In November 2010, Polycom extended its relationship with BroadSoft with the announcement of BroadSoft’s BroadCloudTM Video service. This cloud service is a hosted infrastructure that integrates with Polycom’s UC Intelligent Core software platform to enable leading service providers like Telesphere to lower the cost and complexity of delivering videoconferencing and unified communications (UC) services.
“Telesphere VideoConnect is exactly the type of service-provider offering BroadCloud Video was designed to enable – HD videconferencing that supports multiple devices and integrates seamlessly with key unified communications services, and can be offered with a pricing structure compelling to cost-sensitive and underserved mid-market enterprises,” said Leslie Ferry, vice president of marketing, BroadSoft. “We applaud Telesphere’s innovation in bringing a CapEx-free videoconferencing solution to market that we believe can accelerate adoption of video.”
“Polycom works closely with partners such as Telesphere and BroadSoft to deliver affordable, cloud videoconferencing solutions that can be offered as a service to customers,” said Sue Hayden, executive vice president, Polycom. “Telesphere’s VideoConnect is powered by the Polycom UC Intelligent Core software platform and provides unmatched scalability, interoperability, reliability and security. Tailored for the tighter budgets and leaner staffs of emerging companies, cloud-delivered solutions like VideoConnect are integral to Polycom’s strategy to offer businesses, through our partner ecosystem, a fast on-ramp to the benefits of video collaboration and a flexible expansion path in line with their business growth.”
VideoConnect features an intuitive user interface (UI) with a nearly flat learning curve for employees. For example, when employees place a call from a videophone or a webcam-equipped personal computer using a softphone such as CounterPath’s Bria, Bria for BroadWorks®, Telesphere’s infrastructure detects whether the called party also is video-enabled and, if so, automatically sets up a one-to-one video call. This design eliminates the need for employees to maintain separate videophones, additional numbers or special addresses for colleagues, clients and business partners.
Direct one-to-one video calls are free, while charges for group videoconference calls using the BroadCloud Video bridge are based on minutes and port usage.
Additional key VideoConnect features and functionality include:
- BroadCloud Video-enabled support for HD video quality at up to 1080p an connection via SIP, H.264, H.263, H.323 and H.320
- Employees within the same company can use four-digit dialing for video calls.
- BroadCloud Video-enabled seamless integration of videconferencing with additional or existing enterprise and unified communications services such as web collaboration, IM & Presence and HD voice.
- An intuitive UI that automatically displays the video feeds from the six most recent speakers, with the current one in the center pane.
- For videoconferences with more than two parties, a Telesphere-provided video attendant welcomes each participant to the bridge, requests a passcode and places them in a virtual waiting area if the conference hasn’t begun. This feature enables any size business to provide a highly professional, concierge-level user experience.
- Real-time monitoring that automatically moves participants back to the waiting area if the moderator unexpectedly drops.
“Business use of video conferencing has expanded from room-based systems, to dedicated desktop devices, quickly followed by laptops and desktop computers. Now we’re starting to see tablets and smartphones as endpoints, too,” said Todd Carothers, CounterPath’s Senior Vice President, Products and Marketing. “It has reached a point where leading cloud communications companies like Telesphere can quickly deploy softphones as part of their VideoConnect service, lowering the cost of access and making participation much more widely available.”