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April 20, 2012

Video Conferencing for Enterprises Grows to Support Telepresence Technology

By Amanda Ciccatelli
TMCnet Web Editor

Managed video conferencing services are growing popular as enterprises look to service providers for the expertise to administer and support video conferencing and telepresence technology. Providers for managed video conferencing services must tailor offerings to specific needs and companies must pay attention to how employees are communicating and who they are communicating with. reported that before researching vendors and service providers, enterprises should identify who will be using the video-conferencing technology and what services the users will need.

Ira Weinstein, partner and senior analyst at Wainhouse (News - Alert) Research, said, “Choosing a certain vendor because another department I know uses them is easy, but it's not necessarily the right way to go. Enterprises must first understand how they are going to use video conferencing and then decide what features are needed."

The IT department should analyze how employees collaborate internally and how they communicate with people outside the company. Employees who require person-to-person communication may only need a desktop video service, while employees who must communicate more often with more people may require a room-based video conferencing.

Larger enterprises require higher-end managed video conferencing services from a provider than will a small or medium-sized business (SMB). A large enterprise that conducts frequent meetings and communication among headquarters could require a service provider to bridge the calls, organize meeting schedules within a telepresence room.

Return Path, an email certification company, selected Vidtel (News - Alert) for managed video-conferencing services because of its point-to-point video and multi-party video calling capabilities, which can integrate with Skype and Lifesize.

"Return Path has 10 worldwide offices and a number of remote employees, so the most important thing for us is the point-to-point video calls," said Matt Blumberg, CEO and chairman of Return Path. "Interoperability with Skype (News - Alert) and Lifesize is also critical, as not everyone in the organization has a video phone."

Interoperability with other video conferencing equipment from multiple vendors is becoming an important feature for managed video-conferencing services, especially for enterprises who want a provider to take over management of legacy equipment. Video managed-service provider Teliris (News - Alert) recently added this capability to Lentaris, its cloud-based video conferencing platform.

"Teliris has not provided a managed service for other manufacturer's endpoints," said Jeff Tench, chief marketing officer of Teliris. "Many enterprises have a mixed bag of other providers, but Lentiris allows us to manage the entirety of the video estate for an enterprise in a unified fashion."

As enterprises reexamine video as a productivity driver, they are taking inventory of their existing services and equipment. They also want to get the most out of their investments so they are starting to ask how they can bring an expert in to better manage video conferencing services. While enterprises have choices when it comes to managed video-conferencing services, interest in outsourcing video management is on the rise.

Edited by Rich Steeves

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