article

Collaborative: industry news

Posted: 11/2002

industry news
Compiled and reported by Khali
Henderson and Tara Seals

VideoTele.com to Release Next-gen
Codec

VideoTele.com Inc.will make
available to end users and reseller partners the first product in its M2i series
of video codecs by the end of the year. The M2i 400, a follow-up to the
company’s ATM-based M2T 300 codec, adds support for MPEG audio and video using
IP over Ethernet, more encode/decode channels and support for more remote
conference sites.

Another key different between the
M2T series and the M2i Series is a more flexible platform based on
reprogrammable DSP chips, says Jeff Schline, marketing communications manager
for VideoTele.com. "This allows for software changes to be made as opposed
to hardware changes and enables upgrades as trends/needs emerge," he
explains.

The codec, which delivers true
broadcast quality video, has application for video backhaul and surveillance,
but is particularly suited to distance learning. This is due in large measure to
its support for IP over Ethernet, says Schline, who notes Ethernet is the
primary network for most distance-learning environments. A low-latency mode
minimizes lag in such applications.

Support for IP also makes possible
improved multicasting support — 20 remote sites versus three with the M2T.

In addition, the M2i offers up to
eight channels of encode or up to 16 channels of decode on a single chassis
while the M2T supports three encoders or five decoders. Put simply, this means
that not as many boxes are required to support an implementation. Further, each
box has four open slots for cards (each with either two encoders or four
decoders) so it can be configured in a variety of ways.

The price for the M2I 400 is based
on number of channels and type of configuration. The basic configuration,
includes one encoder and one decoder, is $17,000 to $25,000.

PlaceWare Rolls Out On-site
Version

PlaceWare Inc. has launched a hybrid
Web-conferencing service that combines managed and site-based delivery systems.
The PlaceWare Conference Center On-Site Solution is provisioned at the customer
site but installed, upgraded and maintained by PlaceWare.

It has been rolled out for those
businesses concerned with security or mandated to keep services on their own
networks, according to the company.

The Conference Center, PlaceWare’s
flagship product, always has been offered as a hosted service, provisioned and
maintained remotely by PlaceWare. Now, the on-site version bundles hardware,
software and maintenance. It also includes PlaceWare’s optimized architecture,
and brings together server, telephony, networking and storage components at the
customer premise. PlaceWare also offers applications programming interfaces
(APIs) to integrate with enterprise applications and enterprise information
portals.

The solution is priced as a complete
package including hardware, service and management. Cost will vary according to
site assessment and capacity needs of the customer.

"PlaceWare’s alternative
deployment of Conference Center expands customer choice in certain
IT-policy-bound enterprise segments and regulated markets," says David
Coleman, managing director for PlaceWare’s collaborative strategies.

WebDialogs, Conference Plus
Announce Partnership

WebDialogs Inc. and Conference Plus
Inc. (CPI) have announced a strategic partnership to provide on-demand Web
conferencing services to CPI’s "An-eTime" customers.

CPI’s round-the-clock, unassisted
An-eTime audio conferencing service will include WebDialogs’ "WebInterpoint"
Web conferencing, which supports online sharing of MicroSoft PowerPoint, Word
and Excel documents, screen captures and Web co-browsing, and is designed for
meetings with 20 participants or less. WebInterpoint also supports private
labeling and customization.

The new integrated service will
feature integrated provisioning and billing processes, and shared access codes
for audio and Web conferencing.

The partnership targets the
reservationless segment of the conferencing market. IDC claims reservationless
conferences are the fastest-growing segment of the industry and accounted for
more than 27 percent of all conferencing minutes last year,

Future expansion of the service is
slated to include an offering to the reservation-based market.

RCI Buys Compunetix Bridge to
Expand Offerings

RCI Conference Call Services has
purchased Compunetix CONTEX teleconferencing bridging equipment to meet the
expanding demand for its conferencing services including investor relations
events, such as earnings releases and merger announcements.

CONTEX offers RCI the ability to
offer automated event conferencing in addition to its traditional attended
access service.

The equipment also allows for
personalization and enhanced control. Hosts may personalize and control a
conference through any touch-tone telephone. Automated features including
participant name record, entrance and exit announcements, roll call and a
chairperson interactive voice response system.

Finally, the platform delivers web
control and viewing. The conference leader or participants simultaneously can
view and/or control the conference call by using their Web browser.

ClearOne Streamlines Focus

Multimedia provider ClearOne
Communications Inc. has repositioned itself with the sale of its broadcast
equipment arm, the acquisition of Canadian business services company and the
establishment of an international video conferencing sales team. The company
reports the moves strengthen ClearOne’s core focus on conferencing.

The company sold its broadcast
telephone interface product line to Comrex Corp., a privately held broadcast
equipment provider in Devens, Mass. Financial terms of the transaction were not
disclosed. ClearOne has reallocated freed-up human and capital resources to its
conferencing products business.

The company also has acquired
OMVideo Inc., an audio-visual integration firm headquartered in Ottawa, Canada,
for about $8 million in cash, in a move ClearOne says will strengthen the
company’s business services division with a greater North American presence and
an expanded technical team to better support its channel partners and customers.

Expanding further, in September the
company established an international video conferencing sales team in London.
The five-member group plans to recruit video conferencing-specific resellers in
Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Southeast Asia.

Broadwing Adds IP Video
Conferencing

In September, Broadwing Inc. added
multipoint IP video conferencing to its product line, enabling customers to use
their IP connection with existing video conferencing equipment.

Broadwing offers a user-hosted
version of its product that gives customers online software tools that enable
them to schedule, launch and manage every aspect of their videoconference. For
customers that require assistance, Broadwing also offers a Broadwing-hosted
solution that includes a service representative to host and establish the video
call and a dedicated conferencing expert that monitors the call for session
quality.

The flexibility of Broadwing’s IP
Videoconferencing enables customers to conduct videoconferences between multiple
sites using various connection speeds and different videoconferencing hardware.
It also enables customers to connect offices without videoconferencing equipment
via an audio connection

Premiere Conferencing Introduces
SecureTouch

Premiere Conferencing has launched
SecureTouch, a package of security features for automated ReadyConference
reservationless calls.

Moderators can select features such
as moderator validate, which gives a moderator a separate pass code to initiate
the call; conference lock, which prevents anyone from joining after the meeting
begins; moderator-controlled roll call; voice on entry/exit, which notifies
others on the call when a participant joins or leaves; and on-hold music. Users
can turn on the entire security package or opt for individual features.
Activation can be accomplished via the Web or through Premiere Conferencing
reservations at no extra charge. SecureTouch also can be used with individual
conference calls or companywide.

 

The
Links

PlaceWare Inc. www.placeware.com

Spectel Lands Anchor
Financial Investor to Support Expansion

AT&T Corp. www.att.com

Citizens Conferencing www.citizensconferencing.com

ECI Conference Call
Services LLC www.calleci.com

Investcorp SA www.investacorp.com

Spectel Inc. www.spectel.com

Sprint Corp. www.sprint.com

Tech Data Corp. www.techdata.com

ClearOne Streamlines
Conferencing Focus

ClearOne Communications
Inc. www.clearone.com

Genesys, Philips
Trialing Video Conferencing Bundle

Genesys Conferencing www.genesys.com

Philips Consumer
Electronics www.philips.com

Broadwing Adds IP
Video Conferencing

Broadwing Inc. www.broadwing.com

IDC Offers Free
Conference Scheduling, Management

Integrated Data Concepts
Inc. www.telephony.com

TeleConnection.com www.teleconnection.com

Premiere Conferencing
Introduces SecureTouch

Premiere Conferencing www.premconf.com

WebDialogs, Conference
Plus Announce Partnership

Conference Plus Inc. www.cpiconf.com

IDC www.idc.com

Three Conferencing
Service Providers Tap Octave Platform

MeetingZone www.meetingzone.com

Octave Communications www.octave.com

Synchron Conferencing www.synchroncom.com

Viseon www.viseonvideo.com


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