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Orange unveils Open video conferencing suite

Simplicity the key with ‘concierge’ service

By Steve Evans

Orange Business Services (OBS) has unveiled a new video conferencing suite that is compatible with all existing equipment and networks.

At an event to mark the launch of Open Videopresence, Orange said that the current video conferencing platforms are far too complex and the firm was looking for a much simpler suite.

Open Videopresence can operate across all networks, such as IP VPN, Internet and ISDN and integrate with any vendor’s equipment, although Orange can supply equipment if necessary.

Speaking at the launch, Herve Kauffmann, COO at OBS, said that meetings can be booked through either a web browser or Microsoft Outlook. Meetings will start automatically at the designated time so users will be able to begin the meeting on schedule.

Open Videopresence will also feature a ‘concierge’ service that will ensure the room is ready before the meeting begins. “The concierge will check beforehand that the equipment is working,” Kauffmann said. “It is not uncommon these days for things to be unplugged so someone can connect a PC or laptop for example. This is an easy feature but a high value one.”

A support service is available at all times during a meeting to deal with any problems that may arise. Network admins can monitor usage of the system through a web portal.

The service can be used for internal meetings at companies as well as external meetings with other businesses. At the moment, both parties must be Orange customers but the company confirmed that it is speaking to other providers about interoperability.

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Orange Open Videopresence is currently in a pilot phase. It is expected to be launched in France in October 2009 and the rest of the world the following month. It will be available in 104 countries.

The platform will typically cost between €259 and €489 per month, depending on usage and configurations. Enterprises do not need to replace equipment to be able to use Open Videopresence.

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