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Teliris Lentaris: Cloudbased Interop Rounds Out the Teliris Lineup

November 30, 2011 | David S. Maldow, Esq.
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Telepresence Options recently had the opportunity to chat with Steve Gage (co-founder and CTO of Teliris) about how the new Lentaris announcement fits into Teliris' overall strategy. Last month we reported on Teliris' new low cost endpoints and multivendor managed services. According to Gage, Lentaris adds an essential element (cloud based interoperability) to the complete telepresence solution envisioned by Teliris.

Lentaris
Lentaris is named after a lens shaped cloud (lenticularis). The name is a good fit as Teliris is focusing on the cloud to provide videoconferencing interop. Teliris claims Lentaris is the "world's first service provider, cloud-based, interoperability platform."

Many service providers offer interop via hosted bridges, which takes the burden of owning infrastructure away from customers. However, they are still using a port-based (expensive, non-scalable) hardware MCU model. Virtualization of videoconferencing infrastructure provides massive scalability and cost efficiency (please see our recent coverage of the virtualization of Vidyo's VidyoRouter). By virtualizing their internal infrastructure, Teliris will be able to offer interoperability as a disruptively priced SaaS (software as a service). Lentaris will be deployed at first on commodity hardware at intercontinental Teliris locations. As the program matures it will be deployed on Virtustream's cloud service, further increasing the scalability and cost effectiveness of the solution.

Cloud-based interop brings to mind the Blue Jeans model, a virtualized MCU in the cloud which allows various endpoints (including traditional H.323 systems and Skype users) to dial into a meeting room. Lentaris differs from Blue Jeans in a few key ways. For now, Blue Jeans appears to be covering the B2C (business to customer) role, allowing users of standards based meeting room systems to talk to customers on Skype. However, Blue Jeans does not work with TIP based, high end, immersive telepresence rooms. In comparison, Teliris sees Lentaris as unifying the enterprise world by connecting the high end TIP systems to standards based room systems (Teliris plans on adding Skype compatibility to Lentaris in the future). Perhaps more importantly, Blue Jeans offers a "serve yourself" bridge in the cloud, while the Lentaris offering is wrapped with Teliris' acclaimed managed services. This fits in with the Teliris strategy of offering a complete "soup to nuts" solution for telepresence users.

Steve Gage says, "Teliris' Lentaris includes a virtualized video management platform where all transcoding functions will be done in software and is designed from the ground up as a distributed, cascaded environment with optimized routing algorithms and real time failover." Clearly Teliris envisions Lentaris to be not just the virtualized interop platform described in the press release, but a full call management and distribution application.

The Teliris Strategy
Videoconferencing is rapidly shifting from an executive luxury, to a critical business application. The long, long, awaited adoption tipping point appears to finally be upon us, with Gartner predicting that the 9.3 million soft-clients in the field in 2010 will grow to 132.3 million soft-clients by 2015. Greater bandwidth availability and the constant improvement in commodity hardware (Moore's law) are helping to put videoconferencing within the reach of SMBs and consumers. At the same time, consumer videoconferencing solutions are helping to create a "bottom up" push for videoconferencing in the workplace.

Unfortunately, competing standards are not going away. Waiting for all of the videoconferencing vendors to finally come together and create true interop standardization is not an option for Teliris. Their customers want full interop on all of their systems now. More than that, they want B2B videoconferencing which even further complicates the interop equation.

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Teliris not only wants to meet these demands, it plans to do so while addressing three major problem areas with traditional videoconferencing; end user experience (quality and ease of use), total cost of ownership, and operational complexity. Their strategy for solving these problems includes the following items:

  • Shifting from hardware to software / service focus
  • Delivering software based endpoints
  • Broadening managed services beyond Teliris products
  • Delivering a disruptive, SaaS, cloud-based interop solution as part of their managed service platform

Teliris will have addressed all of these items with the release of Lentaris, in combination with their previous announcement of new software based endpoints and the expansion of their managed services. As Steve Gage explains, the total offering... "includes a range of endpoints from the desktop to the Boardroom, and management of all endpoints (Teliris and others).The net effect being the ability to provide fully scalable deployments and interoperability that is easy and affordable."

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It should be noted that this isn't another "me too" offering, riding the recent wave of excitement over virtualization. Teliris (always a leader) began this process with heavy investments over 3 years ago because they foresaw the reality of today's videoconferencing market. This foresight has enabled their development into a "one stop shop" for complete videoconferencing deployments, support and management.

About the Author 

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David Maldow is a visual collaboration technologist with the Human Productivity Lab and an associate editor at Telepresence Options. David has extensive expertise in testing, evaluating, and explaining telepresence and other visual collaboration technologies. David is focused on providing third-party independent testing of telepresence and visual collaboration endpoints and infrastructure and helping industry participants explain complicated subjects through white papers and other end-user facing publications.  







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