Guest Post – Anthony Watkins is Founder, Chairman and CEO of The Toney Watkins Company, a hospitality and entertainment company, currently developing international theme park resorts.
In early September of 1966, I sat with my brothers in front of our family’s television set watching this new show that was premiering on NBC called “Star Trek”. I was immediately hooked.
More than anything, I was caught up in the technology of this new show – particularly, the Starship Enterprises’ two way video conference system. There stood Captain Pike (and later Captain Kirk) using this incredible wonder to communicate across space with Starfleet and other entities. From that point forward, I often dreamt about, searched for, and even at one point contemplated how could I create such a Star Trek video conferencing system. It’s now 2013, and I can truly say that I have finally found the “holy grail” of all video conferencing technologies.
Trapped by Skype and Other Inferior Video Conferencing Products?
For the past few years, like many businesses, our company has been using Skype Premium Services (Skype Group Video Calling, Skype Out, Skype Credits, etc.) simply because we didn’t have any better cost-effective choices. We had tried a number other Skype alternatives such as ooVoo, Tokbox, etc—with none of them giving us what we needed.
In fact, I cannot count how many times we’ve had the video in the call freeze or dissipate, the audio fade out and never come back, or the call to simply drop all together. We, for one, got tired of paying for these services while constantly having to tell whoever was on the other end to “Turn off your video to save bandwidth” only to have the audio portion of the call to sound like Alexander Graham Bell’s earliest attempts at a telephone. However, I’m glad to say that our company has finally been set free from the Skype video conference prison.
VSee – A Message in a Bottle
In early September of this year, I stumbled across an article comparing the various video systems out today and discovered VSee, a video chat tool for telehealth. I was so impressed with the video call quality that we are now 100% users of VSee and, in fact, we have become full-time “VSeevangelist’s.”
In addition to now being able to hold high quality individual and group video calls without worrying about the sound and video constantly breaking up, we have also been using VSee to share files, web links, as well as conduct collaborative discussions and make real time changes to architectural and engineering renderings.
Better Video Conferencing, Better Business
The following represents just a few of the uses by our company since learning of VSee three weeks ago.
- On a recent 2 hour call, we connected our folks in Thailand, Australia and the U.S. with not so much as a hiccup. The video was smooth and clear (in default mode). All of the participants commented on how well the audio sounded. What little degradation there was occurred in the audio stream but it was so minor that it was hardly noticeable. During this particular call we also used the drag and drop exchange of files feature as well as copying and pasting of multiple web links in the Instant Message (IM) window for web sites that we wanted to review or share.
- To coordinate architectural site plan with our Korea office, VSee allowed us to not only review the plan and comment on it in real time, but saved us time from having to email it and wait on comments. The IM feature allowed the participants to clarify questions and comments that they did not want everyone else to see.
- This past weekend, I was able to introduce VSee to one of our Board members who happens to be a retired computer industry executive. Ironically, his name is Veasey and it is actually pronounced “VSee”. We both got a kick out of that. His parting words to me as we ended the video conference was “Thanks for introducing me to this technology.”
- On a call just today, one of our executives in South Africa (on a Mac laptop) could not stop raving about the clarity of the picture and high quality audio. When I told him that VSee also offered the capability to switch to 480p and even 720p, I thought he was going to pass out from the excitement.
- On a personal note, early this year, my youngest daughter had moved into a loft in a city about 5 hours away. I have not had time to visit her yet so I convinced her to install VSee and kick Skype to the curb. She then took me on a tour of her loft by walking around with her laptop. I could not believe the clarity of the picture. This clearly blew anything that a real estate company could do as she was able to provide commentary on all of the nuances of her new digs.
The Toney Watkins Company Future is Bright Thanks to VSee
VSee is clearly major disruptor in the video conferencing space, especially for companies like ours that conduct business on a global scale. Add to that the built in security and potential for future enhancements to the product (hopefully the developers will soon include VoIP telephone), and it is hands down the best video conferencing product available. In fact, I cannot see why anyone in their right mind would not want to have VSee installed on all their computer, phone, tablet, phablet, etc.
Of the 100 invites that I have sent out over the past 3 weeks, 34 have already joined VSee, and to a person, they have each exhibited amazement at how well this product works compared to the competition.
I have also started planning with our architects about how we could deploy VSee in the design of our hotels and hotel rooms, our customer service Kiosks and our 44 passenger motor coaches. For us, the future is now!
All I can say to Dr. Milton Chen and the entire VSee staff is that you have truly developed a world class product. May you “Live long and prosper!”
photo credit: Joe Haupty via Flickr