Yorktel Makes Complicated Simple

By Paula Bernier, Executive Editor, TMC  |  June 17, 2014

In business for more than 29 years, Yorktel has built its name as an AV integrator. As its expertise grew along with the trends in the video communications marketplace, Yorktel has evolved to meet the demand for video managed services, cloud services, and unified communications and collaboration. INTERNET TELEPHONY recently interviewed Ron Gaboury, CEO of Yorktel, to get the latest on the company and its value proposition.

Yorktel is expanding its focus from being a video managed service provider to address unified communications at large. Why, and why now?

Video has expanded beyond expensive conference rooms. The workforce calls for mobility and interoperability between disparate conferencing systems. Enterprises increasingly want – and need – to integrate various communication mediums, video, audio, IM, collaboration, presence, and more. A true end-to-end provider must address today’s needs, as well as advise customers on how to adapt to new technologies for tomorrow’s needs.  This often means expanding your offerings.

What will that mean for Yorktel customers?

This means that our customers can communicate both internally and externally without the hassle of the many video complexities and can stay productive, regardless of participant location, device or OS. It also means a single-vendor solution.

How did the rise of the smartphone, and of applications, drive Yorktel’s strategy on this front?

Mobility has also sparked Yorktel’s enablement of UCC and WebRTC applications, another fast growing trend, into our current offerings and cloud infrastructure. Extending videoconferencing capabilities to remote workers and external parties is where traditional business technologies fall short. Through its use of open standards, WebRTC simplifies and extends voice and video communication solutions to a much wider audience.

What are the key solutions offered by Yorktel?

As a cloud, UCC and video managed services provider, we offer a single source solution for unified and visual communications. Our services include professional consulting, through assessment, design and implementation. This complements our post implementation offerings:  Managed Services (maintenance, troubleshooting, scheduling/launching, and on site staffing) and VideoCloud VaaS (public, private and hybrid options; self-service or managed). As video communications moves beyond corporate settings, we recently expanded into verticalized applications, including our VideoKiosk, mobile TeleHealth carts, and iRobot’s Ava500.

One division that truly differentiates Yorktel from competing MSPs is our Media Services practice with video production and post-production, webcasting, and asset hosting, among others.

Who is Yorktel’s target customer?

Yorktel works with U.S. government agencies, the public sector, and global enterprises. With offices in the U.S., U.K., Ireland and France, the key commercial verticals we target are financial, pharmaceutical, retail, and media/entertainment. We are also seeing a shift in targeted functions beyond just IT as human resources and finance are finding benefits in video.

Microsoft (News - Alert) Lync has seen great success, with more than 90 percent of Fortune 100 companies using the Lync solution. What is Yorktel offering to support these users?

Yorktel VideoCloud supports full integration with Microsoft Lync and Office 365. Users can connect to videoconferencing systems from Cisco, Polycom, Avaya (Radvision (News - Alert)), LifeSize, Vidyo, and other vendors. Tight integration and federated user identities across IT and communications are key to building secure, reliable, and seamless communication.

One of the challenges for videoconferencing is that different videoconferencing systems operate as islands. How is Yorktel addressing that?

Yorktel addresses these challenges with Yorktel VideoCloud, where any device, platform, network or enterprise can connect to solve interoperability problems or network complexities.  

This industry has forever been saying that mass adoption of videoconferencing is just around the corner. Are we now at the tipping point for videoconferencing?

In the past, enterprises were frustrated by videoconferencing, due to legacy systems that were cumbersome, costly, and posed multiple challenges. This prevented widespread adoption and left it with somewhat of a black eye. Today, videoconferencing has its second wind, due to vast advancements in technology, video quality, interoperability, mobility, and ease-of-use. Also, growth in teleworking fuels adoption. Another major change is that videoconferencing has shifted from a primarily AV department responsibility and installation to the IT department as infrastructure lives on enterprise networks. Lastly, in more human terms, video provides communication benefits that audio-only simply cannot. Face-to-face interaction builds relationships, conveys important non-verbal communication, and enables more productivity, particularly with the advent of other collaboration tools.

If there’s just one thing you want customers and prospects to know about Yorktel and its value proposition, what is that one thing?

Yorktel makes complicated simple. We strike a balance between a customer-first approach and keeping our finger on the pulse of industry advancements. Really understanding the customer and the technology has allowed Yorktel to not only grow, but also evolve alongside a global market.

Edited by Stefania Viscusi