Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Telesphere expands into cloud-based videoconferencing

PHOENIX, USA: Over the next four years, the videoconferencing and telepresence market will more than double to $5 billion in annual revenue, analysts estimate. To help enable that trend, Telesphere today announced Telesphere VideoConnect, a hosted video service that enables 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.

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.

For example, when employees place a call from a videophone or a webcam-equipped PC using a softclient, Telesphere’s infrastructure detects whether the called party also is video-enabled and, if so, automatically sets up a one-on-one video call. This design eliminates the need for employees to maintain separate videophones and additional numbers for colleagues, clients and business partners.

Telesphere’s cloud-based service features both one-on-one video calling and call bridging, enabling up to 12 simultaneous legs in a single videoconference. This vendor-agnostic approach enables participants using a wide variety of room-based videoconferencing systems, videophones and softclients to all see, talk with and hear one another immediately instead of wasting time tinkering with settings.

“For the first time, regardless of whether their employees are in the office, working from home or on the road, as long as there’s a broadband connection capable of supporting two-way video, Telesphere VideoConnect enables them to conduct one-on-one video calls and multi-party videoconferences quickly, easily and inexpensively,” said Clark Peterson, CEO, Telesphere. “With Telesphere VideoConnect, Telesphere’s customers can now see and talk to one another, no matter where they are using a PC, tablet, smartphone, videophone or even a telepresence system.”

One-on-one Telesphere VideoConnect calls are free, while pricing for calls using the Telesphere video bridge are based on minutes and port usage. The solution is CapEx-free because it’s compatible with a wide variety of room-based, Microsoft Windows and Apple Macintosh desktops and laptops, and videoconferencing systems from numerous vendors, all blended into a seamless user experience.

The other major features of Telesphere VideoConnect are:
* Support for HD video at up to 1080p.
* Employees within the same company can use four-digit dialing for video calls.
* An intuitive UI that automatically displays the video feeds from the six most recent speakers, with the current one in the center pane.
* For videoconferences with more than two parties, a Telesphere-provided live video attendant welcomes each participant to the bridge, requests a passcode and places them in a virtual waiting area if the conference hasn’t begun. This feature enables any size business to provide a highly professional, concierge-level user experience.
* A standards-based architecture, including SIP.
* Real-time monitoring that automatically moves participants back to the waiting area if the moderator unexpectedly drops.

“Businesses today frequently have distributed workforces, yet videoconferencing providers have been challenged with providing a user-friendly, cost-effective and feature-rich solution that‘s viable for any size company,” said Sanjay Srinivasan, CTO, Telesphere. “That all changes with Telesphere VideoConnect, the first on-demand videoconferencing solution that provides affordable and predictable costs, fast, low-touch installation, ease of use and compatibility with systems that their clients and business partners all already use.”

Elliot Gold, president of TeleSpan Publishing Corp. and a longtime observer of the conferencing-services market, said: “There is a need for this kind of service. With Microsoft buying Skype, and Facebook now offering Skype, many SMBs will want a ‘cloud based’ solution to link their current or new video systems from Polycom, Tandberg and others to their employees who work at satellite locations, or their homes or those on the road.”

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