This week, years of hard work and practice will pay off for the best college and high school basketball players as they achieve their lifelong goal of reaching the National Basketball Association.
For the tenth year in a row, video services provider, Glowpoint, will give basketball fans a firsthand look at how players are celebrating and executives are strategizing during the NBA draft.
In the same fashion as it delivers two-way video conferencing services for businesses, Glowpoint is helping the world’s biggest sports network conduct live high-definition interviews with team officials and players across the country during the draft Thursday evening (June 28) at the Prudential Center in Newark.
Glowpoint's services will give the all-sports network more flexibility to conduct interviews from around the country by eliminating the need to reserve and support satellite time, trucks and other equipment.
Glowpoint's partnership with sports expands beyond the basketball draft. For more than a decade, the professional football league has used Glowpoint's technology as part of its annual college draft coverage.
"We establish connections to all 32 teams" in the league Joseph Laezza, Glowpoint's president and chief executive, told BusinessNewsDaily. "It is pretty fascinating."
"They are using it to drive their on-air programming," Laezza said. “
It's not just television networks that are taking advantage of videoconferencing. Glowpoint's cloud architecture enables organizations of all sizes to adopt business-class video conferencing, regardless of their video infrastructure and equipment.
The technology is a way for businesses to put in valuable face-to-face time with clients and customers without exorbitant travel expenses.
"Businesses can plug in and play and connect to other businesses seamlessly," Laezza said. "We enable virtual interactions across the globe."
Videoconferencing uses a combination of cameras, monitors, audio devices and network technologies to hold two-way virtual face-to-face meetings. A central feature of Glowpoint's services is its use of the cloud, which allows small businesses to quickly and easily adopt videoconferencing without investing in massive amounts of technology.
Darren Podrabsky, Glowpoint's vice president of marketing and channels, said all that's needed is software, Web cameras, a microphone and the ability to connect to the Internet.
What makes the system so convenient for businesses is that it lets different users connect to each other with whatever technology they are using, be it Cisco, Polycom or Lifesize.
"It allows people to collaborate more effectively and get decisions made faster," Podrabsky said.
For businesses with their own video networking capabilities, Glowpoint has the ability to manage them.
Laezza said those services help make video more widely available, improve up-time, drive higher usage and allow a company's IT team to focus on other tasks.
"We monitor and sweep the environment on a daily basis to make sure meetings are successful," Laezza said.
Podrabsky noted that Glowpoint came in handy last year for business travelers who were stuck in Europe because of the volcanic eruption in Iceland; they were able to hold timely meetings that otherwise would have been delayed or canceled.
"As people were stranded in airports or hotels, we offered our cloud-based 'Meet Me' services for videoconferencing," Podrabsky said. "It is an example of how cloud services for video enable business continuity in the event of natural disasters or other events that affect travel."
While research indicates there are now more than 1 million videoconferencing users, Glowpoint expects that number to rise. Podrabsky said the onset of software-based mobile and desktop videoconferencing solutions like Skype and GoogleTalk is making the technology available to anyone with a computer, iPad or smartphone.
"This is clearly an advantage to small businesses and startups," Podrabsky said. "The barrier to entry is very low."
The growing number of employees working from home also will drive the future popularity of videoconferencing, Laezza said.
"You don't have to be tethered to a business," he said of the benefits. "That is a dying approach."
Glowpoint, with annual revenue approaching $30 million, has more than 100 employees and 500 customers located in 68 countries.