Cisco Unified MeetingPlace Release 6.1 -- Introducing Cisco Unified MeetingPlace Video Integration
Overview of Cisco Unified MeetingPlace Video Integration
Cisco Unified MeetingPlace Video Integration is a separately-licensed add-on to Cisco Unified MeetingPlace conferencing that integrates the voice and web-conferencing capabilities of Cisco Unified MeetingPlace with the video-conferencing functionality provided by the Cisco Unified Videoconferencing Multipoint Control Unit (MCU). Voice, web, and video conference participants interact seamlessly in a single rich-media conference.
Video Integration supports standards-based H.323 deployments. Our internal testing environment has been focused exclusively on Cisco equipment.
The visual channel of the video-conferencing medium is handled entirely by the Cisco Unified Videoconferencing MCU and runs parallel to the voice and web conference. All media (video, voice, and data) are linked but independent, so that each stream maintains its full feature set and functional richness.
The following steps provide a simplified overview of how the Cisco Unified MeetingPlace Video Integration solution works (in a system that includes e-mail notifications):
- You set up user profiles in Cisco Unified MeetingPlace that control who can schedule video conferences.
- Users whose profile authorizes them to schedule video conferences submit a single Cisco Unified MeetingPlace form to schedule a meeting that includes video, voice, and web-conferencing functionality. Users can require passwords, or specify that only profiled or invited users can attend.
- The Video Administration for Cisco Unified MeetingPlace component keeps track of available video conferencing resources on the Cisco Unified Videoconferencing MCUs. If there are sufficient resources on both the Audio Server and the Cisco Unified Videoconferencing MCUs to accommodate the request of the scheduler, Cisco Unified MeetingPlace schedules the meeting and sends notifications to the invitees. These notifications include the information that participants need in order to access all conference media.
- At the scheduled meeting time, invitees use the information in the meeting notification to join each aspect of the conference: the Cisco Unified MeetingPlace web and voice conferences and the video conference hosted on the Cisco Unified Videoconferencing MCU. Video participants attend the video aspect of the conference via a room-based video system or via IP video cameras on their desktops, such as Cisco Unified Video Advantage. Participants can join the different media using any of several methods.
- Cisco Unified MeetingPlace initiates the voice conference on the Cisco Unified MeetingPlace system and the video conference on the Cisco Unified Videoconferencing MCU, and establishes the audio link that joins the audio of the video conference with the audio of the voice conference.
- After participants are in the integrated conference, audio-only and video participants can converse seamlessly with each other. Video participants can control their audio and video transmission and display from within the Cisco Unified MeetingPlace web-conferencing meeting room.
- If the conference needs to continue past the time it was scheduled to end, Cisco Unified MeetingPlace evaluates whether conferencing resources are available on both the Cisco Unified MeetingPlace Audio Server and on the Cisco Unified Videoconferencing MCUs, then determines whether the conference can be extended.
Video conferences can also be added to an existing Cisco Unified MeetingPlace conference on an ad-hoc basis, if resources are available.
For details about the end user experience and process for using Cisco Unified MeetingPlace Video Integration, see the Using Cisco Unified MeetingPlace Video Conferencing and Cisco Unified MeetingPlace Video Integration Components and Process chapters.
Features and Benefits of Cisco Unified MeetingPlace Video Integration
Cisco Unified MeetingPlace Video Integration offers the following features:
- Enhances meeting effectiveness by bringing together multiple media to create a rich-media conferencing environment.
- Offers a solution that integrates readily into existing networks and IP infrastructure.
- Includes tools to manage video-conferencing resources for optimal availability.
- Simplifies the processes of scheduling, distributing notifications, attending, and participating in multiple media for end users.
- Leverages the existing video-conferencing capability of the Cisco Unified Videoconferencing MCU and networking and telephony infrastructure, such as Cisco Unified CallManager, to provide a complete and unified multipoint conferencing solution for Cisco customers.
- The Video Administration for Cisco Unified MeetingPlace component provides important resource management tools from Cisco Unified MeetingPlace to the Cisco Unified Videoconferencing MCU, allowing you to plan, allocate, and measure resource use, and thus to maximize the utility of video-conferencing resources.
- Resource management features that include the following:
- Being able to schedule video-conferencing resources in advance. Video Administration for Cisco Unified MeetingPlace manages the scheduling of video-conferencing resources on the Cisco Unified Videoconferencing MCU, which does not have built-in scheduling functionality.
- User profiles to limit use of conferencing resources to designated meeting schedulers and groups.
- Statistics on video usage that are included in standard Cisco Unified MeetingPlace reports, so that you can easily evaluate needs and manage all resources.
- Ease-of-use features that simplify the rich-media conferencing process for users include the following:
- Unified scheduling, which allows users to coordinate all conferencing resources from a single point. Scheduling is done through familiar desktop applications such as Microsoft Outlook, Lotus Notes, or a web browser.
- Notifications for each meeting that include the links and instructions to access all conference media for that meeting.
- Users can initiate or join a video conference on an ad-hoc basis, as long as video-conferencing resources are available.
- Preference information in user profiles, which automates parts of the attend process.
- Video controls in the Cisco Unified MeetingPlace web-conferencing meeting room, which allow users to control all aspects of their conferencing experience from a single interface.