Tandberg launches OCS integration for easy videoconferencing

Other device makers expected to follow with their own plans to integrate with Office Communications Server

Videoconferencing device maker Tandberg in New York announced Friday that its products will interoperate with the Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007, bringing users greater flexibility in setting up sessions.

Users of OCS can connect face-to-face with colleagues and others who are using Tandberg room-based and telepresence systems, Tandberg said.

A user of OCS can click a name in his or her contact list and visually connect with any Tandberg MXP device that has been registered with that OCS server, Tandberg said. The Tandberg software upgrade that provides the new capability is available today free to those Tandberg customers with maintenance contracts.

Through an extension in the Tandberg Codian MCU 4500 series, videoconferences can also be conducted with any standards-based video system or multipoint video call, Tandberg said.

The innovation is a "leap forward in ease of use," said Ira Weinstein, an analyst at Wainhouse Research. He said that "as far as we know," Tandberg is the first company to announce the integration with OCS, although many companies that compete with Tandberg are preparing similar efforts. Competitors include Polycom, Radvision and Avistar, he said.

The new capability supports videoconferencing between two people in two sites using laptops and webcams, as well as larger meetings with three sites or more using Tandberg's higher end systems, he said.

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