Hello from the world of Lync gadgets! Lync’s one-year anniversary is less than a month away and we’re starting year two with a wave of new solutions being brought to market by our audio and video partners.

Today, I want to talk about video Gateways and why they are important.

Why video Gateways for Lync?
One of the key features of Microsoft Lync is the integrated P2P and video conferencing capability, which adds desktop video conferencing to the palette of communication options while also preserving the click-to-call ease of use of the overall solution.  Customers who are interested in utilizing Lync desktop video capabilities may already be using room-based video conferencing, and they’d like to keep the experience consistent across all systems.

That is where video gateway solutions help us integrate board rooms, siloed video applications, and immersive video experience into Lync. Gateways provide connectivity between the two environments.  It allows any H.323 endpoint to register to the Lync server and act just like a native Lync client via the video Gateway.  The endpoint’s presence will display in the Lync contact list including offline, available or in a call, and calls can be made to the device in full HD using the familiar click-to-call user interface.    

Many customers will choose to deploy native interoperable endpoints as they expand their networks, but still require interoperability with their existing endpoints.  Deploying a gateway gives them this flexibility.  It also gives them the flexibility of having multipoint calls that include any endpoints on Lync’s built-in A/V MCU.  Without a gateway the only way to do this would require all the Lync clients and endpoints to connect to an MCU.

As part of our Video Interoperability Program, we are looking at qualifying video gateways that will enable these functionalities for Lync customers. One of those partners is RADVISION, which we’re happy to confirm has implemented some of the key scenarios for interoperability with Microsoft OCS 2007 R2 and Lync 2010, including providing customers firewall traversal as well as secure point to point video calls between Microsoft OCS and Lync clients and third-party endpoints.  RADVISION is also working to add interoperability support for TCP protocols in order to complete qualification of their device.  We anticipate that they will complete that work by the end of the year. You can reach out to RADVISION for more information info@radvision.com

I encourage you to learn more about Lync Conferencing and how we are working with our partners to make it easier, better, and allow customers to leverage and integrate their current infrastructure.

More on the benefits of Lync audio, video and web conferencing: http://lync.microsoft.com/en-us/Product/Workloads/pages/conferencing-software.aspx

Maura Hameroff