Lync deployments also have shortcomings, and Pexip addresses these at an enterprise level where we solve the key challenges people have. As participants use endpoints they are already accustomed to, from any manufacturer, they should continue to do so, but with no need to worry about conference, device, standard, codecs and what not. True interoperability at scale.

Our core product, Pexip Infinity, is 100% software and virtualized, what you would expect from an enterprise software solution. It moves the meeting platform into IT and enables an organization to deploy enterprise-wide videoconferencing capabilities in a matter of minutes rather than weeks and months. On-premise, in a private or public cloud, or even as a hosted service from service providers. As you subscribe to Pexip Infinity, upgrades, enhancements and updates are freely available as they are released. It is managed the way other enterprise applications are, and with enterprise licensing plans as well. This is how you achieve a cost efficient enterprise-wide meeting platform. In our view, this is the only real and natural way for an enterprise-wide communications platform going forward, a view shared by everyone we meet at an enterprise level.

CM: As a start-up in the industry, what is your strategy for competing with the numerous solutions providers in the video conferencing market? 

AL: There is space for many more manufacturers than us. We benefit from others making and marketing video conferencing endpoints for instance. Our strength and core competencies lie in the development of a strong and unique infrastructure platform, the engine that makes the entire solution tick. As such, we are also working alongside others to complement some of what we do.

One of the opportunities many see is that we provide a perfect meeting platform for for instance video service providers, where the sheer scalability and application design enables scaling and deployment completely customizable to their needs. Pexip Infinity enables you to deploy more capacity as the requirements change in minutes, and, because of its running on a virtualized platform, provides application level resilience and reliability, unlike any competing offering. Many users are already using Pexip without even knowing it!

CM: Can you give us an idea of what you will be bringing to InfoComm this year?

AL: We just recently released Pexip Infinity Version 4, providing what we strongly believe is the communications industry’s best MS Lync interop and feature set. V4 strongly enhances the enterprise’s ability to scale and deploy video to everyone and integrate existing video conferencing systems into their Lync deployments with a minimum of fuss. We will be focusing solving real people’s needs — and demonstrate how the enterprise benefits from deploying Pexip Infinity to solve their challenges.

True to the innovative nature of Pexip, we will also have new features and functionality available – some of which are direct responses to customer requests and requirements, demonstrating our ability to act and respond quickly to needs. And let it be said; seeing Pexip at InfoComm this year will be worth it!

CM: Can you give us an overview of your marketing strategy and if you are planning any large marketing campaigns?

AL: If all goes well, we may see some very interesting activities and campaigns in the near future. I will not go into detail, but “game changer” comes to mind!

CM: Any last words for your partners?

AL: Pexip relies on strong partners to go to market. We believe that a strong channel is key to getting Pexip Infinity to the enterprise. In addition, there is a strong component of solution selling as part of selling Pexip. We also see that enterprises and organizations deploying Pexip Infinity quickly increase their video usage, so the opportunity increases in overall value for the partner. The AV channel wants to pay attention, however, as UC strategies are more and more connected to IT strategies. Pexip Infinity is a golden opportunity for AV companies to influence IT. It could easily be the leverage product AV needs to take charge of the enterprise UC strategy at large.

I would like to thank Anders Lokke for his participation in this very informative blog highlighting the company and the people that put in their all for the Pexip cause. Make sure you stop by and see them at InfoComm as it looks like they’ll be showing some very good things. And if you need inspiration, just get in touch with Anders or any member of the team and I’m sure they’ll have a good phrase of the day prepared — Einstein, Gandhi, Buzz Lightyear — your guess is as good as mine…