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Cisco Delivers Tandberg Telepresence Interoperability

June 09, 2010

Cisco's acquisition of Tandberg is beginning to bear results with immersive, multiscreen interoperability between Cisco and Tandberg TelePresence systems, and with other third-party systems, by integrating the Telepresence Interoperability Protocol "TIP" on Cisco's newly acquired Tandberg TelePresence Server. This interoperability solution, which will be commercially available in late July, helps enable multi-screen, high-definition video collaboration between all major telepresence vendors.

Cisco has also introduced a host of other offerings in an effort to deliver the most comprehensive set of collaboration choices for customers. These cover business-quality mobile video collaboration to Mac and PC users, and bridge standards-based video collaboration offerings for mixed Mac-PC environments, ClearPath integration and a new small-midsized business-targeted telepresence solution.
The announcement comes just weeks after the close of Cisco's Tandberg acquisition. The interoperability is timely when there is growing interest in telepresence to manage travel costs and avoid disruptions such as the eruption of Iceland's Eyjafjallajökull volcano.
Here are the products' highlights:
*          Increased interoperability with the open-source Telepresence Interoperability Protocol (TIP)
In what Cisco says is a "significant step toward broad-based interoperability", Cisco's Tandberg TelePresence Server -- available as both a blade in the MSE 8000 chassis (MSE 8710) and a standalone appliance (TS 7010) -- will support TIP. This support enables interoperability between multiscreen telepresence units from different vendors, as well as the full line of Cisco's Tandberg products, to connect customers, in HD video and high-quality audio regardless of their telepresence system choice.
*          Movi for Mac Client and Other Movi Enhancements
Cisco's new Movi client for Macs and several enhancements to the Movi PC client make the benefits of enterprise-quality mobile video collaboration even more accessible, says the firm. Movi for Mac opens up the world of standards-based video collaboration to Mac users and is critical for mixed Mac-PC environments such as education institutions.
The latest Movi software for both Macs and PCs offers Far End Camera Control, which allows remote control of far-end cameras, which is especially useful in telemedicine environments. It also supplies ClearPath, which improves video quality by minimizing the effects of packet loss in nonoptimal network conditions. In addition it introduces Multiway, a feature that enables Movi users to initiate ad hoc multiparty telepresence calls with other standards-compliant devices for seamless collaboration. There is also ICE protocol support that increases call capacity outside the firewall, which is critical for large-scale installations of home and remote workers.
*          Cisco TelePresence Commercial Express
This new value-priced solution combines three infrastructure components -- Cisco TelePresence Manager, Cisco TelePresence Multipoint Switch and Cisco TelePresence Recording Server -- onto one server using VMware. The Cisco TelePresence Commercial Express server is specifically priced and packaged for small- and medium-sized businesses to enable easier deployment, simpler licensing and faster realization of productivity benefits for this unique group of telepresence users.
*          MSE 8000 Backplane-Enablement Upgrades
The MSE 8000 is a highly scalable and flexible chassis-based platform for high-definition video and audio communication. New software releases for the MSE-8000-supporting MSE 8710 TelePresence Server blade and the MSE 8510 Media2 blade triples the capacity of individual multipoint conference. These range up to 48 screens in a multiscreen telepresence call with continuous presence (MSE 8710) and up to 60 screens in a single-screen multipoint call with continuous presence (MSE 8510 Media2). These enhancements increase the efficiency of port/screen usage across the platform and allow larger, more scalable immersive telepresence calls between all standards-based products.
*          Expanded inTouch Availability
 The inTouch interface is being integrated with Cisco's Tandberg C Series Profile to provide it says "an even more user-friendly experience". Based on the touch-screen technology in the immersive Tandberg T3 and T1 Cisco TelePresence systems, inTouch is an intuitive touch-screen user interface that simplifies making and managing video calls, sharing content, and accessing advanced features, all with the glide of a finger. InTouch is also available with the EX90 personal telepresence system.
*          ClearPath
This innovative set of technologies improves video quality by minimizing the effects of packet loss on networks not originally designed for video. Initially available in the Movi for Mac and PC clients as noted above, ClearPath will be implemented across the broader Cisco TelePresence portfolio.
"Companies of all sizes are turning to telepresence -- the next generation of videoconferencing -- for its proven ability to speed decisions, increase productivity and drive competitive advantage by putting people at the center of collaboration," said Fredrik Halvorsen, senior vice president and general manager, TelePresence technology group, Cisco. 'With the new and enhanced offerings announced today, we are delivering greater accessibility, flexibility and scalability to our customers and making telepresence for everyone, everywhere a reality."

Brendan B. Read is unified communications's Senior Contributing Editor. To read more of Brendan's articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Stefania Viscusi

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