Video conferencing, up until a few years ago, was exclusively based on hardware (codecs) produced by companies such as Tandberg, Polycom, HP, Sony, Aethra, Lifesize and Radvision to mention a few. Development of software video conference solutions such as Bluejeans, Vidyo, Pexip, Zoom and Slack to mention a few, are progressively making inroads on the traditional technology turf.
Video communication/conference history
The refinement and improvement by the major video conference hardware manufacturers, continued throughout the 2000s with more and more software based video conference solutions appearing. Cisco, a network hardware manufacturer, progressively became a major video conference player after the Tandberg take-over in 2010.
The problem facing many organizations including government departments, educational institutions and global corporations, is to cost effectively, seamlessly and without a degradation in quality, transition from a hardware platform based endpoint system for video conferencing to a software/cloud solution. JCU has embarked on this journey and currently uses Zoom Meetings and a mix of existing hardware with Tandberg and Cisco codec endpoints deployed in fit for purpose video conference rooms. The university is currently experimenting with Zoom Rooms and has turned a previously traditional hardware based room system into a fully functional room at the Singapore Campus controlled from an iPad. Other Zoom Rooms have been set up at both the Cairns and Townsville campuses but have not yet been deployed in a common teaching space.
Zoom was introduced at JCU in March 2018 as the preferred software based video conference solution. Some of the major advantages of Zoom are:
- inter-operates with the existing video conference hardware endpoints
- used as an external host in TelePresence Management Suit (TMS) the video conference scheduler
- meetings scheduled via Outlook
- Zoom Meetings — A collaborative cloud-based video and web conferencing product.
- Zoom Rooms — A low-cost video conference room based system running on Apple and PC hardware, touch screen compatibility, and support for three-screen setups
- Zoom Video Webinar — A version of video conferencing that allows up to 100 active and 10,000 passive participants