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November 24, 2009

Instant Telepresence for Everyday Business: Reaching Out Face to Face with One to One, One to Many Conferencing (Part 3 of 5)

By Amy Tierney, TMCnet Web Editor

Editor’s Note: There are many uses for telepresence and video conferencing solutions. Companies are not only deploying them for the cost saving benefits, but also for the speed and personal connections they bring to the meeting environment. In the third installment of its five-part series highlighting the industry segment, TMCnet looks at the various ways companies are deploying communication technology with BrightCom, a provider of integrated telepresence and video conferencing solutions. Recently, TMCnet highlighted the use of BrightCom’s telepresence and video conferencing solutions to share business data. This week, we discuss how the company solutions can be used for ‘one to one’, or ‘one to many’ telepresence and video conferencing, depending on organizations’ needs.
Video conferencing and telepresence services have made inroads in recent years as businesses of all sizes and sectors are recognizing the technology for its cost effectiveness, ease of use and the ability to add the personal touch without physical presence.
Beyond the cost savings, companies are increasingly using the business communications tool for its ability to connect people across geographic regions instantaneously through video to video meetings. These spontaneous meetings help organizations save precious time and increase productivity every day. The instant communication facilitates decision-making, brainstorming and relationship building that is crucial to the success of any business, BrightCom officials said.
And companies like BrightCom, a Huntington, Beach, Calif.-based provider of integrated telepresence and video conferencing solutions, can help. Businesses that use BrightCom’s video conferencing services can connect to colleague, friend or family member using a conferencing system and see and hear the other person on a desktop computer screen, conference room display, telepresence suite or living room TV monitor.
Video conferencing provides businesses with instant video and audio conversations to accomplish everyday tasks. It enhances previous business communication channels, such as e-mail or the phone, with a more personal touch, allowing users to click to connect instantly to their colleagues, for more personable, more meaningful face-to-face communication. Telepresence (News - Alert) solutions take conferencing to the next level, delivering a natural experience for communication and teamwork by making people across the world feel as though they are in the same room.
Another benefit of using video conferencing for one to many users is the use of call waiting. For example, if a Los Angeles-based company wants to contact a colleague in New York, but thinks a colleague in Germany can better respond during the conversation, the business can put the New York contact on hold while they contact Germany. The technology also gives users the chance to connect the New York and German colleagues at the same time, if needed.
BrightCom’s Visual Collaboration Server, a processor based, single network appliance, is one such solution that fits the bill. It offers users a set of integrated video and Web conferencing capabilities, as well meeting scheduling and administration functions. Companies can log-in to a secured, online meeting environment and schedule or start instant meetings.
VCS powers BrightCom’s Lumina Telepresence and ClearView Video Conferencing with high definition, standard definition video and audio broadcasts that can be shown in a multi-screen layout the meeting moderator selects. With multiple data broadcasts, VCS can also display up to 16 video screens that can be seen by an unlimited number of participants broadcasting from desktop Web cams, conference rooms, or telepresence suites from around the world. Both data and video broadcasts are automatically adjusted to fit the number of displays for each endpoint, BrightCom said.
BrightCom’s system can connect with users in the same office, or be tailored to offer private, invitation-only meetings. It can also be used for public meetings to let anonymous users join, such as for Webinars, training programs and large presentations.
The solutions give users different ways to dial. Meeting participants can connect using remote control, or connect remotely via the Internet offering anonymous logins for public meetings. In addition, a meeting scheduler, which can integrate with a corporate directory service, can send personal invites to people. What’s more, BrightCom’s VCS gives people the ability to host instant meetings, offering meeting rooms on the fly.
Users can choose the solution that best fits their needs. Participants can choose with whom to chat, such as one to one, or one to many, to facilitate a chat with an entire group. BrightCom offers adjustable bandwidth from 1028K up to 2MB for HD. The bandwidth can be adjusted in real-time to accommodate different size networks or different participant’s broadcasts, company officials said. 

Amy Tierney is a Web editor for TMCnet, covering business communications Her areas of focus include conferencing, SIP, Fax over IP, unified communications and telepresence. Amy also writes about education and healthcare technology, overseeing production of e-Newsletters on those topics as well as communications solutions and UC. To read more of Amy's articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Amy Tierney

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