Telesphere Launches Cloud-based Teleconferencing
Phoenix-based cloud UC provider Telesphere has taken the wraps off its Telesphere VideoConnect communications-as-a-service hosted telepresence offering, designed to let businesses of any size take advantage by extending the service to “webcam-equipped PCs, room-based video systems, videophones, smartphones, tablets and softphones.”
The idea, according to Telesphere’s press release, is to combine a user-friendly GUI with hosted infrastructure that can intelligently start video calls based on where the conversation starts and ends. No additional devices are needed for VideoConnect, it’s hardware-agnostic, and it’s all based on the individual employee’s phone number. Up to 12 legs can be included in any single Telesphere VideoConnect teleconference, according to the press release.
One-on-one VideoConnect calls are free, while calls using the Telesphere bridge are billed on minutes and port usage. The company is billing the new offering as CapEx-free, since it leverages existing hardware from many manufacturers. And while availability is limited to “select” Telesphere customers right now, the company does offer a reseller program.
Here’s the rest of Telesphere’s VideoConnect fact sheet:
- Support for HD video at up to 1080p.
- Employees within the same company can use four-digit dialing for video calls.
- An intuitive UI that automatically displays the video feeds from the six most recent speakers, with the current one in the center pane.
- For videoconferences with more than two parties, a Telesphere-provided live video attendant welcomes each participant to the bridge, requests a passcode and places them in a virtual waiting area if the conference hasn’t begun. This feature enables any-size business to provide a highly professional, concierge-level user experience.
- A standards-based architecture, including SIP.
- Real-time monitoring that automatically moves participants back to the waiting area if the moderator unexpectedly drops.
What I find most interesting about this news is the timing. Microsoft is aggressively promoting the Office 365 cloud suite at WPC this week, which includes UC service Lync Online as a core component. But the implicit message by releasing the news of Telesphere VideoConnect this week is this: There are alternatives to Microsoft Office 365.