Imagine if your iPhone could only communicate with other iPhones, and all of your friends, family members and colleagues with Android phones (or BlackBerrys, or any other mobile operating system) were totally unreachable without you having to purchase an additional (expensive) product to talk to them. In today’s world, that type of scenario for mobile calling is almost unimaginable. Unfortunately, the video communications world has not caught up, and some vendors still live in a proprietary software world and require users to purchase an expensive gateway appliance to call third-party video conferencing devices.
The good news is that many other vendors design their room systems, desktop and mobile video solutions to be “standards-based,” which means they can talk to other video solutions regardless of which manufacturer created them. LifeSize, for example is a founding member of UCIF, a non-profit ecosystem of communications technology vendors with a shared goal to bring the promise of truly unified communications to life. Interoperability has always been a key factor in LifeSize’s product design and a feature that we feel is a necessity in encouraging broader adoption of unified communications. All of LifeSize’s video conferencing endpoints (LifeSize 220 Series, LifeSize Unity Series, LifeSize Passport and LifeSize Icon Series) are fully interoperable with all standards-based video conferencing solutions.
The sad truth of the video conferencing world is that other vendors have remained steadfast in their commitment to developing and selling proprietary solutions which, in turn, makes for a very fragmented UC community. Until all vendors have adopted the values of UCIF and incorporate standards-based video support in their solutions, we cannot build one global video communications ecosystem.
Have your own thoughts about the importance of interoperability? Share them in the comment box below.