Videoconferencing news highlights: Yorktel and AGT

Today we'll continue our videoconferencing news highlights with announcements from Yorktel and AGT. AGT offers managed and cloud videoconferencing solutions targeting service providers: It previewed a new desktop video client and EncoreB2B mobile video app at InfoComm earlier this month. And Yorktel recently deployed an enterprise-class, cloud-based service portfolio for videoconferencing with the Yorktel VideoCloud.

AGT's platform offers video as a service to other service providers with solutions that can be white-labeled. The cloud-based AGT software platform runs on standard servers, and AGT offers service providers the choice to host their own servers or to use AGT's data center to host the underling infrastructure. AGT's platform supports a variety of endpoints, including PC and Mac desktops, a variety of HD conference room systems (Cisco, Polycom, LifeSize, AVer and more), mobile devices, Web browsers and Microsoft Lync. While at InfoComm, AGT unveiled a new desktop video client; the new client will be available in Q3 and will also include WebRTC and GoogleTalk integration. It also announced continues to support the concept of business-to-business video collaboration by delivering a new mobile app that is compatible with iOS and Android; AGT offers its clients the option to manage the application development process for partners interested in selling their own branded versions.

[ ANALYSIS: One year in, Yammer grows in importance to Microsoft ]

When we followed up on the announcement with Mark Cray, AGT's EVP for sales and marketing, he noted that AGT had just celebrated its 20th anniversary and that, while the company does have numerous enterprise customers, it has evolved to now support service providers, with 14 active provider clients and more than 10,000 video ports in service. He also said that the explosive growth in videoconferencing service is largely driven by service providers who want to add video to their VoIP, hosted IP BBX or UC portfolios.

In other news, Yorktel's new VideoCloud portfolio supports integration with Microsoft Lync and Office 365. Announced at Enterprise Connect, the new Yorktel VideoCloud videoconferencing services offer connectivity ranging from standard H.323/SIP videoconferencing rooms, desktop and mobile conferencing clients to Lync Federation and telepresence systems interoperability. Users on any Microsoft Lync clients, including enterprise on-premises Lync server or Microsoft Office 365, can use VideoCloud to connect to videoconferencing systems from Cisco, Polycom, Avaya (Radvision), LifeSize, Vidyo and other vendors.

The Yorktel portfolio provides three models: VideoCloud Virtual Meeting Room, a reservation-less, on-demand videoconferencing service; VideoCloud Managed Conferencing Service, a fully managed conferencing service; and VideoCloud B2B Service, an extension of the managed environment that enables a company to schedule and host external, inter-company video conference meetings.

When we spoke this week with Joe Arena, SVP of advanced services for Yorktel, he noted that his company had been in the video business for 25 years, and now offers videoconferencing in 84 countries with a cloud-based MCU infrastructure. He attributes his company's success to an architecture that provides superior quality of service (QoS), complete with the option to bundle the service with an MPLS connection that includes a managed service.

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