Vscene – easy and cheap shared videoconferencing.

Janet (now Jisc) has worked for many years to provide cost savings for users. This is one of the major definitions or factors of success for any NREN. Huge costs savings are obtainable by participating in shared services, but are also obtainable by enabling user to save time and travel costs. A shared services approach has enable the HE community to save over £66 million in 2012 by providing centralised videoconferencing services. Now a reinvented version of the Jisc Videoconference service is available to help other NRENs to connect their user communities together. This latest weapon in the campaign to connect everyone and everything (and save money doing it) is a new videoconference management interface we have called Vscene. Vscene attempts to hide or remove most of the confusion found in scheduling conferences between multiple VC system types. With Vscene, you don’t need to know what type of VC system your collaborators have, or mess about with dialling long numbers. This is NREN grown videoconferencing without any fuss. Users can schedule or launch a conference involving any of the service features, including recording and streaming, and add participants and guests in any combination of interoperable videoconference standards. Vscene is now being used to manage thousands of conferences across the UK and Ireland. Vscene is available as service to be taken up by other NRENs who are keen to offer cost savings and VC services to their institutions. HEAnet is the first to take this up. NRENs can use the service as a user interface to their MCU resources and to offer their users easier conference management and more control in the connected world. This cloud scheduling approach enables NREN’s to still use their ¬own MCUs and also allows access to a wider international pool of MCU and other resources at times of high demand. Finally, the beginning of scalable and user friendly international MCU sharing, and a win-win for all.

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