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Glowpoint Connects Telepresence
Glowpoint has been connecting business-to-business video conferencing users for many years, so their recent "Telepresence Exchange Network" or TEN announcement is a logical extension of their current offerings. Glowpoint envisions creating a set of connections between carriers and enterprises that will provide high quality QoS enabled IP transport between secure enterprise networks to support video conferencing and telepresence. Glowpoint's vision extends well beyond the network layer to the dialing plan, scheduling, enabling of different levels of security, conference support and even translation services.
Brandofino spoke about three layers of services designed to provide the full telepresence interconnection service as follows:
Network Interconnect Services: This layer addresses how the physical IP networks get interconnected. Glowpoint already supports a global network with multiple points-of-presence (PoPs) allowing them to interconnect with global WAN providers. Security, in the form of firewalls or session border controllers (SBCs) will be deployed with varying levels of security based on the needs of the enterprise. And connectivity through gateways to the public Internet and to ISDN will be provided which can be used unassisted.
Applications, Tools and Knowledge Base: This layer provides application layer functions such as a dial-plan consistent with the PSTN and unique for each client. Web-based scheduling tools, online reporting for usage and billing and optional participation in a global directory are also part of this layer, and lastly a knowledge base of best practices for implementing a global video conferencing service and for supporting video in the enterprise environment.
Managed Services: The third layer is the hands-on layer where Glowpoint will offer help-desk functions, concierge support, call launching, hosted or managed infrastructure such as bridges for multipoint conferences, gatekeepers, SBCs and gateways, access to public room communities, access to language interpretation services and conference event support such as trade shows and major announcements.
That is a big vision, but certainly one that we should expect to have available in the next few years. Video communications is definitely on the rise, driven by the difficulty of travel and the demands for increasing productivity. Brandofino used the 'vision' word more than once so I am sure some of these features will be more manual than automatic in the near term. But I know of global businesses who are already redefining the way they do business around the ability to video conference with their partners, vendors and customers around the world. Expect that this capability will be available, and start asking your vendors how to make this happen.