Orange Business Services (OBS) has launched the pilot of a managed videoconferencing service that connects companies regardless of the vendor of their equipment or the type of network they are using.
Open Videopresence, which will be available on a monthly subscription, was unveiled at an event in Paris on Wednesday. The service can be used within and between companies, with meetings set up using an online portal or Microsoft Outlook. Orange can supply compatible equipment, although interoperability with other and older devices is part of the service.
Once a videoconference is set up, it will start automatically at the designated time. Administrators can use the web portal to monitor their company's usage, while OBS will also check before the meeting that the necessary equipment and connections are ready for action. Online support will be available throughout the meeting in case of problems.
The concierge service will initially operate from Mauritius, with further contact centres planned in France, India and Egypt.
A key point of the service is to allow interaction between high-end telepresence suites and more mid-range videoconferencing kit — with some limited interaction available for webcams as well. OBS is pitching the service at companies that own videoconferencing systems, but do not want to upgrade. Network connection types, including IP VPN, the web and ISDN, are supported.
Pierre-Louise Biaggi, director of operations at OBS's global services division, said Open Videopresence was currently only available to users of Orange's global network, but the company was "pushing for interoperability between operators and various manufacturers".
Open Videopresence is in its pilot stage and will launch in France in October. It will become available worldwide — OBS operates across 104 countries — in November.
According to OBS, the service will cost between €259 and €489 (£222 and £418) per month, depending on usage levels, equipment and configurations.