20.02.13

AV vendors get onboard with Microsoft Lync

AUTHOR: Inavate

This week has seen Microsoft hosting a three day conference dedicated to its Lync enterprise communications platform. One of the major developments announced at the conference has been the company's plan to enable Lync users to call Skype users in what it’s calling B2X communications. Also making announcements around the platform are several major AV hardware players.

Microsoft has revealed that Crestron, Lifesize, Polycom and SMART will soon launch “Lync Room Systems” for collaboration-enhanced conference rooms (that’s room equipped with AV gear to you and me). The hardware will be “automatically configured” to “make it easy to share any content on your computer just as you share video”.
We have contacted the hardware vendors mentioned above for some clarification on the marketing mumbo jumbo.
Crestron has announced details of Crestron RL, a multi-party video collaboration package.
According to the release: “Crestron RL includes everything needed to deliver an enhanced communication and collaboration experience, including the Crestron UC Coded for Lync, HD camera, microphone, 65” touch screen, 10” table top touch screen and more.”
What this reads like is a pre-packaged UC solution. The release makes a great deal of the fact that it requires no specialist cabling, simply a connection to the enterprise LAN, how it also states that it can be integrated with Crestron’s existing room automation offering as well as lighting control and energy monitoring solutions.
Also of note is the fact that it includes a 65” interactive display, the first time I can think of that Crestron has offered such a device.
Polycom has also announced a dedicated room system for Microsoft Lync 2013, which includes Polycom camera and microphone options, touchscreen monitors and a tabletop touch screen (does this sound at all familiar?)
Polycom also announced the real presence content sharing suite, a software platform that will allow users to share content in a separate video stream to the main call, in 720p resolution.

Lifesize has released a similar looking Lync solution:

LifeSize LRS1000 for Microsoft Lync allows Lync 2013 users to collaborate more effectively across distances with customers, partners and peers anywhere. The familiar Lync user interface is supported in this meeting-room based solution, enabling an enhanced collaboration experience that includes content sharing, voice and video calling. LifeSize LRS1000 supports voice and video calling on Lync 2013 and Lync 2010 with a touch-screen control console that showcases a user directory, calendar and presence information, an HD camera, stereo microphone and support for up to two touch-displays for digital white boarding.

This story will be updated as more information becomes available.