Cisco Extends Telepresence Interoperability Through TIP

Cisco reaffirmed its commitment to telepresence and unified communications in general and immersive, multiscreen vendor interoperability in particular at the InfoComm conference in Las Vegas Wednesday.

Specifically, Cisco, having just closed its acquisition of telepresence vendor TANDBERG, is incorporating support for the Telepresence Interoperability Protocol (TIP) on TANDBERGs Telepresence Server, available as both a blade for the MSE 8710 server chassis or as a standalone appliance. TIP also extends to other third-party systems, enabling high-definition video collaboration across multiple screens between leading (standards-compliant) telepresence vendors.

Cisco is trying to drive this market by providing any-to-any video interoperability and multivendor support options, so that customers can assemble best-of-breed solutions that support native telepresence as well as new, emerging collaboration solutions while protecting their investment in existing solutions.

Then Cisco upped the ante by introducing a number of collaboration products. Its new Movi for Mac clients, along with other Movi tools, provides high-quality mobile video collaboration to both Mac and PC users, as well as hybrid-OS environments, such as often found in the education and health-care verticals. Movi offers users the ability to remotely control far-end cameras and make multiparty telepresence calls with third-party, standards-compliant devices, and supports the ICE (Inter-Client Exchange) protocol to handle higher call capacity demands outside the firewall. Movi is also notable for being the first of the Cisco TelePresence line to support ClearPath, a new set of protocols that minimize the kind of packet loss that degrades video calls.

Moving slightly up-market, Cisco is targeting SMBs with its TelePresence Commercial Express system, which integrates three key components: Cisco TelePresence Manager, TelePresence Multipoint Switch and TelePresence Recording Server. The single-server solution, based on VMware, is designed to ease deployment issues, simplify licensing and deliver more immediate returns in productivity.

Cisco is also upgrading its MSE 8000 server backplane with software enhancements for the MSE 8710 TelePresence Server blade and the MSDE 8510 Media2 blade, both of which reside on the 8000. These advances triple the overall capacity of an end-users multipoint conference; now the blades can support up to 48 screens over a multiscreen telepresence call with continuous presence (the MSE 8710) and up to 60 screens in a single-screen multipoint call with continuous presence (the MSE 8510 Media2.)

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