Switch, Software Upgrades Take Aim at Enterprise Video

CoSine Communications on Tuesday made plans to bolster enterprise video services, while Interactive Video Technologies enhanced its software for creating and managing video-based presentations.

The push is on to make IP-based video more common place within the walls of the enterprise. In two separate announcements on Tuesday, communications vendors offered new approaches for enabling more real-time video and presentation broadcasts.

CoSine Communications Inc. announced an update to its switch platform for carriers and services providers that will allow them to offer enterprises managed multicast applications over IP networks. Multicast capabilities allow for the delivery of video broadcasts and other real-time data streams over IP.

CoSine, of Redwood, City, Calif., will support the Protocol Independent Multicast Sparse Mode (PIM-SM) protocol and add the ability for service providers to create virtual multicast routers for individual enterprise customers, said David Messina, CoSine vice president of product management and marketing.

Enterprises have been reluctant to deploy multicast features internally because they often require the replacement or updating of existing routers, the retraining of IT staff and the addition of greater network bandwidth at headquarter locations, Messina said. Yet business users increasingly are demanding applications such as video to the desktop.

"This is a point in time where the applications folks are really beginning to provide pressure on the networking folks," Messina said.

CoSine will add multicast support for its IPSX 3500 and 9500 Service Switches in the middle of the second quarter and offer it as part of an upgrade for customers with support contracts, Messina said.

On the applications front, Interactive Video Technologies (IVT) Inc. on Tuesday launched a new version of its software for live and video-on-demand presentations. MediaPlatform 3.0, available now, lets user create, distribute and manage streaming video and audio presentations through a Web browser.

The latest release boasts a revamped wizard interface with improved workflow and navigation for creating and managing presentations. It also enhances archiving, survey capabilities and the synchronization of audio and video files for Webcasts, said New York-based IVT.

Another new feature called MediaPlatform SlideCaster allows users to create live presentations on the fly using Microsoft PowerPoint files as well as invite viewers to an event through e-mail.

MediaPlatform 3.0 is offered both on an enterprise software model and as a hosted service. Pricing for the enterprise software begins at $99,900 for five user accounts, while the hosted service costs about $90,000 a year for five user accounts, a company spokeswoman said.