In a recent GooglePlus community post, Leonard Suskin brought to my attention four questions that you may have about our new telepresence offering, StarLeaf. All are important questions for enterprise-level video conferencing and I wanted to share my answers with you…
1) How does StarLeaf handle calls from non-StarLeaf endpoints? Do you still need to download the application, create an account, and log in? That’s a significant barrier.
Short answer – nope! Long answer – StarLeaf can receive or transmit video calls from/to all standards based H.323/SIP hardware and software endpoints. StarLeaf also has a unique integration with Microsoft Lync. Their level of interoperability means that a customer can “bring their own endpoint” to a StarLeaf virtual meeting room or customers with a StarLeaf endpoint can simply dial another non-StarLeaf endpoint. When you get invited to a scheduled meeting you get an email that basically explains how you can download the FREE StarLeaf Breeze client OR it explains in simple detail how to easily use an existing H.323/SIP device to call a StarLeaf user. Very powerful!
2) How does StarLeaf work with mobile devices?
StarLeaf views a mobile device as another endpoint. That’s one thing that is so cool about it. People are calling YOU, no matter if you are in your VC room with hardware, on your laptop at a coffee shop, or at home on your tablet, and the interface is exactly the same across all the platforms. Owners of StarLeaf hardware can send unlimited guest invites for users to download the client called Breeze. The mobile client is available for Windows and Apple laptops and tablets today. Android phone devices with a 5″ screen or greater will be released soon, and iOS (iPhone support) before the end of Q1 2015.
3) How are StarLeaf’s management tools for adjusting bandwidth and quality?
StarLeaf has a robust management platform that incorporates advanced techniques to optimize available bandwidth, so the user doesn’t even have to think about it most of the time. Among these techniques are automatic bandwidth speed tests, predictive bandwidth adjustments to obtain the best performance (ie packet loss recovery) even from the flimsiest of connections. If your bandwidth can’t handle content sharing, it’ll eliminate that, but still allow video and audio. If your bandwidth can’t handle 1080 video, it’ll drop down to a more manageable resolution, etc. A call is going to happen! In addition, StarLeaf’s management platform provides the ability for bandwidth to be capped per user and per endpoint. I experienced firsthand their quality of service and I know they use resilient codecs like H.264, direct media paths. Etc. I personally had a demo from my laptop using the Breeze client, was tethering off my T-mobile cell phone and had a multisite call with no issues. Here’s a white paper that goes into much more detail regarding StarLeaf and handling bandwidth: http://www.starleaf.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/starleaf_cloud.pdf
4) How easy is StarLeaf’s MCU to manage? How does it work with third-party MCUs and bridging services?
StarLeaf owns and operates a global video communications network, the StarLeaf Cloud. The entire platform which is built from the ground up, and doesn’t use or rely upon any third-party infrastructure. It is managed from a web based portal where customers get their own view and dashboard to control their own environment. StarLeaf’s platform works seamlessly with other bridging services and MCUs. The company was founded by some of the folks who pretty much invented the MCU Cisco utilizes today, so they know infrastructure to say the least!
We hope you found this discussion useful. Please feel free to reach out to Synergy CT for any further information you may need. We also have demo units of both StarLeaf hardware and software if you’d like to see it for yourself in your own environment. We look forward to partnering with you!