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FuzeBox Grows Interoperability of Its Cloud-Based Video Conferencing

The company also is looking to make it easier for IT departments to better manage their FuzeBox environments.

FuzeBox wants to make it easier for users of its cloud-based unified communications and collaboration services to share content on disparate video conferencing platforms. In addition, the company is expanding IT departments' abilities to manage the FuzeBox environment.

Both enhancements, announced Jan. 16, were driven by demands by the company's users, according to Kevin Young, senior director of communications at FuzeBox.

Included in the enhancements is new support for the H.239 content-sharing protocol in the company's Telepresence Connect. The H.239 support means greater interoperability between standards-based telepresence and video conferencing platforms from such vendors as Cisco Systems, Polycom, Avaya's Radvision technology and LifeSize Communications, a unit of Logitech.

FuzeBox already offered some interoperability through its cloud-based solution by enabling users to connect these telepresence systems from other vendors for high-definition video calls. Now users can also more easily share HD content with other participants who are using such telepresence systems.

"Why is this important?" Young said in a post on the company's blog site. "Many of our customers have investments in traditional video conferencing systems and want to continue using them in a cost-effective way as they migrate to Fuze. The Telepresence Connect capability allows them to do just that as they extend Fuze's video, voice and content collaboration to more desktops, mobile devices and rooms across their organizations."

In addition, FuzeBox officials are adding security and control features that officials said enterprises are looking for in their collaboration environments. The company is improving the analytics and provisioning capabilities in its cloud-based offering, "giving IT administrators greater visibility into their company's use of Fuze and making it easier to add, remove and manage users."

The updated Admin Console features, developed after getting feedback from IT administrators, include the Home Screen for a fast look at information related to the users' accounts, from the number of meetings held over a previous week to the number of users and active hosts. The Packages Page lists the package types under their account, such as the number of licenses within each package.

The Users page is for managing a company's Fuze users, from listing their names to searching for and creating users. IT departments also can quickly see how many participants are in a meeting, the duration of the meeting and which meeting features—from screen sharing to video conferencing—were used.

The enhancements come about four months after FuzeBox named David Obrand as its new CEO and received a new round of funding of $26 million. A wide range of vendors—from Cisco Systems and Avaya to ShoreTel and Mitel—are bringing video conferencing and unified communications to the cloud, making it easier for companies that are dealing with the growing trends of workforce mobility and bring-your-own-device (BYOD). Employees are demanding collaboration tools that enable them to participate in meetings anywhere and at any time.