You know that audio bridge in the conference room? Mitel Networks Corp. wants to replace that with a new appliance that does audio, video and web collaboration — all for less than $2,000.
Called the Mitel UC360 Collaboration Point, the device is designed to fill a gap in the collaboration market between personal solutions like Skype and enterprise video conferencing systems. It combines multiparty HD video and audio with in-room presentation display and document sharing for up to four parties.
Mitel says the low price tag (compared with $10,000-plus for entry-level in-room systems) plus the ease of use (reportedly as simple as making a phone call) break through the barriers to ubiquitous use of multimedia collaboration among the rank and file at businesses of all sizes.
"It brings full multimedia collaboration to the masses," said Wendy Moore-Bayley, director of solutions marketing at Mitel. "It's not a special event. It's ready when you are."
Mitel UC360 sits behind SIP-based PBXs – Mitel's and competitors – just like an IP phone, so it's plug-and-play. It connects to any projector with standard HDMI cables, interoperates with any SIP client and it works with any Ethernet camera. It also will work with other standards-based video, audio and telepresense solutions. Interoperability testing has been initiated with in-room and video vendors including Vidyo and Polycom.
Mitel UC360 is in field trials with five customers until the end of June. General availability is set for August.