If analysts are to be believed, the videoconferencing and telepresence market will more than double to $5 billion in annual revenue over the next four years. In this context, Phoenix, US-based Telesphere has introduced the VideoConnect, a hosted video service that promises to enable any size business to implement videoconferencing quickly and cost-effectively by targeting its webcam-equipped PCs, room-based video systems, videophones, smartphones, tablets and softphones.
Telesphere VideoConnect expands the company’s already broad range of cloud-based business communication solutions, such as hosted voice, hosted call center and hosted call recording for businesses.
So, what exactly is Teleshphere Videoconnect and how does it make use of the cloud? According to Sanjay Srinivasan, CTO, the VideoConnect is a hosted video conferencing service that allows callers to join reservationless video conferences using a variety of end points, including video phones, tele-presence room systems, softphones with webcams on PC, and also targets the multitude of tablets and smartphones. It supports HD quality video.
"All of the bridging/conferencing intelligence resides in the cloud and the end users need not have and operate complicated video equipment on premises. Additionally, being in the cloud, it removes the complexities of having to deal with firewall and NAT traversal issues as it is based on industry standard IP protocols. Users join a video conference by dialing in to a bridge, and entering a passcode," he added.
Naturally, that leads to what the hosted infrastructure involves. Srinivasan said: "The infrastructure involves amongst other things the bridging/conferencing systems and network session border controllers to allow seamless NAT/firewall traversal and bandwidth control/management to support a variety of network bandwidth availability situations."
In call bridging, it says that up to 12 simultaneous legs can be enabled. Does this mean that up to 12 users can be on one call on Videoconnect?
"Yes," said Srinivasan. "Up to 12 users/legs can be on a call. Of course, if one of the legs is a conference room, that only counts as one leg independent of the number of people in the room assuming there is one camera in there."
One-to-one calls are kept free, for now. Therefore, does it mean this is a free solution for most users?
He said: "This means that two endpoints on our network are able to have a peer-to-peer video call at no charge. A good example of this might be a multi-site customer that has people having video calls with each other and if they use a video phone with good sized screen, they can use it for ad hoc conferencing as well."
Now, what kind of pricing strategy has Videoconnect firmed up, if at all? "The pricing strategy will be made available in updates coming soon. However, the overall strategy used will be in line with the concept of hosted services in general enabling customers to leverage this capability with monthly fees," concluded Srinivasan.
Available to select Telesphere customers immediately, Telesphere VideoConnect features an intuitive user interface (UI) and hosted infrastructure that combine to create a nearly flat learning curve for employees.