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Why interoperability is essential for modern video conferencing 

 

Many organizations have made significant investments in video conferencing technology, complete with costly video equipment to enhance their meeting rooms.  These meeting rooms have served as communication hubs, sparking greater productivity, and enabling everyone to work across locations and borders.  

 

Today, video meetings have become the norm for collaboration, and thanks to the advent of software-based video solutions, such as Teams or Zoom, just about any device can serve as a point of connection to your colleagues around the world.  

 

In the era of global connectivity, in which anyone can reach anyone, anytime, anywhere, one key challenge has arisen.  

 

Not everyone is using the same video conferencing platforms or equipment. Multiple solutions are available to users, and it’s not always one-size-fits-all. Sometimes these software platforms don't work natively with the existing meeting room equipment, which can be frustrating for users. 

 

The leading player in the global collaboration market is Teams, the renowned Microsoft product that has found its way to laptops and mobile devices everywhere. Zoom and Google Meet are also widely embraced, and much loved for their user-friendly features.  

 

On top of that, many companies outfit their meeting rooms with high quality hardware from Poly or Cisco. Many companies have also chosen to use multiple video solutions within their own organizations, adding to the complexity when users want to connect using their preferred meeting solutions and meeting rooms. 

 

More about interoperability technology

 

 

 

Interoperability is all about making multiple video systems and solutions work together 

 

Since organizations may have several video conferencing systems and equipment in play simultaneously, they need a solution to make these systems and endpoints (such as Cisco hardware in a meeting room) work seamlessly together. This is interoperability in practice.  

 

Any-to-any approach to video conferencing 

 

Interoperability technology for video conferencing can serve as the much-needed bridge between video meeting solutions and video conferencing equipment that is found in meeting rooms everywhere.  

 

 

Key benefits of interoperability 

 

Simplicity for users 

 

Interoperability ensures less complexity for the end-user, so that they can join any meeting from any meeting room without hassle. The experience remains familiar. No training required. And they can focus on the meeting at hand, rather than figuring out the technology. 

 

Better meetings 

 

Interoperability brings technologies together, so that everyone, no matter where they’re joining from, can share in the same, high quality video meeting experience.  

 

Future-proof your organization

 

Get the latest software and video meeting experiences, even on older video systems – and put a stop to the ‘rip and replace’ cycle. Ensure that your organization is always ready to adapt to the next video meeting solution, making it work easily with any existing endpoints. 

 

 

3 signs that your organization needs interoperability 

 

  1. You have many meeting rooms with video conferencing equipment from various makers such as Poly, Cisco, and others. 

  2. Your organization uses a video meeting solution on their personal devices, such as Teams, Zoom, Google Meet, and others. Perhaps you’ve even added Teams Rooms and Zoom Rooms to your office space.

  3. You need more flexibility in your meeting rooms (a combination of technologies and vendors in your environment) and you don’t want to toss out your costly meeting room equipment. You require a solution that enables any of your meeting room devices to seamlessly join any video meeting solution.    

 

The future of interoperability 

 

The need for interoperability isn’t going away anytime soon 

 

All meeting rooms are different, with varying requirements and features – from platform selection to vendor options to specific room requirements and user expectations for the room. Interoperability gives organizations the flexibility they need to outfit that room with the right video technology to suit their meeting room.  

 

New video solutions will continue to emerge, and meeting rooms everywhere need to be ready 

 

There’s certainly no shortage of video meeting solutions on the market today. This means that organizations will continue to need a way to connect all types of digital meetings to physical meeting rooms regardless of equipment in the room, as well as ensure that service specific endpoints, such as a Teams Room, Google Meet Room or Zoom Room, can still connect to other types of meetings – even meeting solutions that don’t yet exist!  

 

Direct calling from service-based rooms to other types of meetings will grow more relevant 

 

More meeting rooms are outfitted with custom equipment from the video meeting vendor, such as Teams Rooms. Ensuring that any room can call any meeting, and that any room can call any room, is at the heart of what interoperability does for organizations.  

 

 

Key priorities when selecting a video conferencing solution 

 

Privacy and security top the priority list

 

Compliance requirements are increasing in most organizations today, due to the increasing number of cyber threats and great regulation around data protection and privacy. Organizations will place higher expectations on their video technology vendors to ensure that their standards are met and maintained, and that the vendor complies with current and emerging regulations. 

 

More focus on privacy and security around AI 

 

AI is already broadly used to enhance video meetings. Privacy and security conscious organizations will aim to ensure the secure provisioning of AI features in their video technology, such as voice to voice translation. This will require video vendors to ensure privacy and security around AI data, to stay compliant and meet customer requirements.  

 

Increasing customization expectations 


Organizations are diverse in size, composition, and needs. As video has become a mainstay in communication and collaboration, IT departments will grow in their expectations for video technology providers. Scalability, ease of integration, and ability to customize to suit an organization’s unique expectations will be essential.  

 

 

 

 

Deep Dive into Teams interoperability: A look at Microsoft’s CVI program  

 

Cloud Video Interoperability or CVI is a Microsoft certification program for the integration and communication between Teams and non-native Teams devices.  

 

The CVI program is what makes it possible for SIP and H.323 video systems to join Teams meetings. It is developed by Microsoft, and Microsoft has invested greatly in CVI to ensure a seamless experience for users no matter how they want to join their Teams meetings.  

 

Pexip sets the record straight about CVI for Teams

 

 

Why do you need an interoperability partner when you have Teams? 

 

Ensure return on investment 

 

The key reason that customers need an interoperability solution is they want to leverage their existing and costly assets in the meeting rooms now that they moved to Teams.  

 

Get more flexibility 

 

Organizations need to support their existing meeting rooms and/or they want to add some Teams rooms to the office landscape. Another scenario could be that they will be merging with another organization which will result in mixed vendor environments for meetings. 

 

Support Multiple Meeting Platforms 

 

Many organizations support more than just Teams and often have upwards of 3 meeting services their users leverage, which means they need interoperability to meet the needs of their internal users. 

 

 

How to choose an interoperability provider for Teams 

 

There are some key considerations that organizations should make when evaluating interoperability vendors to ensure optimal functionality and seamless connectivity between disparate systems. 

 

Certified interoperability provider  

 

Investigate whether the interoperability provider is certified by Microsoft. Selecting a certified or recognized interoperability provider to Microsoft (as part of Microsoft’s CVI program) can offer many benefits, including support from both Microsoft and the interoperability provider if issues arise. 

 

The power of being Microsoft-certified  

 

Ease of deployment 

When selecting an interoperability provider, ensure that they offer straightforward deployment processes and management tools, so that your IT team can easily set it up and maintain it as part of your communications and collaboration ecosystem.  

 

Quality of service 

 

Assess whether the interoperability provider offers high quality audio and video streaming so that your meeting participants enjoy meetings that are almost as good as in-person.  

 

Market position 

 

Evaluate the interoperability provider’s partner status with Microsoft and its current customer base to ensure a solid market position and a strong reputation for superior technology.  

 

Security 

 

Organizations are increasingly moving privacy and security to the top of the agenda, so it’s important to evaluate how the interoperability provider protects data and stays compliant.  

 

 

Overview of the Microsoft interoperability market today 

 

The Microsoft Teams interoperability market has grown more condensed in recent years, with BlueJeans by Verizon sunsetting its interoperability product, and Poly partnering with Pexip to power its Poly CloudConnect product.  

 

Currently there are two vendors offering Microsoft-certified interoperability through CVI integration as a cloud service: Pexip and Cisco. 

 

Pexip

 

Pexip is a certified CVI partner of Microsoft. Pexip is among the most interoperable solutions on the market today, providing the most Teams-like experience for video conferencing devices.  

Pexip supports a wide range of vendors, devices, and multiple generations of those devices, providing flexibility as your meeting room requirements evolve.

  

Pexip offers SIP Guest Join, a technology that enables users to join Microsoft Teams and Google Meet meetings outside their company via their existing meeting endpoints – in just one click. 

 

Join any Teams meeting on any device: Introducing SIP Guest Join 

 

Pexip interoperability enables direct calling from Teams Rooms to any other meeting service, unlocking the meeting possibilities for these service-based rooms. Pexip is also doing this for Zoom and Google Rooms!  

 

Cisco Webex

 

Cisco Webex Video Integration enables users of Cisco Webex Room or other SIP devices to join video meetings from Teams and other video meeting providers.  

 

Poly CloudConnect powered by Pexip 

 

In 2023, when Poly announced the end-of-life of its CVI product, the company entered a strategic partnership with Pexip. Now, Pexip’s technology is integrated into Poly’s solutions to ensure a seamless video experience for users, on any video meeting platform.  

 

Pexip Partners with Poly to Expand Secure Video Collaboration 

 

 

Other vendors

 

Other vendors, Synergy Sky being one example, might also claim solutions for interoperability with Teams from SIP-based systems. However, they are not part of the official Microsoft CVI program.

 

Read more about the Microsoft CVI program here.

 

 

 

Interop 2.0: the future of the interoperability market 

 

Technology will continue to move forward and there will always be the next best thing. This gives us amazing opportunities to advance, but it also presents new challenges. The latest and greatest must inevitably work within the existing business landscapes.  

 

And it’s in bridging this gap that interoperability does and continues to play a key role.  

 

For all types of organization, it will be important to maximize return on investment (ROI) on existing technologies even as they embrace the new. Interoperability solutions enable this.  

 

This was the motivation behind Microsoft’s CVI program, a way to ensure existing SIP/H.323 systems connect to Teams meetings, thus enabling customers to maximize ROI. 

 

Now we see an increasing number of platform-specific devices entering the landscape, such as Team Rooms and Zoom Rooms. These rooms need to connect with customers’ existing investments in meeting equipment – whether to their own internal meeting rooms and devices or to external parties using different systems and solutions.  

 

Pexip takes an any-to-any approach to video meeting 

 

Our goal at Pexip is to make meetings hassle-free for everyone. We believe that users should be allowed to focus on the business at hand, and not worry about the technology powering their meetings.   

 

Interop 2.0 at Pexip is all about creating seamless meeting experiences based on our any-to-any approach. This means that with Pexip, users can connect any room to any device and vice versa – now and in the future. 

 

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