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Vodacom Business hosts video collaboration

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Vodacom has launched a hosted video collaboration solution that connects multiple users from their desktops, mobile devices or meeting rooms.

The solution is available for any device that has a webcam/camera built into the device, including tablets and smartphones.

“’Vodacom Business Services’ Video Collaboration solutions interoperate with the broadest range of business, video, mobile and social networking applications,” says Gary Hart, executive head: unified communications services at Vodacom Business Services. “It allows users and workgroups to share their screens displaying any application – Excel spreadsheets, Word documents, presentations and more – as well as smartboards for meeting-driven explanations and notes. This takes an ordinary video conference into the virtual meeting room where participants situated anywhere, using any device, can share the working documents with each other. They do not need any expensive equipment, as they can use any device with a camera and audio.”

The service, which uses bridging software for video and voice applications, allows for different end user technologies from various vendors, where the user is given a VoIP number to join the conference.

Working much the same as teleconferencing, where a person had to dial a number and had a PIN to join the discussion, Vodacom’s Video Collaboration goes further by allowing face to face, screen to screen, and smartboard sharing for the participants. This brings the same documents, visuals and live notes to the users’ devices for true collaboration.

It also gives mobile workers the chance to participate from their smartphones and tablets. All any participant needs is a piece of downloaded software to activate the service.

“Not only do we offer this service, but will deliver a total one-stop solution to business owners and corporates, where we manage their network and video needs to ensure a high quality service,” says Hart. “As the solution is totally device vendor agnostic it can be implemented almost immediately – as soon as everyone has downloaded the software on to their device.”

According to Hart, the benefits of video collaboration include:

* Increased productivity – decisions are made much faster;

* Reduction in unnecessary overheads;

* Reduction in travel and accommodation costs;

* Reduced carbon footprint;

* Ability to seamlessly and securely collaborate with your business partners and customers;

* Greater staff interaction – face-to-face experience;

* Converged offering from one provider;

* OPEX model – fixed fee per month; and

* Investment protection as Vodacom will be responsible for the video bridging hardware and software upgrades.

The Vodacom Video Collaboration solution is available immediately.