I’ve blogged about the need for exactly this kind of functionality before (see MAX HEADROOM) and TANDBERG delivered it as version 2.0 of the TANDBERG Codian IP GW 3500 Series. Key features include:

  • Up to 32 sub-menus for callers to navigate in the automated attendant
  • Pre-recorded video in each of the 32 sub-menus for customers that have a TANDBERG Codian IP VCR
  • A customizable corporate look and feel
  • Integration with the TANDBERG Management Suite (TMS) to provide phonebooks and directories
  • New capabilities for the live video operator, including the capability to screen and hold calls, as well as search TMS phonebooks to connect calls
  • Ability to integrate with all major vendors’ endpoints
  • A flexible dial plan that can intelligently manage and route all incoming and outgoing calls
  • High definition (720p) video resolutions with up to 30 frames per second
  • Up to 40 simultaneous calls

This server is the HD platform that replaces the EntryPoint which is an SD compliant Auto Attendant.

entrypointThe EntryPoint at TANDBERG delivers a resolution of 352×288 pixels while 720p is 1280×720 pixels, so it is pretty limited. EntryPoint uses the H.263+ codec at 35 kbps visual delivery. Audio was G.711 at 64 kbps. This image is not crisp as shown by the yellow arrows pointing to a couple of fuzzy letters in the EntryPoint presentation.

The 3500 series will solve this problem enabling HD service and up to 2 Mbps per session supporting as many as 40 simultaneous sessions.

Beefing up this category of product is critical to enabling large scale inter-company communications. Since most companies can’t afford to put an external IP address on every video capable device let alone support a security architecture that would allow that, the video auto attendant allowing incoming directory service is a missing piece of the equation. Enabling recorded video to play instead of still images is awesome.

At the same time, this product needs to also support multiple network access so that Internet-connected customers IP-in one way, and the MPLS-connected customers IP-in another way. I suppose even ISDN dialin probably needs to be supported.

One question for TANDBERG:

  • When will it be deployed at TANDBERG?

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