Pexip Infinity 20 is now available

Microsoft-certified Cloud Video Interop for Microsoft Teams and more

It’s here! Pexip Infinity 20 is available. Go here to download now.

Certified for Microsoft Teams

This much-anticipated release enables professional video conferencing interoperability for Microsoft Teams. Infinity is certified by Microsoft for use with Teams so traditional standards-based video conferencing systems can join Teams meetings. Pexip’s unique solution even allows trusted participants to join a Teams meeting and bypass lobby functionality for enhanced user experiences.

Pexip Infinity now allows SIP and H.323 video conferencing systems from vendors such as Cisco, Polycom, LifeSize and others to join Teams meetings, but also enables a wide range of web browsers to join the meetings using WebRTC or RTMP.

Migrating to Microsoft Teams? Read up on all the documentation to see how to get going.

Improved admin experience

Administrators will love Infinity 20 with the introduction of improved diagnostic tools. You now have the ability to create custom graphs to easily identify system dynamics like call rate and participant creation times.

As part of the ongoing platform development, Infinity 20 improves the logging strategy and reduces potential performance impacts of logging and analytics. You may also notice that alarms received a fresh look in this release. In addition, the time period of the logs and call history to store on Pexip nodes can now be specified.

A fresh face

Infinity 20 users will now be greeted with an updated theme in Pexip Infinity. A picturesque fjord replaces our previous clouds image. As always, the background, welcome message and circle icon is customizable.

Branding and Themes see further improvements in this version. This gives additional flexibility to the administrator when customizing graphical elements and screens. Backgrounds, texts, and icons are now rendered independently making it possible for the administrator to customize elements individually.

Additional features of Infinity 20:

Altogether, there are nearly 20 new features, additions, and updates to Infinity 20. Some include:

Infinity Connect (desktop, mobile, and web)

  • Improved join experience
  • Timeline zoom
  • Settings panel improvements

For Google Hangouts Meet interop

  • Improvement in media handling
  • Separate recording and streaming indicators
  • Increased flexibility in the trusted participant configuration

Visit docs.pexip.com for a full listing of all the news, additions, and enhancements.

What is a Virtual Meeting Room and what are the benefits?

You can think of a Virtual Meeting Room (VMR) as you would think of a physical one: Everyone knows where it is, it has a name, and holds some collaboration tools and likely a few chairs and a table you can sit around and discuss. It almost always contains a screen where you can share information, documents, presentations, and much more.

Figure 1: It is easy to think of a Virtual Meeting Room as being cloud based, but it doesn’t have to be.

A Virtual Meeting Room is much the same. But instead of having a physical location, it has a virtual address in the form of a URI (Uniform Resource Identifier), formatted just like an email address. This address is unique. A VMR is a personal static resource, just like your email address. So perhaps, if your email address is name@company.com, your personal VMR would be meet.name@company.com.

But how do you use it and how can you benefit from having one?

How do I use a VMR?

A Pexip VMR is a simple and easy way to meet on video or audio, and in which you can share presentations and collaborate. It is always available and always accessible for ad-hoc or scheduled meetings. And, because it is a static resource with a unique name and address, it is easy to invite people to it.

You can access a VMR from nearly any type of device. A videoconferencing system, using a web browser, through Microsoft’s Lync, Skype or Skype for Business clients, a smartphone or a tablet, a regular phone, and in many other ways.

Figure 2: The VMR places the speaker front and center, whereas others listen in.

Once in a VMR – and unless you dial in by phone – you see the others in the room, as in a normal videoconference, or again, as in a standard meeting room. Speakers get attention, and take “the main stage”, i.e. occupy the largest part of the screen. A row of previous speakers and other attendees occupy the lower part of the screen as small thumbnail video pictures.

Attendees are chronologically ordered from left to right in the order they spoke or appeared in the meeting room, with the most recent to the left.

The cultural change – how people collaborate and how expectations change

How people cooperate and collaborate has changed dramatically over the past few years. The availability of tools, driven in a large part by consumer electronics such as smart phones and tablets, has changed how people consume information, where they can access it, and how. So too with visual collaboration and the way people work. Even children today find the use of visual meetings simple and easy through the use of Skype and FaceTime, and expect visual communications.

Work culture is driven by this. When do you want to meet and discuss? Now, when we have the idea, or later, when the collaboration meeting room is free? With a VMR, you can meet ad-hoc, when you have something to say, and not be constrained by meeting room and system availability.

How do I share documents or presentations?

A Pexip VMR supports presentation sharing from numerous devices. Of course, it is imperative that the device and software you join from supports sharing as well.

If you use Lync to join the VMR meeting, you can use Lync’s built in presentation and screen sharing to share a presentation that everybody else in the meeting will see. You can do the same from Skype for Business, from various dedicated video conferencing endpoints from the likes of Cisco, Sony, Polycom and many others, or you can do it from a web browser such as Google Chrome.

If you dial in audio-only via telephone, you can also watch shared content on your smartphone using the Pexip app – for instance when you are on the road, on a train, or in a location where Wi-Fi and video calling is not supported.

What is the capacity of a VMR – how many people can I have in the room?

For all practical purposes, a Pexip VMR can host any number of people and participants. The standard VMR meeting screen layout is that you see who’s speaking taking up the main part of the screen, and with a row of up to seven thumbnails across the bottom.

If the number of participants is greater than that, you will have an indicator saying so, in the form of “+X” participants. Pexip also has a layout that supports up to 21 little thumbnails, called a Virtual Auditorium™, for those larger meetings where participants are many.

Bottom line – you can use VMRs actively and to fit your way of working, and to drive decision processes when you want to

A Pexip Virtual Meeting Room is simply a meeting room in your pocket that you can invite meeting participants to. It’s your personal meeting room, and it supports participants from a near unlimited number of devices and endpoints. You can use it to share presentations, collaborate and meet.

Just like you would in a normal meeting room.

A demonstration of Pexip Infinity for Microsoft Teams

At the recent Microsoft Ignite conference, Pexip announced the imminent release of Infinity for Microsoft Teams. In short, it allows third-party video conferencing systems and devices, as well as WebRTC-based video clients from any web browser, to join Microsoft Teams meetings with full video, audio, and content-sharing capabilities.

Pexip’s Graham Walsh, Director of Solutions Architecture, spent a few minutes demonstrating the platform’s capabilities, including the two-way content sharing:

In his demonstration, four systems join the Microsoft Teams meeting:

  • Microsoft Surface Hub – using the recently released native Teams client – joins as a native Teams client
  • Cisco MX300 joining remotely from the Pexip NYC office
  • Cisco DX 80 desktop system from within the Pexip booth
  • Cisco Spark Room Kit small room system from within the Pexip booth

Capabilities and demonstration

Pexip Infinity features numerous essential capabilities that make it ideal as a companion for Microsoft Teams, including:

  • Native user experience for all participating systems
  • Full HD video quality
  • Native dual-channel, bi-directional content sharing between all attached systems and clients
  • Native rosters, status indicators, and much more

Importantly, with content sharing, the complicated wording means you can share from a video conferencing system to Microsoft Teams clients, and, moreover, content shared from a Teams client to a video conferencing system shows on two separate screens where applicable.

Just like a video conferencing user expects.

Migrating from Skype for Business to Microsoft Teams

In Graham’s 2nd demonstration he looks at how the Pexip Infinity platform is ideal for use with both Skype for Business and Microsoft Teams at the same time. Regardless of if an organization has Skype for Business Server or Online, Infinity can seamlessly handle both Skype and Teams meeting side by side.

This functionality is ideal for organizations that carefully plan their migration path, and shift users by department, geography, or otherwise.

Take a look:

Pexip Infinity for Microsoft Teams becomes generally available on October 19th, 2018.