Creation of a videotelephony and videoconference system for a constituent of the Russian Federation
Due to the need to improve efficiency of meetings of employees of a state authority of a constituent of the Russian Federation, whose workplaces are geographically distant from each other, the supervisors of the authority decided to commission the videotelephony and videoconference communication system. The system is to cover over 300 nodes of the government body of the Russian Federation and to create conditions for increasing the promptness of decision-making. This effect is achieved by providing the heads of divisions an ability to exchange audio and video information, including demonstration of presentation materials in the real time mode. Implementation of the system is to be completed within a brief period and with regard to a limited budget.
For the issue solution, the infrastructure of the videoconference communication system was deployed at the customer’s facility, ensuring the arrangement and holding of multi-party videoconferences. Conference rooms and workplaces of employees are equipped with videoconference data-terminal equipment.
The infrastructure equipment of the videotelephony and videoconference system comprises the following components:
- a server for managing video connections and registration of user video-terminals;
- high-performance modular mounting rack Cisco Telepresence Media Services Engine 8000 (MSE8000) with an installed media-card of the multipoint control unit (MCU);
- videoconference communication equipment and videoconference control system;
- Internet gateway server for connection of participants to the Internet videoconference.
As the terminal videoconference equipment, the system uses three types of video terminals – group videoconference systems for conference rooms, personal tabletop systems, and software client videoconference communication software.
In conference rooms, high-performance integration devices for group communication are installed on mobile racks, equipped with a high-precision 12x video camera and TV panels.
Personal tabletop panels are designated for individual used and comprise a display, camera, microphones and acoustic system within them. 21-inch, 1920x1280 pixel video terminals are used as standard personal tabletop systems. A video terminal can be used as a PC monitor. The device is managed by means of a wired sensor panel with a convenient graphical interface. The built-in video camera of the tabletop system can also be used as a document camera by being turned 90° downwards.
The videoconference client software is designed for individual use and is installed on a personal computer with Microsoft Windows / Mac OS, equipped with a built-in or connected USB camera with a built-in microphone and acoustic system. It ensures high-definition video communication and the ability to display presentation materials during the videoconference.
Works for implementation of the system were completed in two steps. At the first step, the system infrastructure built with regard to the probable growth of the subscriber number was implemented. Replacement of the hardware part is not required in perspective, while installation of additional media modules if and when necessary will provide for the increase of the system’s capacity. At the first stage, three conference rooms were equipped with group videoconference communication sets; ten personal tabletop tele-presence systems were installed on supervisors’ and deputy supervisors’ workplaces, as well as 100 software clients. The stress on the modular scalable architecture of the solution and equipment of workplaces of a portion of employees with video terminals during the first stage allowed building a promising videotelephony and videoconference communication systems, and effectively utilising the limited budget.
At the second stage, the capacity of the server subsystem was increased, 40 supervisor workplaces were equipped with personal tele-presence systems, and 300 employee workplaces were equipped with personal sets of software videoconference.
Thanks to the use of unique technological solutions and effective project management, Step Logic was able to implement a reliable and convenient videotelephony and videoconference communication systems at the Russian government facility within a short period. The system is based on a high-performance, reliable, and scalable solution that allows effectively holding operating meetings by means of video technologies, without needing to assemble the participants in the same room.