StarLeaf has announced a range of services that allow traditional video meeting-room systems, such as Cisco and Polycom to join a scheduled Skype for Business meeting.
The offering’s aspects range from a free connectivity service – StarLeaf Medley – through to full integration services.
Medley can be accessed by any Skype Meeting organizer, who in one simple step can invite any number of internal or external third-party video systems to join their meeting. This is the first time video equipment from Cisco, Lifesize or Polycom can be invited and connected directly into a Skype Meeting.
Alongside the free Medley service, StarLeaf also offers premium services available to channel partners that incorporate an enterprise’s existing video systems into the Skype for Business environment. These make those existing systems integral to the Skype Meeting workflow, giving users a consistent and familiar experience when scheduling meetings in Outlook. Whether organizations choose to use the free option or go for a seamless integration, StarLeaf offers a simple and easy way to continue to leverage existing video meeting room systems without further investment in complex infrastructure or conference bridging services.
“There’s no doubt that Skype for Business is fast becoming the enterprise’s chosen unified communications platform, yet as video collaboration becomes pervasive across desktops, users soon hit the interop brick wall, where there’s no connectivity with traditional AV meeting rooms,” said Kevin Bernitz, StarLeaf vice president of product management. “We’ve introduced StarLeaf Medley and a broad range of premium services that ensure that companies can continue to leverage their existing deployments and even scale them, if need be.”
There are no plug-ins or downloads involved. For Medley, users can forward a Skype Meeting invite to firstname.lastname@example.org or add email@example.com to your invitee list when organizing your meeting. The StarLeaf Medley service then automatically responds with third-party endpoint dial-in instructions.
“When organizations implement unified communications solutions, such as Skype for Business, they expect to both expand their capabilities and eliminate silos of communications that restrict information sharing. Unfortunately, certain UC solutions still create silos,” said Robert Arnold, principal analyst at Frost and Sullivan. “StarLeaf, with a laser focus on interoperability, is enabling the connectivity that all organizations seek.”