SHARE



ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Beth Schultz
Beth Schultz is editor of No Jitter and program co-chair for Enterprise Connect. Beth has more than two decades of...
Read Full Bio >>
SHARE



Beth Schultz | October 06, 2016 |

 
   

Join Legacy Video Gear to Skype for Business Online Meetings, Now!

Join Legacy Video Gear to Skype for Business Online Meetings, Now! West UC rolls out video transcoding service that allows one-click integration of legacy video endpoints into Skype for Business meetings.

West UC rolls out video transcoding service that allows one-click integration of legacy video endpoints into Skype for Business meetings.

Microsoft wants enterprises to build next-generation meeting rooms that rely on Skype for Business Online services even as they take advantage of legacy video endpoints. This we learned last week at Ignite, with the preview of Polycom RealConnect Service for Office365, a cloud service that, like its preexisting premises-based counterpart, will provide a one-click approach for supporting non-native video conferencing systems from other vendors in a Skype for Business meeting (see related No Jitter post, "Showtime for Skype for Business Online").

This week, another Microsoft Skype for Business partner, West Unified Communications Services, is hoping to help Microsoft achieve that goal, too -- vying for a first-mover advantage with a video transcoding gateway service now available globally. The new service, called Video Meeting Gateway (VMG), drops the barriers to integrating legacy video assets into Skype for Business Online meetings by providing seamless connectivity for H.323/SIP endpoints.

VMG reflects a deepening of the longtime strategic alignment between West UC and video collaboration company Yorktel, said Jon Bratsis, VP of product management at West UC, in an interview about the new service. VMG matches up Yorktel's video infrastructure expertise with West UC's understanding of the intelligent mapping and logic required to integrate into the Office 365 platform -- knowledge it has from doing so with its InterCall audio conferencing environments, he explained.

With VMG, West UC aims to provide enterprises a way to get more value out of their Office 365 licenses by allowing them a simple way to turn legacy video assets into components of a "Skype for Business-first" business collaboration strategy, Bratsis said. He described two ways in which VMG fits into the bigger collaboration picture.

In the first, a Skype for Business user who needs to join a video meeting would simply click on the calendar invite for a dial-in, with ID, to the H.323 or SIP endpoint. The experience is quite similar to how a user would join an audio conference, Bratsis said.

The second is a dial-out scenario. A user initiates a chat with a colleague via the Skype for Business instant messaging function. They escalate the conversation into a voice and video call, and then decide they need to pull in three additional team members, all of whom are located at another office. A video room at the site is available in the Skype for Business contact list, and so they gather there and the first user drags and drops the "asset" into the existing call. "Traditionally an asset has been a human on a desktop or a mobile device, but with this technology you can now drag and drop a video room into a call," he noted.

Frost & Sullivan analyst Rob Arnold agreed that solutions like VMG and the impending Polycom RealConnect Service for Office365 are "very important ... to enterprises that have chosen Skype for Business but also have investments they want to preserve and add value to."

As to VMG specifically, West should be able to parlay the trusted incumbent provider status it has with enterprises using its InterCall audio conferencing service with Skype for Business into video conferencing relationships, Arnold told me via email. "Further, VMG supports numerous deployment and consumption models -- cloud, on-prem, and hybrid. That means enterprises can find their best fits without compromise," he added.

West UC has priced VMG on a capacity model, based on the number of concurrent connections required monthly. The minimum buy-in is 10 concurrent connections, with each port priced at $199, Bratsis said. Should an enterprise exceed the number of its licensed concurrent connections on occasion, VMG will scale up in a "non-penalizing way," he added. In other words, West UC will honor the same concurrent connection charge as purchased for that month.

That said, resizing to accommodate greater capacity could be to an enterprise's advantage. The more capacity a company commits to monthly, the lower the per-connection charge, Bratsis noted.

As for the first-mover advantage West UC is hoping to parlay... that may not last for too long, as Arnold noted, seeing as how other partners are looking for ways to add appeal to Skype for Business deployments. West "must execute effectively or else surrender an opportunity to others, such as Polycom, that will not be very far behind."

Video interoperability is a topic of discussion set for the one-day Enterprise Connect Summit Series program, "Making Skype for Business Work For Your Enterprise," coming to New York on Wednesday, Oct. 19, and Chicago on Wednesday, Oct. 26. Check out the full schedule, and register now!

Follow Beth Schultz and No Jitter on Twitter and Google+!
@nojitter
@Beth_Schultz
Beth Schultz on Google+





COMMENTS



Enterprise Connect Orlando 2018
March 12-15 | Orlando, FL

Connect with the Entire Enterprise Communications & Collaboration Ecosystem


Stay Up-to-Date: Hear industry visionaries in Keynotes and General Sessions delivering the latest insight on UC, mobility, collaboration and cloud

Grow Your Network: Connect with the largest gathering of enterprise IT and business leaders and influencers

Learn From Industry Leaders: Attend a full range of Conference Sessions, Free Programs and Special Events

Evaluate All Your Options: Engage with 190+ of the leading equipment, software and service providers

Have Fun! Mingle with sponsors, exhibitors, attendees, guest speakers and industry players during evening receptions

Register now with code NOJITTEREB to save $200 Off Advance Rates or get a FREE Expo Pass!

November 29, 2017

As video conferencing use rises in the enterprise, businesses are looking for ways to bring this technology out of traditional conference room and make it more broadly accessible. That's made the h

November 1, 2017

Your customers (internal and external) demand that you offer them the ability to connect by any means. With the adoption of cloud communications tools you now have access to an expanded portfolio o

October 18, 2017

Microsofts recent Ignite event had some critically important announcements for enterprise communications. Namely, Microsofts new Team Collaboration offering, Teams, will be its primary communicatio

October 23, 2017
Wondering which Office 365 collaboration tool to use when? Get quick pointers from CBT Nuggets instructor Simona Millham.
September 22, 2017
In this podcast, we explore the future of work with Robert Brown, AVP of the Cognizant Center for the Future of Work, who helps us answer the question, "What do we do when machines do everything?"
September 8, 2017
Greg Collins, a technology analyst and strategist with Exact Ventures, delivers a status report on 5G implementation plans and tells enterprises why they shouldn't wait to move ahead on potential use ....
August 25, 2017
Find out what business considerations are driving the SIP trunking market today, and learn a bit about how satisfied enterprises are with their providers. We talk with John Malone, president of The Ea....
August 16, 2017
World Vision U.S. is finding lots of goodness in RingCentral's cloud communications service, but as Randy Boyd, infrastructure architect at the global humanitarian nonprofit, tells us, he and his team....
August 11, 2017
Alicia Gee, director of unified communications at Sutter Physician Services, oversees the technical team supporting a 1,000-agent contact center running on Genesys PureConnect. She catches us up on th....
August 4, 2017
Andrew Prokop, communications evangelist with Arrow Systems Integration, has lately been working on integrating enterprise communications into Internet of Things ecosystems. He shares examples and off....
July 27, 2017
Industry watcher Elka Popova, a Frost & Sullivan program director, shares her perspective on this acquisition, discussing Mitel's market positioning, why the move makes sense, and more.
July 14, 2017
Lantre Barr, founder and CEO of Blacc Spot Media, urges any enterprise that's been on the fence about integrating real-time communications into business workflows to jump off and get started. Tune and....
June 28, 2017
Communications expert Tsahi Levent-Levi, author of the popular BlogGeek.me blog, keeps a running tally and comprehensive overview of communications platform-as-a-service offerings in his "Choosing a W....
June 9, 2017
If you think telecom expense management applies to nothing more than business phone lines, think again. Hyoun Park, founder and principal investigator with technology advisory Amalgam Insights, tells ....
June 2, 2017
Enterprises strategizing on mobility today, including for internal collaboration, don't have the luxury of learning as they go. Tony Rizzo, enterprise mobility specialist with Blue Hill Research, expl....
May 24, 2017
Mark Winther, head of IDC's global telecom consulting practice, gives us his take on how CPaaS providers evolve beyond the basic building blocks and address maturing enterprise needs.
May 18, 2017
Diane Myers, senior research director at IHS Markit, walks us through her 2017 UC-as-a-service report... and shares what might be to come in 2018.
April 28, 2017
Change isn't easy, but it is necessary. Tune in for advice and perspective from Zeus Kerravala, co-author of a "Digital Transformation for Dummies" special edition.
April 20, 2017
Robin Gareiss, president of Nemertes Research, shares insight gleaned from the firm's 12th annual UCC Total Cost of Operations study.
March 23, 2017
Tim Banting, of Current Analysis, gives us a peek into what the next three years will bring in advance of his Enterprise Connect session exploring the question: Will there be a new model for enterpris....
March 15, 2017
Andrew Prokop, communications evangelist with Arrow Systems Integration, discusses the evolving role of the all-important session border controller.
March 9, 2017
Organizer Alan Quayle gives us the lowdown on programmable communications and all you need to know about participating in this pre-Enterprise Connect hackathon.
March 3, 2017
From protecting against new vulnerabilities to keeping security assessments up to date, security consultant Mark Collier shares tips on how best to protect your UC systems.
February 24, 2017
UC analyst Blair Pleasant sorts through the myriad cloud architectural models underlying UCaaS and CCaaS offerings, and explains why knowing the differences matter.
February 17, 2017
From the most basics of basics to the hidden gotchas, UC consultant Melissa Swartz helps demystify the complex world of SIP trunking.
February 7, 2017
UC&C consultant Kevin Kieller, a partner at enableUC, shares pointers for making the right architectural choices for your Skype for Business deployment.
February 1, 2017
Elka Popova, a Frost & Sullivan program director, shares a status report on the UCaaS market today and offers her perspective on what large enterprises need before committing to UC in the cloud.
January 26, 2017
Andrew Davis, co-founder of Wainhouse Research and chair of the Video track at Enterprise Connect 2017, sorts through the myriad cloud video service options and shares how to tell if your choice is en....
January 23, 2017
Sheila McGee-Smith, Contact Center/Customer Experience track chair for Enterprise Connect 2017, tells us what we need to know about the role cloud software is playing in contact centers today.