Updated 3-15-2011 with new RMX screenshots
Updated 2-18-2011 with new interop information
I was asked by a university in Oregon if we work with existing video conferencing solutions such as TANDBERG (now Cisco) and Polycom. The answer is we can coexist with Polycom video conference systems directly and Cisco TANDBERG or Cisco Telepresence indirectly via a 3rd party video gateway in the coming future.
Polycom interop with Lync
With Polycom RMX, you can connect Lync Server to existing Polycom video conferencing investments.
Here is an example of Polycom RMX conference room integration with Lync:
I joined a Polycom RMX MCU from Lync even via federation and had my other UC amigos Bill and Greg join as well from their Lync clients. The red highlight shows who is speaking actively. Pretty slick. This demonstrated nice interoperability between Polycom and Lync video endpoints. The scenario here is you could have federated Lync off campus users/students join your existing campus Polycom conference rooms over the Internet.
This example below shows how Lync users can connect to existing Polycom VTC device called Polycom HDX. The device is registered in Lync and Active Directory. You can also see device presence, even connect to federated Polycom VTCs and conference rooms in other organizations.
The sample above I have joined a Polycom VTC in Polycom’s organization via Lync federation. This is a pretty powerful way to extend your Polycom investment to Lync video conferencing and even extend your Polycom to federated customers.
With the Polycom video conferencing interop you can also achieve ‘Brady bunch’ style multiparty video conference sessions right from your Lync client such as the sample below:
When I join a Polycom HDX conference device registered in Active Directory, the presence for the Polycom device turns to busy. I also heard some of their video conferencing devices are slated to adopt Lync Server’s RT Video codec some time soon.
See more here.
Cisco TANDBERG or Cisco Telepresence interop with Lync
Currently, there is no official direct support to connect directly to Cisco Tandberg or Cisco Telepresence video conferencing systems with Lync video endpoints. There is Cisco TANDBERG support for OCS 2007 R2 however. There are video gateway vendors like RADVISION and others working on a way to bridge Cisco TANDBERG and Cisco Telepresence all in one session.
Cisco TANDBERG has been testing some Lync interop. This video below shows an early beta test of some of the TANDBERG and Lync interop however it is not final and not all the features are working.
One way Cisco TANDBERG can help maintain current and future interoperability with other video conferencing/UC systems such as Polycom and Lync is by joining the Unified Communications Interoperability Foundation UCIF org. Microsoft, Polycom, Juniper, HP and other vendors have joined. See list of UCIF members here.
See OCS 2007 R2 interop with TANDBERG here.
RADVISION UC gateway with Lync
We also work with RADVISION as well using a SCOPIA Unified Gateway for Lync:
This gateway is slated to provide H.323 and H.264 video conference bridging to Lync Server 2010 which means you can connect multiple video conference systems at the same time to Lync such as Cisco Telepresence, Cisco TANDBERG and Polycom.
See more on RADVISION’s interop here.
LifeSize interop with Lync
LifeSize video conferencing systems also support Lync video interoperability.
Read more about LifeSize’s Lync integration here.
Great info and screenshots, thanks! Do you know if presence and connection to federated devices is available for a Cisco/Tandberg situation or is that exclusive to the Polycom product?
What do you know about older Polycom equipment, like FX and VSX lines, with Lync? Any chance they might also work with Lync?
Apparently this is an old video when Lync was in Beta. Cisco is not supporting this until around July from what I have heard. The codes have changed on Lync and it does not work now. (shocker). My question is where is the CAC support between Cisco and MSFT solutions.
vidkidrus and ward,
I believe presence should work with Tandberg devices as well however I have not actually tested it.
Older Polycom equipment will work with Lync Server however it may require some additional Polycom infrastructure such as an RMX appliance, etc.
Thanks for the great article. I am heading up a project to make Lync the center of our Tandberg video conferencing deployment that we have with a centralized Codian MCU. Information on this sort of integration is sparse and I hope more becomes available very soon or I'll have to write it myself :) Looking into an open source solution called Yate (Yet Another Telephony Engine) to be a SIP-H.323 proxy between my Tandberg endpoints and a Lync deployment. Crossing my fingers..