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Avaya video updates focus on mobility, consistency across portfolio

The latest Avaya video updates include new hardware, focus on mobility and product consistency for users.

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Right before the Enterprise Connect 2015 conference next week, Avaya is filling in the gaps in its video portfolio....

The vendor has unveiled several new videoconferencing endpoints, as well as enhancements to existing products with a focus on mobility and product consistency.  

The latest product announcements, part of Avaya's revamped video portfolio dubbed "Team Engagement Solutions," demonstrate that Avaya is making the most of its Radvision acquisition by integrating the technology deeper into the Avaya product portfolio, said Ira Weinstein, analyst and partner for Wainhouse Research.

"Avaya [has] had videoconferencing almost isolated," he said. "Bringing it in closer makes a big difference."

Avaya is also trying to create uniformity across its products. User interfaces for the same product shouldn't look different on different form factors, Weinstein said. "Avaya is going through a round of assimilation so their tools feel the same. Users now have a choice [of device], and they only have one learning curve instead of three," he said.

Videoconferencing hardware promotes mobility

The Scopia platform from Radvision historically focused on desktop and mobile video capabilities. The latest products help to enhance Avaya's more traditional room-based or group conferencing technology, said Bob Romano, Avaya's vice president of marketing for Radvision products.

"That extension of group conferencing out to the desktop or mobile devices really drives the utilization of video, and extends it to [users] that never had the ability to do rich video conferencing before," he said.

The latest additions to the Scopia Videoconferencing line include the high-end Scopia XT7100 room-based video conferencing system and the Scopia XT4300, a high-definition videoconferencing endpoint for small to mid-sized conference rooms.

The XT7100 makes efficient use of available bandwidth through support from H.265 video coding. The system offers video quality up to 1080P using up to 50% less bandwidth compared to H.264 systems, Romano said. Its smaller counterpart, the XT4300, also offers up to 1080P video resolution. In addition, remote attendees will have 1080p-quaility video from conferences on the device of their choice, he said.

Scopia videoconferencing systems now allow users to present wirelessly and share content from their PCs and laptops without connecting cables. For users on the move, the Scopia platform also supports handoff between the Scopia soft client on mobile devices and the room-based systems, allowing users to start a conference from their smartphone or laptop from any location, and transfer in-progress meetings to the room-based system upon arrival.

The Scopia platform also features enhanced video streaming and recording capabilities. Users can now broadcast video meetings to 100,000 viewers.

Avaya's new H175 Video Collaboration Station is a combined deskphone and personal video endpoint. The device features a seven-inch video touchscreen display and HD camera, with a cordless handset so users can choose to collaborate with colleagues via audio or video. The Bluetooth-enabled cordless handset allows users to move around without being tethered to the deskphone. Video calls can also be moved from the station to a PC monitor for a larger display, while still using the video conferencing controls on the endpoint.

The H175 can be integrated with Outlook for access to calendar and contacts, as well as presence status, the vendor said.

The new products and feature enhancements are aided by Avaya's recently introduced SDN Fx networking architecture. The SDN architecture helps address issues that can stand in the way of high-performance real-time communications because it eliminates bottlenecks from networking overlays used by vendors that can come between data centers, users and devices, Romano said.

An SDN approach can also help businesses prioritize different kinds of traffic, like voice and video applications, he said.

Let us know what you think about the story; email: Gina Narcisi, news writer and follow @GeeNarcisi on Twitter.

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Avaya makes good stuff in some areas, but it has a long ways to go to make any serious inroads into the video conferencing market.
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