Cisco launches video conferencing package

Video conferencing is available with Cisco's latest version of MeetingPlace, software which hitherto only supported voice and web...

Video conferencing is available with Cisco's latest version of MeetingPlace, software which hitherto only supported voice and web conferencing.

MeetingPlace 5.3 is the latest in Cisco's aggressive move to use IP data networks for multiple forms of communication.

It brings together MeetingPlace, which the company acquired last year by buying Latitude Communications, with the Cisco CallManager IP telephony system and Cisco IPVC 3500 Series video MCU, a videoconferencing server.

The new release lets enterprises schedule conferences in which participants can choose to appear on video, use web-based collaboration or just call in.

CallManager and IPVC already support videoconferencing, but only on an ad hoc basis if two users each have a video end point such as a PC or video terminal connected to their IP phones.

Through MeetingPlace, users can set up conferences ahead of time in Microsoft Outlook or IBM's Lotus Notes calendars, or via a web interface, as well as setting up traditional telephone dial-in codes.

Participants can receive a reminder and get into the conference by clicking on a single link, then decide whether they want to participate via video, web collaboration, voice or all three.

During the conference, participants can view one other user at a time or divide their display up into separate screens to show four users. The manager of the conference can mute participants.

Stephen Lawson writes for IDG News Service

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