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Cisco Upgrades Boost B2B Video Performance

March 18, 2013 | Telepresence Options

Story and Images by Chris Gonsalves / Channelnomics

Cisco Systems Inc. today announced a set of improvements to its video collaboration technology that should not only ease the use of video conferencing in the enterprise, but also give partners more options for packaging and managing value-added services for clients looking for better face-to-face communications in their daily business routines.

The announcements focus on software updates that significantly improve the performance and management of the Santa Clara, Calif., vendor's video conferencing offerings along with tighter integration of the company's enterprise TelePresence and cloud-based WebEx collaboration platforms.

First up are software upgrades for TelePresence Server and TelePresence Conductor that boost network intelligence, allowing the system to automatically set bandwidth and performance requirements based on the end-user device being used. In the past, TelePresence video collaboration sessions set aside enough network resources to support a high-definition, fully immersive TelePresence conference endpoint, even if a participant was accessing the session via standard-definition laptop or mobile device. Now ports, bandwidth and infrastructure will be automatically throttled up or down in real time based on client device with no degradation of the user experience.

With the software improvements, customers can expect a 70-percent gain in system efficiency, Roberto De La Mora, senior director of worldwide IP communication solutions marketing at Cisco tells Channelnomics. "This is about gaining greater use of existing infrastructure," De La Mora said. "Customers get more out of what they already have invested."

The changes should allow conference organizers to support many more connections per port and make video collaboration less expensive for most businesses, Cisco officials said.

"One important thing is that this is not just for Cisco client devices," De La Mora added. "As long as it is a standards-compatible video device, you get the benefit. That will also make it easier and cost effective for businesses to expand video collaboration to many more potential users."

In addition to fine-tuning efficiency through better network intelligence, Cisco is also folding new capabilities into Medianet Architecture that will allow network administrators to peer into network traffic, gather detailed information about each end user device and the type of content they are sharing, and set policies that control resource use during video conferences to ensure the session can't be interrupted by network activity that might degrade the video experience.

Those new capabilities hold promise for solution providers, Richard McLeod, senior director of worldwide collaboration channel sales at Cisco tells Channelnomics. "There's a significant advantage here to partners for value-added services," McLeod said, adding that optimizing customized policies for a variety of end-user clients can serve as a significant differentiator in the burgeoning video conferencing and collaborations services space.

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