by Espen Skjaeran, Principal Software Engineer, LifeSize
How to extend your video conferencing solution to your partners and customers
Companies all over the world have invested in video conferencing equipment to increase productivity and reduce the time and expense of business travel. Teams from geographically-dispersed locations can work together to efficiently share knowledge and make collaborative decisions faster than ever before. On the flip side, some video installations are used to communicate within the same organization, while meetings with partners and customers are still held in physical meetings or over audio bridges. We encourage those companies to take a long, hard look at HD video conferencing to replace those traditional models. Compared to phone meetings, video enables a genuine human interaction with customers, which in turn increases openness and loyalty between both parties. Video calls with synchronized presentations yield a more streamlined interaction than an emailed slide deck.
For IT administrators, there are a few items that need to be addressed to open your video infrastructure to third parties:
– The presence of firewalls and NAT devices in an enterprise network can hinder the video call. A traversal solution such as LifeSize Transit must be deployed in the central office to overcome this issue.
– It is important to deploy DNS across the company in the same manner as email domains. That way, you can ask your partners to simply call your “video email address”. The call can then be routed to your company’s traversal server and appear at your office system or to your home desktop, if you prefer to telecommute.
– To ensure only trusted parties can utilize your infrastructure, HD video calls can be authorized based on H.235, SIP/TLS certificates or user credentials.
– To host larger meetings, you will need a conference bridge. Just as your “video email address”, the conference identifier can be sent to your partners or scheduled on your email provider’s calendar server so video resources are reserved when needed.
LifeSize Transit can safely enable video conferences outside your internal network. It’s the only solution on the market supporting both SIP and H.323, available as both an appliance and virtual software. It adapts to the firewall/NAT in place, and one server can handle many firewall/NAT barriers so that it may be shared with branch offices and home workers. I believe that Transit is the most flexible, intuitive solution to connect securely to anyone, anywhere.
In this upcoming three-part series, we will discuss a variety of deployment options to integrate LifeSize Transit into your company’s network. We will discuss hardware appliances vs. virtualized solutions, single appliance vs. dual appliances and overall, which deployment option is right for you and your company. Stay tuned as we take a deep dive into the world of LifeSize Transit.