Do you use Microsoft Skype for Business as your communications platform for videoconferencing with colleagues and business partners, and you mostly run it on your personal computer?
Video calls where one person is sitting behind a laptop-integrated microphone and camera can be of satisfactory quality, but when interacting with multiple people such camera and microphone setups simply do not provide satisfactory video and sound sent from your device. There are many videoconferencing solutions in today’s market that can be integrated with Skype for Business, however we will not cover them in this post as we’ve already written about them here.
Instead, we will look at solutions for when your videoconferencing device has no Skype for Business integration option, but features Cisco, Lifesize, Polycom or any other videoconferencing codec with support for H.323 and/or SIP – which means you cannot join a Skype for Business meeting. Or can you?
Interoperability between different video standards has always been a major challenge in the videoconferencing domain. New technologies are evolving rapidly and old – or “legacy”, as they are now often called – technologies are very much still used. Having been on the market for years, H.323 and SIP video codecs set the bar very high and we need to maintain interoperability or coexistence of these two different worlds before some fresh technology takes over as a new standard. This is often achieved by connecting various cloud videoconferencing platforms (VaaS) with standard on-premises solutions.
Polycom approached this issue of providing customers with interoperability and protecting their previous investments in videoconferencing solutions by developing RealConnect.
What is RealConnect?
RealConnect is a service that provides interoperability between Skype for Business clients and H.323/SIP videoconferencing standards-based endpoints. RealConnect is an additional service for SfB O365 located in Microsoft Azure. Available for SfB on-premises, hybrid and O365 cloud solutions.
Who should use RealConnect?
Anyone who needs interoperability between SfB and standard videoconferencing codecs, regardless of whether they use on-premises or O365 Skype for Business deployments.
RealConnect for O365 Licensing:
- Annual subscription per SfB user
- This subscription model is only available for deployments where all users are in the O365 cloud.
- Annual subscription per maximum number of concurrent interconnected standard codecs.
- This subscription model provides some flexibility as all users have the option to create meetings that – together with SfB users – standard H.323/SIP videoconferencing codecs can join. This subscription model ensures you get the most out of your existing internal infrastructure and provides greater flexibility to outside organizations joining your video meetings.
Cloud Relay on VM
Bandwidth for internet video call
Bandwidth for internet video call
Optional features – One Touch Dial
Making any videoconferencing solution easy to use is one of the major challenges faced by software manufacturers. One click or one touch calling feature is not easy to implement. Polycom has introduced a solution in the form of an application implemented into the user’s on-premise virtual environment which enables communication between Microsoft Azure and existing Polycom or Cisco videoconferencing codecs installed in local networks.
Before assigning user licenses from the O365 administration interface, you must verify that all network prerequisites have been met.
The first step is to make a test call from your H.323/SIP video codec to the test environment at: firstname.lastname@example.org
If the call goes through, you are ready to deploy.