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IOCOM Talks Video Conferencing, Unified Communications with TMCnet at Interop

October 20, 2011

IOCOM knows that groups and individuals want to be able to collaborate instantly, anytime, anywhere over a medium of their choosing and, accordingly, the company built its value proposition around that very notion.

Founded in 1998, IOCOM is a Chicago-based company that develops, markets, and supports enterprise video conferencing and collaboration software and solutions that enable multi-point communication for business processes, according to company officials.

“We started as VoIP company, but we were a bit ahead of the time; the world wasn’t ready for that yet,” Jim Miller, executive vice president of sales and marketing for IOCOM, told unified communications at Interop in New York City a few weeks ago. “…We were looking for new applications to ride over this integrated network where you start to combine voice and data networks together and we asked, ‘What can you do?’ We said video.”

From that point on, IOCOM became a video conferencing software company capable of scaling from desktops all the way up to full room systems. And, using the same software and interface, the company can scale down to a device as small as an Android. It’s a true unified communication platform across all kinds of systems, both Mac and PC, according to Miller.

Its flagship product Visimeet, which was introduced two years ago, is designed to fit all customers’ needs. According to company officials, Visimeet offers features and technology that most video conferencing and telepresence companies do not have; it has the ability to connect multiple videos in a single meeting and stream the videos with little to no lag; it allows you to adjust the video size to accommodate the number of videos in a meeting, bandwidth, or preferences it can connect to traditional video conferencing systems (H.323/SIP); and it can utilize a buddy list feature to easily see who is available and quickly invite them to a virtual meeting .

“Our value proposition is that it’s easier to use, it’s a lower cost of ownership and it’s more inclusive – you can bring more people in,” Miller said.

IOCOM’s existing customer base is heavily in the industry sector as companies like BP, Hess and British Gas deploy IOCOM services. Moreover, Visimeet has found a home in education particularly as video conferencing in schools becomes more and more ubiquitous.

While at Interop, IOCOM announced that another large corporate customer has fully integrated IOCOM Collaboration services with their existing Tandberg/Cisco Videoconferencing and Telepresence devices. This leading energy customer combined the highly flexible IOCOM service with their fixed conferencing assets to provide full cross platform usage. They integrated these systems to allow drilling rigs to communicate directly with existing videoconferencing devices at their headquarters, according to company officials.

“We are trying to get people to understand that we can interoperate with any of the existing systems out there,” Miller said of the announcement. “A lot of them don’t talk to each other well, we can.”

So over the past few decades, how has the industry changed, according to IOCOM?

“The hardware companies are now trying to get to the desktop but their hardware based infrastructure doesn’t really work that way; it doesn’t scale that way,” Miller said. “The trend is that it was HD two years ago and we had HD, then it was telepresence, and now the trend seems to be this unified communications platform which we have had since the beginning.”

“How it’s changed over the years is that it’s working better and people are more likely to use UC,” he added.

Carrie Schmelkin is a Web Editor for unified communications. Previously, she worked as Assistant Editor at the New Canaan Advertiser, a 102-year-old weekly newspaper, covering news and enhancing the publication's social media initiatives. Carrie holds a bachelor's degree in journalism and a bachelor's degree in English from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University. To read more of her articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Rich Steeves

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