VCI Collaborative Service can help users to:

  • Reduce costs in travel, time and carbon footprint by enabling collaboration via video technologies
  • Collaborate with colleagues at multiple locations, both nationally and internationally
  • Collaborate using via Spreed, Web meetings bridging facilities to interoperate
  • Visualise topics being discussed by seeing colleagues' desktop displays
  • Send text messages for instant written communication whilst meetings are taking place
  • Transfer files and presentations for secure information distribution

The Desktop Video Collaboration Service enables people to use a single personal computer or laptop (using Windows, Mac OSX or Linux operating systems) to share ideas, data and documents with others. The Group Video Collaboration Service allows large-scale communication among dispersed groups requiring more advanced audio/video capabilities.

 

Services

The Spreed, Web meetings and Access Grid video collaboration systems enable people to visually communicate from different locations. The solutions are suited to both small- and large-format online meetings between individuals or groups. Participants can collaborate from their desktop computers or from large rooms as their needs dictate. Spreed, Web meetings provides customer service assistance in all areas of video and audio collaboration.

Desktop Video Collaboration
Spreed, Web meetings, requirements are simple. Users simply need a desktop or laptop computer, a webcam for video transmission, and a microphone and speakers or a headset for audio.

Communication Bridges
Spreed, Web meetings provides a facility that bridges connections that enables users of either product to attend the same meeting. Additionally, an IP-based phone bridge enables people in low-bandwidth areas or without Internet access to attend meetings via a local phone call from almost anywhere.

Video Collaboration Features
In addition to standard video conferencing; solutions deliver a range of features and functions to enhance collaboration and interaction. Depending on the system chosen, users can benefit from:

  • High-definition video provides superior quality and visual information
  • Private or group instant messaging and availability status (e.g., away, busy)
  • Scheduled and ad-hoc meetings with permanent virtual “rooms” for regular meetings
  • Recording and playback of meetings
  • File transfer/sharing and desktop screen sharing
  • An integrated gateway that allows users to join a meeting via telephone
  • Automatic time zone adjustment and multi-language support
  • Firewall-friendly and support for Network Address Translation (NAT)
  • Low bandwidth requirements;
  • Security-enabled (video/audio) encryption
  • Password-protected "rooms”
  • High-definition video solutions compatible with Linux, Mac and Windows-based systems.

Advantages of Video Collaboration Solutions
Flexibility, the desktop video collaboration service, enables users to speak one-on-one or in many-site connections. The software runs on average desktops and laptops – turning them into valuable collaboration systems.

Access Grid, the group video collaboration service, enables meeting participants to conduct large-scale virtual meetings. Access Grid allows users to enjoy big displays, multiple camera feeds and group-to-group communication. It also permits people to share data and applications. It is highly recommended that Access Grid nodes participate in our Quality Assurance program. In addition, assistance can be provided on hardware recommendations, in addition to user support and training.

Reduction of travel time and expenses –enable users to communicate with colleagues globally to reduce the need for travel.

Convenient conferencing – For example, a single user may be running on a laptop while having a meeting with a roomful of colleagues globally

Minimal cost – is free to download and video conference calls use standard Internet connections. Access Grid also is free to download and use – but requires higher speed Internet access. Telephone conferencing is the cost of a local call for all capital cities (except Darwin) and most regional centres, making the system very cost effective.

Group Video Collaboration


The solution enables communication among dispersed groups and allows group-to-group and multi-group two-way video and sound. Meetings can be between two locations – or can have more than a dozen different sites attending.

While Access Grid can be used on a personal basis, it is particularly well-suited to larger installations requiring more advanced audio/video capabilities that are needed for large groups.

System benefits include:

  • Audio control includes a mixer for balancing sound levels amongst meeting participants
  • Video and audio services are highly configurable, allowing rapid switching between optimal configurations for different usage requirements
  • Desktop Streaming allows sharing of presentations, documents, web pages and computer program displays for enhanced collaboration
  • Shared files for easy data transmission during a meeting
  • Shared control via virtual network computing
  • Text chat within a meeting for instant written communication
  • Configurable for low-bandwidth use
  • Remote maintenance of operations

Requirements
Most modern hardware should perform adequately for a modest Access Grid node, such as a single- or few-user installation, where a single high-grade machine may prove sufficient. As with many applications which involve video acquisition and display, the more RAM and the higher grade the machine's video card/s, the better. For larger room sizes- which may require multiple cameras and microphones, as well as three (or more) displays- it is recommended to use multiple machines to take care of the displays and audio and video capture services.

Training
Assistance is available during this time to help users test their set ups, learn about Access Grid (and interoperability) features, and discuss any problems that may be experienced.

Known Issues
There are issues with Mac OS audio for Access Grid. This requires development work for rectification. We will update you on this when additional information becomes available.

  For further information contact:

  info@virtuelle-cluster-initiative.de