Glowpoint Offers Automated Diagnostics Tool for Video Conferencing

Glowpoint enhances its telepresence and video conferencing offerings with an automated diagnostic application called Video Room Sweep.

Video communications solution company Glowpoint announced an automated diagnostic application called Video Room Sweep that automatically performs comprehensive "sweeps" and emulations of video sessions for all components of telepresence and video conferencing rooms. Designed to offer a more automated and scalable proactive level of managed service, VRS can help ensure higher in-use rates of video technology and provide more predictable performance, the company claims.

As a component of Glowpoint's cloud-based managed video services, VRS is available for Glowpoint's Video Network Operations Center (VNOC) clients and partner clients. Version 1.0 of VRS supports Polycom and Cisco technologies and, beginning in the first quarter of 2010, Glowpoint plans to release additional versions that will support other technologies, such as Tandberg and LifeSize systems.

"Our new VRS application has been well-received by customers, partners and end users, and we have a growing list of customers excited to have this service activated in their environment," said the company's vice president of marketing, Jonathan Brust. "This added level of automation enables our customers to utilize their video technology with the highest degree of reliability and consistency."

VRS can be programmed for automatic daily sweeps and can also be used as an on-demand troubleshooting tool. VRS tests and diagnoses the health of all components in a telepresence or video conferencing room, along with functionality of the network to help ensure proper performance and readiness. Following a room sweep, automated exception reporting and notifications prompt the VNOC of any service, hardware, connectivity or compatibility issues, where remediation measures are then implemented.

VRS features include accessibility verification-which verifies the accessibility and status of every network device in a room, such as video codecs, IP phones, control panels, PCs, projectors and switches-and quality of service measurement-which tests local video to ensure proper functionality by measuring video packet loss, audio packet loss and packet loss percentages through electronic means as well as via an actual video call that is automatically launched to visually gauge video and audio quality.

Additional features include room readiness-which checks the local video and audio hardware components, such as speakers, monitors and projectors, to ensure full functionality-and version inventory, which analyzes and compares all room components and system/software/firmware versions to make sure they are consistent with the VNOC's database.

The daily results of the diagnostics will be available to VNOC customers through Glowpoint's Web-based user portal. Upcoming versions will also offer VNOC customers the ability to activate on-demand sweeps independent of the managed service technicians. The company's VNOC service includes online and MS Exchange integrated conference scheduling, call launching, conference production, 24/7 remote monitoring, trouble remediation and a spectrum of room performance reporting features.