demonstrated a new software-based multipoint control unit (MCU) ready to
work with Microsoft’s Istanbul, announced
Radvision makes software for enterprise video, voice and data conferencing, as well as
interfaces with the corporate communications networks by means of middleware product iVIEW. The software-only
communications architecture, to be included in iVIEW is designed for enterprises using
Microsoft Office System 2003.
Radvision’s distributed, server-based product will let corporate users of Microsoft Live Communications
Server integrate that with other forms of communication, including PBX, mobile phones, 3G video phones
and traditional videoconferencing systems.
The conferencing product builds on the functionality of the newest component of the Microsoft Office
System, Istanbul. Microsoft promised that this rich desktop client will replace Windows Messenger, providing
integrated instant messaging, extensible presence, PC-based voice and video, and integration with the telephone.
Killko Caballero, Radvision senior vice president of enterprise strategy, said the company believes that
an end-to-end software product, rather than a hardware-based MCU, is the right approach in terms of
scalability and pricing.
Caballero said that as video becomes more commonplace in business, demand could swamp bandwidth and snarl
“When Microsoft launched Live Communications Server,” he said, “they put video and voice
capabilities into the Windows Messenger client. So large enterprises are being exposed to this capability,
but it’s only point-to-point.”
But the point-to-point structure can’t handle complex, high-bandwidth connections at multiple locations,
he said. “When you have potentially tens of thousands of video users, it can’t be handled within a separate
architecture,” he said.
IVIEW will hide the complexity of connecting users via a variety of devices and enabling
different communications protocols on the fly. It creates a layer of abstraction on top of the complex
network infrastructure, letting users simply drag icons to initiate collaboration.
Radvision demonstrated iVIEW with the beta version of Istanbul at the VON
tradeshow, held in Boston this week, and it’s already in use by beta customers. The company will release the final
version in conjunction with Microsoft’s release of the new desktop client, expected some time in the first
half of 2005.