Personal Telepresence – Software Solution Comparison

April 22, 2013 by Christopher Isak 8 Comments »
Image representing Vidyo as depicted in CrunchBase

Image via CrunchBase

Telepresence on your desk is a great enhancement to the benefits of video collaboration. It enables you to join meetings ad-hoc and (at least for me) replaced the need for doing a phone call. Even if hardware based endpoints are not available there are software solutions available for personal telepresence.

Throughout 2012 I have been using a hardware-based endpoint for quick communication via video and since January 2013 I switched to a software-based solution. I tried out a few and wanted to share the comparison with you.

In the personal telepresence solution comparison below, I listed several options on personal telepresence software clients or web conferencing solutions with video conferencing functions. You will also find links to each solution further down, in case you would like to get more details on the products.

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The Telepresence24.com comparison for software-based personal telepresence solution – Updated 22.4.13 – Click to enlarge

My requirements

In the comparison we considered most features and functions but to keep it short and sweet, we published only the most popular and relevant ones. For myself I have a strong focus on security and encryption as well as the ability to call all other H.323 based endpoints and infrastructure devices. With the Videoconference24 client for example I am able to call any box no matter if it is from Huawei, LifeSize, Cisco, Radvision / Avaya, Polycom or similar manufacturers. As long a software-client supports standard SIP or H.323 calling those is also possible – you get the idea: I want to reach them all and I want my line secure even through public internet!

Beside that I enjoy the ability to invite for multipoint video conferences without reserving resources on a separate MCU. In most cases this would cost money yet again and like this I can completely cut both the invest in MCUs as well as starting a video call for right now, without booking nor calling anyone to prepare my conference. Of course video conferencing managed services do make sense in many occasions but just for a sudden meeting I don’t need someone on top of things.

Participants of comparison:

There are more solutions than that available and if you would like to add the solution you have good experiences in please feel welcome to let us know in the comment section below. As usually I am more than happy to update the comparison in collaboration with you.

Summary

I am now using the Videoconference24 solution provided by Global Media Services and don’t have a broken heart when I think back to my hardware-based endpoint from last year. Just one thing I would like to add is that when you are saving big-time money going to software-based solutions: Get high-end peripherals for it! You don’t want to be the VGA person in a HD call because you are using the old webcam back from the days. Recommended gear (in my books) comes from makers such as Logitech and Jabra.

What are you using? And … are you happy with it? I want to know your opinion!

 
  • Lexmechanic Blackrail

    Nice overview you put up.
    Interesting that the solutions of the majors were left out though. It gives some more air to the alternatives out there.
    Currently I’m using a Logitech C920 for desktop videoconferencing and can’t complain.
    I guess more developers and providers will put some comments up if they feel they are missing in this overview, so I am looking forward to updates as well.

  • UC Ling

    Hi! Ling here~
    Very useful post! Already shared it on Twitter!

  • raj v randam

    Wow out of nowhere this suddenly reached all over my social networks … Very useful article! I understand why it was widely shared very quickly.

  • http://twitter.com/anandkochhar anand kochhar

    Matrix will do justice by adding soft clients with significant major market share i.e. Jabber, Lync & Hangout+

    Another yardstick should be WebRTC support availability/Commitment for these soft clients.

    • http://twitter.com/ChristopherIsak Christopher Isak

      Hi Anand, thanks for your comment.

      You are not wrong but there were reasons for each of those to not be included, such as for instance:

      Microsoft Lync: Is not a solution on its own and would require to be hooked up with infrastructure that is already purchased.
      Google Hangout: Same as Videoconference24 based on Vidyo technology, however just meant for Google users without connectivity to other technologies.
      Cisco Jabber: Requires Cisco VCS for in-house operations. The free cloud solution is not really scalable and also the testing team encountered issues when trying to reach into an enterprise network’s Cisco hardware endpoint (confirmed issue from Cisco).

      For the WebRTC support, how would you recommend to display that? It might not be applicable to all options.

      I am interested to hear your feedback.

  • Richard Greene

    I’ve recently deployed a RADVISION Scopia Desktop/Mobile solution – a cracking product for desktops and iPads/Mobility. I reviewed Polycom, Cisco, Vidyo and Lifesize during the tender process for our Enterprise refresh. RADVISION were the only ones who could demo the full interop from iPads to traditional video vendors.

    • http://twitter.com/ChristopherIsak Christopher Isak

      Hi Richard, thanks for your feedback.

      Can you run RADVISION Scopia without infrastructure for it? Well obviously every cloud has its box, but you know what I mean.

      Thanks & best regards,
      Chris

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