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Fuze Brings Cloud Video Service to Meeting Rooms

The company, whose offerings had focused on individuals, is now extending its group collaboration capabilities.

video conferencing

Fuze in April changed its name from Fuzebox to better reflect what officials said was the company's role in the consumerization of video collaboration.

Now Fuze is extending its cloud-based service from individuals leveraging smartphones, tablets and desktop PCs to groups of people collaborating in offices, smaller "huddle spaces" and meeting rooms. The company earlier this month rolled out Fuze for Rooms, enabling businesses to license the technology and bring immersive video conferencing to any room using off-the-shelf hardware.

The new service, available now, includes such features for group collaboration as the ability to launch or join a meeting instantly via a welcome screen and enabling the video to run across two monitors. In addition, users can leverage presence capabilities to check on the availability of a room and instantly add it to a discussion via Fuze applications.

Fuze for Rooms enables users to share dynamic content in real time, including images, animated presentations and videos. Multiple participants also can annotate, upload content in their devices into Fuze and add content from Dropbox and Box. In addition, they can share screens. Fuze for Rooms has a common user interface with Fuze applications for such devices as the iPad, Mac, iPhone and Windows systems.

"The tools you use to get work done should move with you across devices and environments, including meeting rooms," Fuze CEO David Obrand said in a statement. "Fuze powers video collaboration everywhere, from the device in hand to the TV in the room."

Pricing starts at is $240 a year per room for a minimum of 25 Fuze Enterprise licenses.

The shift to software-based services and the cloud continues to roil a video conferencing space that for a long time had been dominated by hardware systems by the likes of Cisco Systems, Polycom and LifeSize Communications. However, over the past several years, revenues for video conferencing equipment have declined, according to IDC analysts.

The research firm in August reported that overall equipment revenues in the second quarter fell another 9 percent, to $482 million.

"We continue to see the impact of delayed customer buying decisions, lower-cost systems, more software-centric products, and competitive cloud-based video service offerings on the worldwide enterprise video equipment market," Rich Costello, senior analyst for enterprise communications infrastructure at IDC, said in a statement last month.