PART 2: Hosted Video Bridging
• It brings together the best of networking, equipment and service providers to a unified solution.
• Not exclusive to Polycom, all bridging services are fully compatible i.e. with Cisco. Fully interoperable with any endpoint with no issues connecting to cloud based services
• This is what makes us different from many cloud-based services – usage is based on simultaneous calls. Don’t have a lot of wasted resources as a result. You can have as many VMRs as you want, what you’re metered on is the number of active video calls taking place simultaneously across all the VMRs
Hosted Video Bridging Q&A
Q: Do you offer active corporate directory integration?
A: At this point, No.
Q: So, is there a small charge for each directory listing?
A: Yes, $5 per year
Q: Can you talk a little bit about the participant maximum for each video bridge call?
A: That’s only limited by your subscription but that’s not a hard stop. So, if you did a 25 concurrent call and had all 25 in one meeting and then you had another 5 people show up, they will get in. We won’t cut you off, rather we use it as a monitoring tool to see if you’re consistently going over your subscription level and if that is the case, we’ll ask you to up your upgrade your subscription. Occasional overage is not an issue unless it’s consistent.
Q: So, the basic plan is 25?
A: Yes, 25 concurrent connections
Q: So, if we wanted to set up a video conference call where we would have 2-4 video conference units but ask 500 students to login over the web, we would have to get a different subscription rate for that?
A: At that point you’d have to look at it as ‘do you want a videoconference at that point?’ or do you want a videoconference with 4 sites and a webcast out to 500 students.
Point: “To manage a videoconference with that amount of people where there could be interactivity would not be practical”
Point: “That comes to the point where videoconferencing wouldn’t be the right technology; you’d really want a webcast that could be scaled up for higher capacity.”
Q: So, if we want a videoconference with 3 or 4 videoconference units and then allow 100 students to watch it, then that is something available in the basic subscription?
A: Yes, that is included in the subscription.
Q: Can you talk about the display (screen layouts), is there flexibility?
A: By default the bridge has a list of rules of what screen layout to use based on the number of people in the call. Up to 16 on-site is the largest it can go. But, we do have a 5x4 matrix available (20 people on screen at one point). Inside the meeting, there are controls that will allow you to change your screen layout at your site.j
Q: So, you mentioned VMRs, in a workflow situation - who sets these up?
A: Our help desk will set it up for you and a new customer portal is coming by the end of summer that will allow you to set-up new VMRs as well.
Q: If you start a meeting, is there a way to lock the meeting?
A: Yes, there is a touch tone command for conference locking. Knowing that when you lock a conference, it also locks RESOLVE out of the meeting as well!
Q: AS the IT person, I get a lot of requests to support/monitor a video call. Is there a way I can do this through an interface instead of physically/visibly being in the room?
A: At this point, you don’t have control in a conference but we can spin you up a dedicated bridge and allow you access that bridge to monitor that call. You do have the option to add a ‘meet and greet’ or ‘dedicated operator’ to any call. A ‘meet and greet’ – we’ll launch a call, an operator will come on and check audio/video with everybody, adjust screen layouts, basically get the meeting set up the way you want it then we log off. A ‘dedicated operator’ will do all that and stay on the call and can perform multiple actions for you based on ques, timing, or follow verbal instructions. It’s a per hour rate for a dedicated operator.
Q: I’m confused as to when you say “control a call”?
A: To “control a call” there’s software that you install on your computer and then log into the bridge and you see everything we see – see all the sites, dial-in, dial-out, mute people, block video, change screen layouts. Basically, you have explicit control of all the elements of the video conference.
Q: Do you have a one sheet with all the common touch tone commands?
A: Yes, we do. Moderators have access to these features that is tied to a PIN code so you have control and students won’t have access to those features.
Q: If I join the call via the web, would I get the same moderator functions/controls available on that interface?
A: Yes, you would get the same controls.
Q: Can you comment further on scheduling and invitations to meetings, etc.? A lot of our uses for video conferencing are graduate student defenses or may have external examiners coming in, so a secretary may schedule the meeting…
A: Each VMR has a unique ID number. Dialing and access will stay the same, what changes is the VMR number.
Q: Can you talk a little more about recording – the limitations, how people access them?
A: Typically we set one VMR as your recording room and you dial-in and it automatically starts recording. Alternatively, it’s a moderator control - you join and it’s a * code to start/stop recording.
Everything gets recorded to our local server and you can request your recording and we will put it up on a FTP or Dropbox account as an mp4 file for you to download. We are working on making it accessible for you to login and get your own recording.
Q: Can you elaborate on sharing content?
A: Ultimately content sharing is built into videoconference endpoints for protocols supported by endpoints. Tablets and mobile don’t offer the same content sharing – it’s different even between iOS and Android.