WVN launch their Interoperability Pilot between Microsoft Lync™/Skype for Business™ and standards based videoconferencing

The Welsh Video Network is proud to announce a pilot scheme to enable Welsh Public Sector organisations to truly open their video communication and collaboration channels by providing a system to enable differing video communication technologies to seamlessly connect and interoperate with each other. We recently presented at the 2015 Higher Education Colloquium at Gregynog Hall, outlining the technology, a re-run of which can be seen here.


The ultimate benefits of deploying this centralised video gateway would include an ability for lecturers, students, remote workers or any Microsoft Lync/SfB enabled user within an organisation to be included in any scheduled standards based videoconference (such as those conducted via JISC Vscene), or bring in specific standards based videoconferencing systems into a Microsoft Lync/SfB conference. It would leverage the existing infrastructure and an organisations investment in its Microsoft Lync/SfB deployment without a large capital outlay.


It is likely that Microsoft Lync/Skype for Business (SfB) will become a major contender (if it isn’t already) in the collaboration and video communications environments of Welsh Public Sector organisations. However, we believe that whilst PC and software based endpoints will become more commonplace, they will not fully replace room based systems, but rather complement them. Basic hardware based room systems are now relatively inexpensive and provide the quality, usability and overall reliability that users have come to expect. Software endpoints (such as Microsoft Lync/SfB), are inexpensive to mass deploy and they can offer acceptable quality and reliability as a personal system, however, the compromises involved in deploying such a system in a room environment often leads to poor results and render the solution not cost effective. There is already an extensive deployment of standards based room equipment across the Public Sector and beyond, a gateway between the two systems will deliver best value and maximise Return on Investment in the existing/legacy systems.


Therefore we see the need to enable the two ‘worlds’ to co-exist, but in a user friendly fashion, and that is cost effective for the organisations. As such, we ensure that our engineers are able to provide qualified consultative insight, both for the initial planning and deployment, but also maintaining and troubleshooting of a Microsoft Lync/SfB topology, and how it might best integrate with other videoconferencing systems.


In addition, we are constantly looking at upcoming technologies (such as room based Lync/SfB devices/clients) and devices and hope that we can be a central point to share ideas and thoughts across the community, thus reducing any double efforts that may occur across organisations.


This project is being managed by Chris Swinney from the Welsh Video Network Support Centre. 


E-mail: support@wvn.ac.uk

Phone: 0300 6880688