The decision by the world's top video collaboration vendor gives a boost to the Open Visual Communications Consortium.
Cisco Systems is joining such major tech
firms as AT&T, Verizon Wireless and Microsoftand rivals like Polycomin an
industry consortium pushing for greater interoperability among the disparate
video conferencing platforms on the market.
Ciscos joining the Open Visual
Communications Consortium (OVCC) is a significant step forward for the 8-month-old
group, which had some notable heavy hitters as members but was missing the
worlds top video collaboration vendor.
Cisco officials said the company is a member
of various industry-standards associations and forums and has been pushing for
greater interoperability for several years, and joining the OVCC as a board
member continues that effort.
Were participating in a number of industry
associations, and were convinced of our need to partner with the rest of the
industry to align and consolidate efforts across different organizations, Odd
Sverre Ostlie, senior director of solutions for Ciscos Telepresence Technology
Group, said in a video
, adding that expanded connection options across networks,
devices and services are important elements to delivering pervasive video.
Cisco was one of three companies announcing
June 26 that they were joining the OVCC. The other two were AVI-SPL, which
helps design, build and support visual collaboration systems and connections,
and TELUS, a Canadian telecommunications company. The three companies bring the
total number of members to 27.
The OVCC was launched in October 2011 by a number
of networking, communications and video collaboration organizations, including
AT&T, Verizon and Polycom. Video conferencing is growing in popularity as
businesses look for ways to improve employee productivity while driving down
costs, particularly travel costs. IDC analysts in March said global video
conferencing revenues grew to about $2.7 billion in 2011, a 20.6 percent jump
from 2010. IDC expects revenues to jump to $3.2 billion in 2012, a rise of
about 18.7 percent.
Ciscos Ostlie said that the companys
service providers were among the key groups pushing for the networking giant to
join the OVCC, and that customers are looking for Cisco and other video
collaboration vendors to improve interoperability to make using the technology
easier and more widespread.
Our customers are broadly adopting video,
but consumption options beyond the firewall are still fragmented, Ostlie said.
It can be difficult for users to make video calls across platforms and
networks. This is why open standards and interoperability efforts like the OVCC
Cisco has been pushing video interoperability
in various ways, such as its introduction of Telepresence
Interoperability Protocol (TIP)
in 2010. TIP is a protocol aimed at driving
interoperability among immersive telepresence systems, and Cisco has since
given it to a third-party standards group, the International Multimedia
The OVCC continues to add organizations big
and small as members, most recently Microsofts
in May to join. Having Microsoft, Cisco and others join are
important to the consortiums work, according to OVCC President Andrew
The OVCC organizations focus on bringing
high-quality, multi-network, multi-vendor video service to market faster has
compelled a distinguished list of global leaders to collaborate on enterprise
video services, McFadzen said in a statement. Each new members' participation
adds proof that OVCC members will deliver video communication between any
vendor, any network and any device.