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Thomas Obrey[July 19, 2004]

CoIP: Conferencing over IP


Convedia Turbo charges Genesys Conferencing with boost courtesy of VoIP

 

BY RICH TEHRANI


It was inevitable. Really, it was. Everyone else has decided that voice over IP (VoIP) (define - news - alert - tutorial) was the wave of the future, and the conferencing market is no exception. Genesys Conferencing, a company with over 1,000 employees and having delivered 1.3 billion conferencing minutes in 2003, decided to take the VoIP plunge.

By deploying Convedia’s CMS-600 media server Genesys has been able to combine conferencing units to reduce cost and thus improve profitability. In addition to the savings, they are able to provide "reservationless" events and videoconferencing features. It is important to note that both VoIP devices and legacy PSTN devices are supported. According to the COO of Genesys Conferencing, Jim Huzell, the scalability of their VoIP-based backbone is theoretically infinite.

VoIP usually provides benefits far beyond cost-savings and the conferencing market is just one arena where customers can feel this in action.

  • Enhanced features and integration with other applications such as ERP and CRM as well as collaboration tools and portals.

  • Support for a variety of endpoints from smart phones to PDAs and PCs.

  • Integration into messaging systems via presence. A side benefit is increasing the ease in meeting planning and ad-hoc collaboration or as we call it at TMC, business as usual. 

  • Customizable voice prompts and commands.

  • Scalability: Tremendous flexibility in the number of simultaneous meetings.

This last point shouldn’t be overlooked. VoIP allows tremendous flexibility in allowing tremendous amounts of small conferences. This is something not possible in the TDM world, as it is hardware based and prohibitively expansive. In fact, Convedia is putting VoIP-powered conferencing to work by mixing audio for online gaming, specifically Xbox Live. They allow voice chat, customizable mixers, and the ability to have mute. VoIP-based conferencing in gaming is one of the hottest areas of VoIP.

There seems to be no market that VoIP is not revolutionizing by lowering costs, improving service and flexibility.

Rich Tehrani is TMC's president and group editor-in-chief.

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