Avaya is expanding the capabilities of its video conferencing technology, including adding to its Scopia platform through new room-based systems and enhancements that improve the end-user experience.
The upgrades are a nod to such trends as an increasingly mobile workforce and bring-your-own-device (BYOD) practices, which are reshaping the video conferencing space as users demand the ability to collaborate with colleagues, partners and customers whenever they can, wherever they are and on any device, from room-based systems to smartphones.
Users are growing accustomed to being able to leverage video in meetings—Avaya is averaging more than 65,000 video meetings each month involving more than 250,000 participants, company officials said—and are looking to vendors to make the experience better and the technology easier to use, according to Bob Romano, vice president of video marketing at Avaya.
"Video conferencing got a tremendous boost when soft clients on mobile devices, laptops and PCs made it more accessible to more employees," Romano wrote in post on the company blog. "Simplicity of use and integration with other common applications made it possible to have full, multimedia communications available through one or two clicks."
Avaya believes that "the best technology is that which is invisible—that doesn't create barriers to achieving deeper relationships, greater understanding and higher levels of productivity. We spend a lot of time examining the user experience and how we can improve it," he wrote, adding that improving the experience was a driving force behind the Scopia enhancements.
The improvements as well as the new endpoints, announced March 11, are part of Avaya's larger new Team Engagement Solutions initiative, and come a week before the Enterprise Connect 2015 show in Orlando, Fla.
The enhancements to the Scopia platform include the ability to wirelessly present slides and other content from a PC or Mac to a Scopia room system via Avaya's Screen Link technology without having to deal with cables or configuring the PC's video output resolution. In addition, through Avaya's Mobile Link feature, users can automatically transfer their video call from their mobile device to a Scopia room system without having to interrupt the call, Romano wrote.
Scopia users also can now get full 1080p high-definition video on their notebooks, tablets and desktops, can more easily broadcast video meetings to larger audiences—up to 100,000 people—and can record meetings in full HD video. The recorded material can be accessed through what Avaya officials described as a "YouTube-like portal."
The company also launched the Scopia XT7100 room-based conferencing system, which supports H.265 video coding for more efficient bandwidth use. It supports up to 1080P at 60f/s while using up to 50 percent less bandwidth than systems using H.264 video coding. Another new room system, the XT4300, offers HD video conferencing to midsize rooms. Users can use their new wireless capabilities to share content from their PCs and tablets.
In addition, Avaya is introducing the H175 Video Collaboration Station, a desktop device that combines video collaboration and call-handling features with desktop application access. It includes an HG video camera and 70-inch HD touch-screen display, WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity and access to Outlook calendar, contacts and presence status.
The E159/E169 Media Stations are standards-based Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) desktop devices that can be used in BYOD environments, according to officials. They can be used as stand-alone systems, but also can support and charge such mobile devices as Apple iPhones and iPads (using iOS 6.0 or later) and Samsung Galaxy smartphones and tablets running Google's Android KitKat and JellyBean operating systems.