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Updated:January 6, 2014
Integrated Rich-Media Conferencing
® Unified Communications Solutions unify voice, video, data, and mobile applications on fixed and mobile networks, delivering a media-rich collaboration experience across business, government agency, and institutional workspaces. These applications use the network as the platform to enhance comparative advantage by accelerating decision time and reducing transaction time. The security, resilience, and scalability of the network enable users in any workspace to easily connect anywhere, anytime, and anyplace, using any media, device, or operating system. Cisco Unified Communications is part of a comprehensive solution that includes network infrastructure, security, wireless, management applications, lifecycle services, flexible deployment and outsourced management options, and third-party applications.
® Unified MeetingPlace
® conferencing-part of the Cisco Unified Communications family of products-is an enterprise-class rich-media conferencing solution that makes remote meetings as natural and effective as face-to-face meetings. The solution integrates voice, video, and Web conferencing with industry-leading setup and control capabilities to meet the needs of organizations looking for a single solution and user environment for all their conferencing needs (Figure 1). The solution is deployed on-network, behind the firewall and integrated directly into an organization's private voice and data networks and enterprise applications, to provide significant cost savings, security, and a superior user experience. As a component of the Cisco Unified Communications System, Cisco Unified MeetingPlace delivers productivity that goes beyond traditional conferencing solutions by enabling rich-media conferencing to be incorporated into a broad range of communication scenarios.
Figure 1. Rich-Media Conferencing Session
With Cisco Unified Communications, organizations can easily integrate rich-media conferencing in their business to more effectively interact with virtual teams all over the world. Users can simply transition across and between applications, such as presence, instant messaging (IM), IP telephony, unified messaging, and rich-media conferencing as interactions warrant, independent of where they are or what device they are using. These capabilities allow you to excel in today's fast-paced world and give you the agility your business needs to continuously innovate and quickly adapt.
Improve Productivity and Accelerate Business Speed and Reach
Cisco Unified MeetingPlace conferencing supports today's global, real-time organizations by promoting effective communication and collaboration-allowing people to meet at any time from anywhere. By integrating voice, video, and Web conferencing into everyday communications, organizations can expand their market reach, improve operational effectiveness, and speed decision making. The ability for all meeting participants to hear and contribute to the discussion, view other participants and read their body language, and share documents all contributes to effective remote meetings, whether the meeting is a sales demonstration, training application, project team meeting, or customer support interaction.
Superior Cost-Effectiveness and Enterprise Security
The Cisco Unified MeetingPlace solution is deployed on-network and integrated with an organization's private voice and data networks to help companies realize the cost-savings potential of converged IP networks. On-network deployment facilitates cost savings because organizations can use their IP network infrastructures to reduce conferencing-related transport costs. Because conferencing can account for up to 50 percent or more of a company's overall voice traffic, keeping traffic on internal networks results in significant cost savings. On-network deployment also results in a secure meeting environment. Cisco Unified MeetingPlace conferencing allows enterprises to isolate confidential meetings and content behind the firewall for secure data transport and still have flexibly to set up Internet-accessible meetings with external parties.. To prevent unauthorized access and toll fraud, Cisco Unified MeetingPlace conferencing integrates with the corporate directory to provide synchronized updates as an employee's status changes.
Simple Rich-Media Conference Setup, Attendance, and Management
Cisco Unified MeetingPlace conferencing improves the overall user experience by tightly integrating voice, video, and Web conferencing with convenient desktop applications. Intuitive interfaces make setting up, attending, and managing meetings easy. Impromptu or future voice, video, and Web conferences can be set up and attended in a single step-from phones, instant messaging (IM) and communications clients, Web browsers, and Microsoft Outlook and IBM Lotus Notes calendars. Industry-standard protocols are supported to enable conference attendance using a wide variety of devices and platforms. Users can access voice and video conferences from traditional telephones, IP phones, mobile devices, PC-based communications clients, and desktop and room-based video systems. The Web conferencing solution uses Adobe Flash technology to enable fast, simple access from multiple platforms without requiring users to download any software. Meeting participants have total control over their voice, video, and Web conference from a single browser interface. This simple-to-use model eliminates traditional barriers to rich-media conferencing, leading to quick adoption and realization of productivity benefits.
Key Features and Benefits
Tightly Integrated Rich-Media Conference Setup
Cisco Unified MeetingPlace conferencing supports multiple interfaces for initiating impromptu or scheduling future rich-media conferences. In a single step, meeting organizers can schedule or initiate immediate voice, video, and Web resources through a Web interface, touch-tone and Cisco Unified IP phone, and Microsoft Outlook or IBM Lotus Notes calendar. Meeting invitees automatically receive notification by e-mail or calendar invitation and can attend rich-media conferences with a single click. Rescheduling meetings automatically reschedules all the resources at the same time. This simple approach saves time and improves productivity (Figure 2).
Cisco Unified MeetingPlace conferencing integrates industry-leading video setup and control capabilities to meet the needs of organizations looking for a single enterprise-class solution and user environment for voice, video, and Web conferencing. Video setup includes the ability to reserve capacity on multiple Cisco Unified Videoconferencing Multipoint Control Units (MCUs), to search for, check availability of, and schedule specific video terminals that automatically connect to the video MCU when the meeting starts; and to select from multiple, preconfigured service codes that define bandwidth, video layout, and access restrictions on a per-meeting basis.
With Presence and IM applications becoming widely adopted in the workplace, Cisco Unified MeetingPlace conferencing allows users to easily initiate rich-media conferences from IM and communications clients such as Cisco Unified Personal Communicator, Microsoft Office Communicator, and Jabber Messenger. This capability promotes collaboration by making impromptu rich-media conferences easy to initiate and join. Being able to view a person's availability and easily enter into a voice, video, and Web conference or being on a phone call and instantly sharing a document can enable organizations to significantly speed business processes by engaging subject matter experts and decision makers quickly and collaborating effectively without the typical delays.
Easy Attendance of Rich-Media Conferences
Attending a rich-media conference is as simple as a single mouse-click. Cisco Unified MeetingPlace conferencing simultaneously launches the Web conference and dials out to the user's voice or video endpoint (either a room-based video system or desktop endpoint). Participants can also connect to the voice and video portions of the conference by directly dialing in from any video endpoint or telephone. After a Web conference is in session, participants can share presentations, desktop applications, and multimedia content, and conduct effective collaborative meetings. Simplifying and automating conference attendance means that meetings start on time, and frequent conferencing frustrations such as having to experiment with the video remote control are eliminated.
Advanced Rich-Media Conference Capabilities and Control
Cisco Unified MeetingPlace conferencing tightly integrates voice, video, and Web conferencing capabilities for highly engaging and productive virtual meetings and interactions. With feature-rich voice, video, and Web conferencing capabilities, support for presentation of rich content, and preconfigured meeting application templates, Cisco Unified MeetingPlace conferencing gives organizations a single conferencing solution that meets a wide range of conferencing needs, including collaborative meetings, presentations, training, and Web seminars. The Web conferencing environment is built using Adobe Flash technology, which helps deliver an exceptional user experience and ensure rapid and reliable meeting entry across multiple platforms without the need for software downloads.
Figure 2. Advanced Rich-Media Conference Control
Cisco Unified MeetingPlace conferencing provides industry-leading in-meeting controls within the Web conference. Without disrupting a meeting, users know who is attending, how users are attending (voice, video, or Web), who is speaking, and who is sharing. To help ensure that meetings run smoothly, users with the appropriate permissions can control a broad range of meeting characteristics, including Web conferencing permissions, speaking permissions (such as mute and listen only), recording, and meeting security. Users can control their own meeting environment, including muting and unmuting their phones, modifying their video layouts, and moving into private discussions. When a user chooses to leave or is ejected from a meeting, all media types-voice, video, and Web-are disconnected simultaneously. Having access to these integrated meeting controls allows meeting moderators to minimize disruptions, monitor meeting progress, and make rich-media meetings as natural and effective as face-to-face meetings.
Rich-Media Conference Recordings
From either the Web or the phone interface, users can record their meetings to capture the discussion and content so that people who have missed the meeting can play back the synchronized Web and audio session through their Web browsers. Audio recordings are available in multiple formats, including Waveform Audio (WAV), MPEG Layer 3 (MP3), and Windows Media. Unlike other current Web conference services, Cisco Unified MeetingPlace conferencing does not require separate hardware or software to record or play back.
Enterprise-Class Conferencing Platforms
Cisco Unified MeetingPlace conferencing is an enterprise-class conferencing solution with proven global deployments in Fortune 500 companies. The solution offers companies robust voice, video, and Web conferencing that integrates with their private networks. With carrier-grade hardware and advanced system software, the Cisco Unified MeetingPlace solution delivers the scalability, reliability, simplified administration, security, and cost-effectiveness that IT organizations require. Video conferencing is provided by the Cisco Unified Videoconferencing platform, which is widely deployed in large enterprises.
Customers can scale their deployments depending on their use patterns. The core platforms components include the following:
• Cisco Unified MeetingPlace 8100 Audio Server platforms for audio conferencing applications: The Cisco Unified MeetingPlace 8100 solution bundles include the Cisco MeetingPlace IP Gateway for IP deployments and the Cisco Unified MeetingPlace Conference User Interface for integrated voice, video, and Web scheduling. Both the Cisco MeetingPlace IP Gateway and Cisco Unified MeetingPlace Conference User Interface software must be installed on a Cisco media convergence server (MCS). Figure 3 shows the Cisco Unified MeetingPlace 8100 Audio Server platforms.
• Cisco Unified MeetingPlace Web Conferencing software: The Cisco Unified MeetingPlace Web Conferencing application is installed on Cisco MCSs. Refer to the Cisco Unified MeetingPlace Web Conferencing data sheet for details.
• Cisco Unified Videoconferencing 3500 Series MCU for video conferencing applications: Refer to the Cisco Unified Videoconferencing 3500 Series MCU data sheet for details.
• Cisco Unified MeetingPlace Video Integration is integration software that requires a separate Cisco MCS and integrates Cisco Unified Videoconferencing systems into Cisco Unified MeetingPlace 6.0.
• Cisco Unified MeetingPlace integrations are software applications that run on Cisco MCS platforms-Cisco Unified MeetingPlace integration applications include Cisco Unified MeetingPlace for Microsoft Outlook, Cisco Unified MeetingPlace for Microsoft Office Communicator, Cisco Unified MeetingPlace for IBM Lotus Notes, Cisco Unified MeetingPlace Directory Services, and Cisco Unified MeetingPlace Jabber Messaging Integration. These integration options are available for enterprise desktop and infrastructure integration. Refer to the corresponding data sheets for detailed information.
Figure 3. Cisco Unified MeetingPlace Audio Server 8112 and 8106 Platforms
Table 1 lists product specifications for the Cisco Unified MeetingPlace 8112 Audio Server platform, and Table 2 lists product specifications for the Cisco Unified MeetingPlace 8106 Audio Server platform.
Table 1. Cisco Unified MeetingPlace 8112 Audio Server Specifications
• H.323 and SIP with Cisco Unified MeetingPlace IP Gateway
• G.711 and G.729a audio compression
• Height: 7 in. (18 cm)
• Width: 18.9 in. (48 cm)
• Depth: 14.5 in. (37 cm)
• Weight: Approximately 40 lb (18.2 kg) fully loaded
• System power: 100 to 240 VAC, 50 to 60 Hz
• Maximum consumption: 510W
• EIA Standard RS-310-C in 19-in. (48.26-cm) rack
• Two hot-swappable, redundant power supplies
• Dual 72-GB disk drives
• Network backup to remote servers
• Shadow server option for complete database synchronization at remote site
The Cisco Unified MeetingPlace 8112 Audio Server can scale to 960 IP, 1152 T1-CAS, 960 E1-PRI, or 768 T1-PRI concurrent users, whereas the Cisco Unified MeetingPlace 8106 Audio Server can scale to half the size of the 8112 platform. A single meeting can support up to 550 participants.
Cisco Unified MeetingPlace 6.0 Web Conferencing can support up to 1000 concurrent Web conferencing users with a cluster of two Cisco MCSs. Each server in a cluster can support up to 500 concurrent Web conferencing users and 100 concurrent meetings, and the maximum meeting size is 1000 participants (refer to the Cisco Unified MeetingPlace Web Conferencing data sheet for details). Participants can join at a maximum rate of 4 connections per second per cluster.
When voice and web conferencing are deployed together, the maximum simultaneous use capacity is 1000 combined voice and Web connections per system, see system scalability table below:
Table 3. System Scalability Table
Audio and Web Conferencing Deployments - Simultaneous Connections
Unified MeetingPlace 8112 Audio Server
Cisco Unified MeetingPlace Video Integration supports up to 72 videoconferencing participants per chassis from 128 kbps to 2 Mbps per participant on the Cisco Unified Videoconferencing 3500 Series MCUs. Multiple chassis can be deployed in a single cluster, with up to 240 video participants per cluster.
• In-session meeting features:
– Announced entry and departure
– Roll call
– Breakout sessions
– Mute individual users
– Mute all participants
– Outdial capability to an individual or a team
– Lock meeting
– Screened entry
• Reservationless option: Allows users to conduct voice and Web meetings with a personal meeting ID without the need for scheduling; reservationless meetings can be configured as internal or external meetings
• Recording: Allows automatic recording and playback of meeting sessions
• Lecture-style meetings with Q&A-Provides listen-only meetings with facilitated question and answer sessions
• Continuous meetings: Allows meetings that do not end, which are especially useful for crisis-management applications
• Conference user interface:
– Speaker ID: Identifies who is speaking at any given moment
– Participant lists: Lists all participants attending the meeting
– Meeting controls: Allows meeting organizer to mute and unmute, change speaking ability, record, lock, eject, and end meeting
• Find participant: Allows searches for users by calling a sequence of main phone, alternate phone, and pager numbers
• Meeting message: Allows users to prerecord messages for other participants to hear before entering the meeting
• Multilanguage support: Provides voice prompt options for American English, British English, Japanese, French, French-Canadian, German, Portuguese (Brazil), and Spanish (Latin American)
• Scheduling using phone interface: Allows users to attend meetings or initiate reservationless meetings using the phone user interface
• Web Conferencing: Refer to the Cisco Unified MeetingPlace Web Conferencing data sheet for details.
• Presentations: Users can share PowerPoint presentations, graphics files (jpg), Flash content (swf files), and Flash movies (flv files) using only a Web browser under Windows or Mac OS. Animations within the presentations are preserved as slides advance. Viewers can attend a conference using a Web browser on Windows, Mac OS, Linux, and Solaris.
• Presenter preparation area: Only presenters and moderators can see and access this portion of the screen, in order to facilitate private discussions away from general view.
• Annotations and whiteboards: Users can annotate shared applications, presentations, and multiple whiteboards.
• Application and desktop sharing with remote control: Users can share any application or desktop (including dual monitor systems) and pass control to others for collaboration. Shared content automatically resizes to the viewer's desktop resolution. Multiple people can share at the same time for side-by-side viewing.
• Recording and playback: Users can automatically record and play back synchronized Web and voice meeting content without the need for additional hardware or software at the desktop. Voice recordings can be exposed as WAV, MP3, or Windows Media files.
• Meeting templates: For ease of use, standard templates (collaborative, presentation, or Web seminar) are provided with preset tools and layouts for easy access.
• Customizable layouts: Users can create their preferred meeting layout and save it for use in future meetings.
• Chat: Meeting participants can use text messaging within meetings.
• Moderated chat: Presenters and moderators can select specific audience-submitted questions submitted to which to respond, either to the individual or to the entire group.
• Polling: Participants can vote on questions and give feedback during the meeting.
• Multilanguage support: Users can choose Web interfaces in English, Japanese, French, German, Portuguese (Brazil), and Spanish (Latin American).
• Meeting console: Cisco Unified MeetingPlace conferencing provides a browser-based interface to manage the voice, video, and Web elements of meetings.
• Personal controls: Meeting participants can call out to their phone or video endpoints, mute and unmute themselves, pause and play video, change their video layout from active speaker to multiple videos (continuous presence), disconnect from video, move to breakouts (phone), and leave the meeting (leaving disconnects their voice, video, and Web sessions).
• Meeting controls: The meeting moderator can change voice and Web conferencing permissions, call out to others to bring them into the meeting, mute and unmute selected participants, mute all participants, pause and play another participant's video, rename users, move participants to waiting room or breakout sessions, merge users (audio and Web) on the participant list, move the meeting from an internal to an external Web server, record the meeting, change voice conference announcements, lock the meeting, eject multiple users, and end the meeting.
• Real-time identification of speaker and sharer: Users can view a list of who is speaking and sharing at any given moment.
• Participant list: This list includes all voice, video, and Web conference participants with permission icons and their emoticon status.
• Chat: Users can send public and private text messages within collaborative meetings (refer to the discussion of collaborative, presentation, and Web seminar meetings later in this document). In presentation and Web seminar meetings, presenters can chat with anyone, and audience members can chat only with presenters.
• Cisco IP video telephony: Impromptu videoconferencing for Cisco Unified CallManager video telephony endpoints is available.
• Video encoding: H.261, H.263, H.263++, and H.264 are used. Cisco Unified CallManager Skinny Client Control Protocol (SCCP) ports currently support H.261 and H.263.
• Enhanced display options: Voice-activated continuous presence with up to 16 participants and enhanced continuous presence with a choice of 26 different layouts are offered.
• Rate matching: Each endpoint in a videoconference can participate according to individual video bandwidth capabilities without affecting the connection of other participants.
• Audio transcoding: The MCU matches the audio capabilities of each calling endpoint before mixing the audio from all participants. H.323 conference participants can use G.711, G.722, G.722.1, G.723.1, G.728, or G.729 audio encoding. SCCP conference participants can use G.711, G.722, G.728, or G.729 audio encoding.
• Video scalability: Video automatically cascades across multiple MCUs.
• Automatic outdial of video terminals: At the start of a meeting, all invited video terminals can be automatically outdialed.
• Easy scheduling of video terminals: Users can search for and check availability of video terminals at the schedule time.
Meeting Setup and Attendance
• Users can schedule or initiate immediate voice, video, and Web conferences through a Web interface, touch-tone or Cisco Unified IP phone, Microsoft Outlook or IBM Lotus Notes calendar, and IM.
• Reservationless meetings: Users can set up always-available voice, video, and Web conferences with a personalized meeting ID for each designated user. Reservationless meetings can be configured as internal or external meetings, and a maximum number of ports can be set for a reservationless meeting.
• Video scheduling and attendance: Users can schedule integrated rich-media meetings with voice, Web, and multiple video Cisco Unified Videoconferencing MCUs, and video terminals. They can search the directory to check the availability of specific video terminals that are automatically outdialed from a Cisco Unified Videoconferencing MCU when the meeting starts. Users can also set up video-only meetings that connect through an MCU as well as select from multiple, preconfigured service codes that define bandwidth, video layout, and access restrictions.
• Collaborative, presentation and Web seminar meetings: Cisco Unified MeetingPlace conferencing allows users to set up collaborative meetings for small, peer-oriented meetings such as project and staff meetings, presentation meetings for more structured Web conferencing meetings such as group training sessions, and Web seminar meetings for large, controlled meetings such as external presentations. In all meeting types, the meeting organizer can change user permissions as needed.
• Invitations: Calendar or e-mail invitations are automatically distributed to invited participants with the information needed to attend the integrated rich-media conference.
• Point-and-click attendance: Users attend voice, video, and Web conferences directly from their calendar, e-mail notification, URL link, IM, or browser.
• Integrated IM: With Cisco Unified MeetingPlace Jabber Integration, users can easily initiate integrated voice, video, and Web conferences from Jabber Messenger. Similarly, with Cisco Unified MeetingPlace for Microsoft Office Communicator, users can initiate conferences directly from Microsoft Office Communicator. And with Cisco Unified Personal Communicator, users can initiate Cisco Unified MeetingPlace Web conferences.
• Dedicated on-network system: Each customer is provided with a dedicated Cisco Unified MeetingPlace solution integrated with the private network.
• Internet lockout controls: Meetings can be set up as internal-only meetings and held entirely behind the corporate firewall or as external meetings that are accessible to Internet and internal participants. Administrators and meeting organizers have complete control.
• Access authentication: Meeting organizers can require that participants authenticate themselves using individual logins to attend a meeting or to access the documents and recordings for a meeting. In addition, the Cisco Unified MeetingPlace system can automatically block out users after multiple failed login attempts.
• Automated account management: Cisco Unified MeetingPlace conferencing integrates with corporate directories, automatically removing accounts of employees who leave the company. For details, refer to the Cisco Unified MeetingPlace Directory Integration data sheet.
• Encryption: Cisco Unified MeetingPlace conferencing supports encrypted Webpages and Web conferencing traffic using Secure Sockets Layer (SSL).
• In-session meeting controls: Meeting organizers can change voice and Web conferencing permissions, specify announced entry and departure, require passwords, lock the meeting, and eject unwanted attendees.
• Public key infrastructure (PKI) certificates can be set up between desktop clients and the Web server.
• Configuration: The system has options for setting use, scheduling, access, and meeting preference parameters.
• Prompts and fields: Voice prompts and database fields can be customized.
• Reports: The standard configuration provides use (voice, video, and Web) and billing reports. Detailed raw data reports to track meeting and participant details are also available.
• Capacity management: System parameters optimize port use and meeting traffic charts.
• System status: Remote management and monitoring are performed using Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) traps; alarms outdial to a phone or pager.
• Disaster recovery: The automated database backs up to network drives, and a shadow server configuration synchronizes profile and meeting databases to protect against a site disaster.
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Cisco Ordering Home Page. Please refer to the Cisco Unified MeetingPlace Ordering Guide for detailed information about part numbers, descriptions, and packaging options.
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