BT unites video conferencing

BT has made a smart move and investment to support interoperability among multiple video conferencing vendors like Cisco, Polycom, and TANDBERG. Okay, so it’s really two vendors considering in October 2009 TANDBERG had agreed to be gobbled up by Cisco. Still, BT One Source is a good business idea as there exists no standards in video conferencing interoperability. Although recently Cisco has somewhat warmed up to the idea of a telepresence open standard, there hasn’t been much momentum or talk to accelerate the processes involved. But that shouldn’t surprise anyone — Cisco enjoys a foothold in the telepresence market, so why be in a hurry to open it up to competitors?

Official BT One Source press release:

BT Conferencing today announced that it now offers interoperability between the video conferencing systems of the three top manufacturers of video conferencing equipment: Cisco, Polycom and TANDBERG, as part of the company’s managed service offering, BT One Source.

Inter-company video conferencing helps businesses maximize their investment in video technology by allowing them to collaborate effectively with partners, suppliers, customers and others, around the globe. BT One Source provides an end-to-end solution for each manufacturer’s video conferencing system resulting in an easy-to-use, reliable, and cost-effective environment regardless of the technology platform.

Aaron McCormack, CEO of BT Conferencing, said: “BT has successfully deployed this interoperability service for several large multi-national customers, enabling them to use a mixture of different endpoints in a video meeting. We also currently operate this service within BT’s internal video estate. Our goal is to help our customers maximize their investments in video technology by allowing them to collaborate with partners, suppliers, customers and others around the globe.”

BT One Source includes Engage Meeting Manager, BT’s universal customer interface that allows customers to operate different manufacturers’ products, creating a seamless, automated customer experience. BT customers can use Engage Meeting Manager to initiate a video call between Cisco TelePresence systems and traditional TANDBERG and Polycom video systems with a simple point and click.

BT’s managed video conferencing service also includes an Engage Tracker tool which helps organizations quantify the return on investment (ROI) of their video conferencing estate by tracking travel cost savings and carbon emission reductions resulting from video usage. Engage Tracker tallies savings on actual installed and utilized systems, not on industry averages, estimates or models. The tool is a unique feature available to BT’s video conferencing customers regardless of the equipment platform they use.

Notes to Editors:

[1] BT Conferencing, a global leader in offering fully managed video conferencing services across multiple vendor platforms, provides customers a complete solution within their enterprise or business-to-business (B2B) to external business partners via BT’s Global Video Exchange.

[2] BT has installed more than 500 immersive telepresence rooms around the world by technicians certified to install equipment from Cisco, Polycom and TANDBERG. BT currently has more than 25,000 video endpoints and 400 multipoint control units under management and support.

[3] BT offers customers a full suite of services, from planning, design and installation of video systems to full management and support including hosting and management of system components, network connectivity, enhanced “white glove” level service, adoption programs that help drive return on investment, and results tracking.

[4] BT’s expertise in managing telepresence and video conferencing for its customers, coupled with coverage provided by BT’s extensive global IP network across 170 countries and 24x7x365 Helpdesk support, helps ensure high quality conferencing services for customers worldwide


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