IBM Lotus Sametime has an interesting history in enterprise presence, chat, meetings and audio/video communication. As a merger between two companies, it was hobbled together to emerge as a leader. Databeam and Ubique were brought together to create a single package of H.323 meeting services and a new idea of “presence awareness.”
The core of IBM Lotus Sametime runs with a Lotus Domino server. This portion of the infrastructure controls presence, awareness, chat and the classic meeting services (such things as screen sharing, whiteboard and some audio/video). Recently, IBM expanded the product to include installation portions on IBM Websphere Application Server (WAS) to enhance the meeting, client proxy access and media services. Network Address Translation (NAT), proxies and all types of firewall rules stop the current meeting services in their tracks. This limits the growth of the media services as companies still look to outside vendors to host all types of meeting services.
Video communication has been slowly ballooning into a daily utility instead of only seen in large corporations with global locations. As I participate in more meetings, webcasts, screensharing and casual business calls, I am being asked if video connectivity is possible.
Businesses are moving through stages and evolution. A big push was the conference calls. Soon screen sharing was available and travel started declining. But the face to face portion needed a comeback. The phone alone does not promote the full mental image of how the person is receiving our message. Visual indicators have long been a form of adjusting your conversation. Being able to see a reaction, distraction and provide early action helps everyone feel they are making sound business decisions.
There are quite a few partners trying to integrate with Lotus Sametime, and a new partner recently emerged who exceeded my expectations of capabilities. That was Vidyo. I first read their press release and then I read the website to find eight products emcompassing a huge array of capabilities, even up to broadcast TV capability.
Imagine bringing the type of technology that Vidyo delivers to a leader in presence awareness in the enterprises? Both sides of this puzzle win. Lotus Sametime users get cutting edge, HD-quality video technology. Vidyo gains another entry point to new customers to offer more of their portfolio.
With LDAP directory authentication, Vidyo can see your Domino directory. With browser support across the board, no company should face compatibility issues. And Vidyo can optimize its transport to accommodate any bandwidth constraints. I am excited to investigate and test their portfolio even more.
Note: No compensation or exchange was made for writing this blog posting. I’ve spent quite a bit of time reading and testing some of the technology. That sold me so far.
Here is the video clip of my interview with Vidyo’s Director of Product Marketing Mark Noble:
Chris Miller is the Director of Messaging and Collaboration for Connectria, the largest hosting provider for Lotus software. He is known as IdoNotes across the social networks. He is the founder of Spiked Studio Productions, which produces numerous podcast and webcasts including IdoNotes, TheSocialGeeks, TheSocialNetworker, ConsultantInYourPocket, Lotusphere Podcasts, Notes in 9 and more. You can find and contact him on any network as @IdoNotes.