Improvements in high-definition display and audio technology, video switching and compression, quality of service across the Internet, bandwidth affordability, human interface design, and collaboration management software have all contributed to the evolution of advanced video conferencing into "immersive telepresence." This fast-growing industry is now delivering on its old promise to provide a natural-seeming, face-to-face experience that can in many cases eliminate the business need for air travel.
But the business case for telepresence is not limited to saving money on plane tickets, meals, and hotels. Telepresence is all about productivity. Virtual conference room and theater systems can sharpen the focus of busy executives, contribute to faster and smarter management decisions, streamline operations, shorten the product development cycle, and improve the effectiveness of training. Because the latest platforms support almost any endpoint, including the new generation of netbooks, tablets, and smart phones, companies can leverage their investment in telepresence by extending its reach throughout the organization.
Still, significant challenges persist for realizing the full benefits of telepresence. Major issues include interoperability, emerging communication protocols, maintaining or upgrading legacy systems, and designing network infrastructure that can deliver the required high levels of throughput, security, consistency, and availability. Progent can provide the expertise of a senior consultant with years of experience installing, maintaining, and enhancing telepresence systems from top-tier vendors including Cisco/TANDBERG, Polycom, LifeSize, and Radvision and can work with your in-house IT team, your ISP, and your telepresence platform supplier to help your company maximize the business value of your telepresence ecosystem.
Telepresence Platforms Supported by Progent
Progent allows enterprise clients to outsource or co-source video conferencing expertise in order to save time and money and reduce technical risk for telepresence projects including system installation, configuration, troubleshooting, upgrades, migration, integration with various software applications and physical endpoints, and network optimization. Progent and can provide online or onsite consulting from an expert with a long background in telepresence solutions from Cisco, TANDBERG, Polycom, LifeSize, and Radvision. Telepresence technology providers supported by Progent include:
Cisco Immersive Telepresence Products
Cisco is the leading provider of immersive telepresence products, having delivered the most multi-screen systems and specialized telepresence endpoints. Cisco has solidified this leadership position with the acquisition of TANDBERG. Cisco is also the number one provider of video conferencing multipoint control units (MCUs) and offers the Cisco TelePresence Multipoint Switch (CTMS), an ultra-efficient video switch for mixed endpoints. Cisco's top-of-the-line telepresence platforms are the Cisco TelePresence System 3010 and 3210 product families, three-screen systems which can work with Cisco's lower-cost modular and single-screen systems.
Cisco's TelePresence Management Suite (TMS) enables centralized control of Cisco's telepresence conferencing and media services infrastructure and endpoints. To simplify scheduling, Cisco offers the TelePresence Management Suite Extension for Microsoft Exchange (TMSXE), which integrates with Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 and 2010 to provide scheduling capabilities through Microsoft Outlook and Outlook Web Access (OWA).
Progent can provide the services of a Cisco telepresence expert or a certified Cisco CCIE network engineer to help you design and implement the conferencing system and infrastructure required to deliver the full benefits of Cisco telepresence technology. Progent also offers the expertise of certified Microsoft Exchange Server consultants to help you integrate Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 or 2010 with Cisco's TelePresence Management Suite to streamline scheduling.
TANDBERG Telepresence Systems
TANDBERG's TelePresence T Series products, acquired by Cisco and subsequently assigned end-of-life status, include the TelePresence T3 and the smaller-footprint TelePresence T1. The TelePresence T3, a six-seat telepresence group system that replaced the TANDBERG Experia product family, is a classic immersive telepresence system that includes three 65-inch HD LCD displays, three C90 codecs, three speaker modules, six directional microphones incorporated in an integrated table, ceiling-mounted studio lighting modules, and three 23-inch HD touch-screen collaboration displays.
Protocols supported by TANDBERG T3 Telepresence Systems include H.323 and SIP (through the Cisco TelePresence Video Communications Server). The T3 system can be managed via the Cisco TelePresence Management Suite (TMS) or through embedded Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP), Telnet, Secure Shell (SSH) Protocol, XML, and SOAP.
Progent can provide the online or onsite support of an expert in TANDBERG telepresence technology who has earned TANDBERG TCTE, TCTS, TCTA, and CTSS certifications and can help you manage and support your TANDBERG T3 system or other legacy products from TANDBERG. Progent can also you plan and execute an efficient migration from TANDBERG telepresence systems to solutions from Cisco or other leading providers. Progent can also help you maintain the TANDBERG Telepresence Server, a telepresence and video conferencing MCU designed to support TANDBERG telepresence products and interoperate with other TANDBERG video conferencing solutions and standards-compliant video conferencing systems from other manufacturers.
Polycom Telepresence Solutions
Polycom has provided video conferencing solutions for more than a decade, beginning with the popular ViewStation product family. After acquiring Destiny Conferencing, Polycom introduced the RealPresence Experience (RPX) system, an immersive telepresence environment including high-definition video displays. Polycom's RealPresence family has expanded to support a full line of video conferencing and telepresence products that includes solutions for immersive theaters, conference rooms, branch offices and home offices, and mobile devices.
Polycom's high-end RPX immersive theater systems, the RPX 200 and RPX 400 Series, offer multiple floor plans to support up to 28 seats per room and include walls, tables, lighting, A/V components, a touch panel control screen, and up to 16-feet of seamless HD video display. The RPX environment is distinguished by allowing all suite occupants to see one another in full view whether standing, sitting, or walking around the room. Polycom RPX systems use the advanced H.264 High Profile transcoding protocol for video compression and offer connectivity to Cisco TelePresence Systems by supporting Cisco's proprietary Telepresence Interoperability Protocol (TIP).
Polycom's RealPresence platforms feature voice and video Integration with Microsoft Lync Server 2010 and Microsoft Lync 2010 client, Microsoft Exchange Server 2010/2013, and Microsoft Outlook 2010/2013. Polycom's RealPresence Media Manager offers video content management capabilities through integration with Microsoft SharePoint 2010. Progent offers telepresence expertise as well as the support of Microsoft-certified consultants who can help you benefit fully from Polycom's tight integration with Microsoft technology by providing services such as Microsoft Exchange 2019 migration consulting, Microsoft Exchange 2016 planning and deployment expertise, Exchange Server 2013 integration, Exchange Server 2010 configuration and support, SharePoint application development, and Microsoft Lync consulting.
LifeSize Telepresence Systems
LifeSize, a division of Logitech, addresses the mid-size enterprise market by offering modular telepresence systems sometimes referred to as "telepresence lite." Total system costs can be kept at a minimum because LifeSize permits customers to provide their own accessories. The LifeSize 220 Series supports as many as eight participants in a room and allows users to see up to four active sites at one time. LifeSize 220 systems can handle two customer-supplied HD displays and two HD cameras and features streaming and recording of point-to-point and multipoint calls.
The LifeSize Passport HD video conferencing system is intended for small meeting rooms or offices. Integration with Skype allows single-click access to any Skype user via the LifeSize Passport directory. The LifeSize UVC Video Engine for Microsoft Lync works together with LifeSize 220 Series and LifeSize Passport room-based video systems to support 4-way continuous-presence HD video calls managed with Microsoft Lync.
Progent offers access to a LifeSize-qualified video conferencing subject matter expert who can help you to plan, implement, and manage a current LifeSize telepresence solution or support and upgrade a legacy system. Progent's Microsoft Lync Server consultants can also assist you to integrate Lync Server to work with your LifeSize telepresence environment and can help you extend realtime Presence and IM across your entire network.
Radvision/Avaya Video Conferencing Products
Radvision, acquired by Avaya, offers entry-level telepresence systems that include the XT5000, which supports 9-way multi-party conferencing and features H.264 High Profile video compression and H.264 Scalable Video Coding (SVC). Radvision also offers the SCOPIA XT series of dual-screen video conferencing systems and the SCOPIA Desktop web plug-in for PCs and Macs, which can display as many as 28 participants at one time and allows file and image sharing.
Radvision's telepresence infrastructure appliances include the SCOPIA Elite 5000 Series Multipoint Conferencing Unit (MCU) with H.264 Scalable Video Coding (SVC) technology; the SCOPIA 100 gateway for seamless video connectivity between ISDN, serial and IP networks; and the SCOPIA PathFinder Firewall Traversal, which supports all H.323 standards-based endpoints or gatekeepers and provides secure connectivity between enterprise networks and remote sites.
Progent can provide the support of an expert in Radvision telepresence technology who can help you deploy, maintain, or expand Radvision video conferencing systems. Progent also offers the support of infrastructure consultants, including Cisco-certified network engineers, who can help you design, configure, or troubleshoot networks that incorporate Radvision's MCUs, gateways, and firewall traversals.
Enterprise Telepresence and Video Conferencing Support Services Available from Progent
Progent offers online and onsite consulting services to help enterprises to manage, support, expand, and upgrade legacy video conferencing systems or to plan, install, configure, and manage state-of-the art immersive telepresence platforms. Progent can provide the expertise of a consultant who has worked with Cisco, TANDBERG, Polycom, LifeSize and Radvision to deploy telepresence solutions and can help you solve interoperability problems and expand the scope of your telepresence environment to accommodate workstations and bring-your-own-device (BYOD) environments. Progent has experience working with established communication standards such as H.323, SIP, and H.264 as well as newer or proprietary protocols such as Cisco TIP. Progent's Cisco-certified CCIE network engineers can help transition from legacy ISDN-based video conferencing networks to faster, fully redundant connectivity solutions.
Progent's project management experts can help you implement your telepresence initiatives within your budget and schedule, and Progent's Microsoft-certified consultants can assist you to integrate your telepresence system with key platforms such as Microsoft Lync Server/Office Communications Server, Exchange Server, and SharePoint. Progent's network security engineers can help you evaluate and mitigate the vulnerability of your telepresence system to security threats, and Progent's Cisco-certified CCIE network engineers can help you design your network infrastructure to provide the performance, quality of service, fault tolerance, and security required for your telepresence solution.
Contact Progent for Telepresence Consulting Services
For more information about Progent's consulting services for enterprise telepresence, call 800-993-9400 or visit Contact Progent.