Collaboration technologies
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Collaboration Technologies. Gerard Pompa Stan Jedrus Compunetix, Inc. :: Agenda. Introduction Conferencing – Big Picture System Integration Data Conferencing – CONTEX Presenter. :: Who are we?. Gerard Pompa Vice President and Director Manager, Communications Systems Division

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Collaboration technologies

Collaboration Technologies

Gerard Pompa

Stan Jedrus

Compunetix, Inc.


Agenda

:: Agenda

  • Introduction

  • Conferencing – Big Picture

  • System Integration

  • Data Conferencing – CONTEX Presenter


Who are we

:: Who are we?

  • Gerard Pompa

    • Vice President and Director Manager, Communications Systems Division

    • BSc in CS/ BS Math and MSc in CS from Pitt

  • Stan Jedrus

    • Software Engineer, Communication Systems Division

    • PhD in CS, MSc in CEng

    • ~3 years of research

    • ~4 years of teaching at Telecom Program at Pitt

    • ~2 years of teaching at ITT Technical Institute


Where do we come from

:: Where do we come from?

  • Compunetix

    • CSD – Communications Systems Division

      • Audio Conferencing Platforms

        • Contex 240/480

        • Summit

      • Data Collaboration Software

        • Contex Presenter

    • VSD – Video Systems Division

      • Video Conferencing Platforms

        • Orchestrator

        • Virtuoso

    • FSD – Federal Systems Division

      • Mission Critical Systems (NASA, DoD)

      • Emergency Management Systems (911 systems)

    • ISD – Instrumentation Systems Division

      • Surface Mount Circuits

      • Through Hole Circuits

      • Sister-Company Compunetics: Printed Circuit Boards


What do we do

:: What do we do?

  • Collaboration technologies with Compunetix

    • Voice conferencing

      • Overview

      • VoIP

      • PSTN

      • Supporting Applications

    • Video conferencing

    • Data conferencing


Agenda1

:: Agenda

  • Introduction

  • Conferencing – Big Picture

    • Voice Conferencing – Overview

    • Audio Telephony – PSTN vs. VoIP

    • Attended and Unattended Conferencing

    • Event Calls

  • System Integration

  • Data Conferencing – CONTEX Presenter


Voice conferencing overview

:: Voice Conferencing - Overview

  • Attended and Unattended

  • Bridge – the “heart” of the system

  • Not just the bridge – supporting applications

    • Conferencing Service Provider Software:

      • Operator Console

      • Management Console

      • Billing Applications

      • Unattended Access Management – Passcode Servers

      • Spanning – Automated Conference Linking

    • Unattended (Personal) Software

      • ContexWeb

      • ContexMobile

      • ContexMessenger

      • Integration with data conferencing


Telephony old and new

:: Telephony: Old and New

  • Standard telephony:

    • PSTN – Public Switched Telephone Network

      • POTS – Plain Old Telephone Service

      • Digital Since ~1960 (Analog before)

      • “Backwards compatible” with analog systems

      • Widely standardized with enormous number of possible configurations and options

    • VoIP – Voice Over IP

      • Requires IP, Uses Real-time Transport Protocol (RTP) over User Datagram Protocol (UDP)

      • Requires special gateways to interface with PSTN

      • Generally, larger delays than PSTN

      • Allows for HiFi service, easier integration with other types of media


Why pay for it

“Free” Software

You have to pay for hardware to run it on, and maintain it

Small – scope applications

Often requires specialized clients (e.g. Teamspeak)

Clients have to run from a PC

Very few features besides talking to other people

No guarantee on reliability

Limited or no support

“Expensive” Hardware

Large and small conferences (up to thousands of people)

Talks to regular phones – no other hardware, software, setup required on the client side

Rich in conferencing features: name recording, conference recording, secure conferences, operator assistance, party management (to name just a few)

Tested and stress-tested to the limit, designed for 5 “9”s of reliability.

Why Pay For It?


Unattended conferencing

:: Unattended Conferencing

  • Handles large volume of simultaneous calls

  • Types

    • On-Demand or Reserved

    • Meet-Me/Chairperson Dial-Out

    • Preset Blast

  • Host and Guest Passcodes

  • Participant Name Record

    • Roll Call / Entry and Exit Announcements

    • Participant Management

      • Sub-conferencing / Individual Participant Disconnect


Attended conferencing

:: Attended Conferencing

  • Operator Assisted—high performance

  • Handles large volume of simultaneous calls

  • Personalized, High-Quality Service

  • Controlled Meetings

  • Large Conference Management

  • Advanced Functionality

    • Q&A

    • Voting/Polling

  • *0 Assistance


Event calls

:: Event Calls

  • Personalized “High Touch” Calls

  • Question and Answer (Q&A) Sessions

    • Participant Name Record (PNR) at *1

    • Speed Matching

  • Voting/Polling Capabilities

  • Quality Monitoring by Operators

  • Web Integration (CONTEX Web)

    • Q&A View

    • Custom skins for individual customers

  • High Performance

  • High Audio Quality


Agenda2

:: Agenda

  • Introduction

  • Conferencing – Big Picture

  • System Integration

    • Integrated Conferencing System – Overview

    • Example: CONTEXWeb

  • Data Conferencing – CONTEX Presenter


Integration with existing systems

:: Integration with Existing Systems

EASY Integration through Open APIs

  • Passcode Validation

  • CONTEXWeb

  • Reservations

  • Billing (CDR)

  • Passcode Usage Reports

  • Port Utilization

  • Statistics


Award winning contexweb

:: Award-Winning CONTEXWeb

  • Turnkey Solution with Options for Customization

  • Add and Edit Conferences

  • View Participant Information

    • Name, Phone, Status

  • Control Participants

    • Talk/Listen or Monitor

    • Hold, Disconnect, Sub-Conference

  • View/Manage Conferences

    • Q&A

    • Polling


Contexweb for events example

:: CONTEXWeb for Events (example)


Agenda3

:: Agenda

  • Introduction

  • Conferencing – Big Picture

  • System Integration

  • Data Collaboration – CONTEX Presenter

    • Concept and Overview of Presenter

    • Presenter Architecture

    • Challenges and Design Choices

    • Integrating Presenter with Audio Conferences


Data collaboration

:: Data Collaboration

  • Presentation of data to multiple, distant users

    • PowerPoint over the net

  • Annotations

  • Co-authoring documents

  • Document sharing

  • Integration with other conferencing tools


Contex presenter

:: CONTEX Presenter


Contex presenter1

:: CONTEX Presenter

  • Designed for Conferencing Application Providers

    • Hosted and managed in-house

    • Compliments ad-hoc/reservationless services

    • Firewall and end-user friendly

    • Integrated audio controls for audio conference management

  • Cost effective, customizable alternative to outsourcing

  • Single, common interface for audio and data conferencing

  • Single, common login for audio and data


Presenter participant audio

:: Presenter – Participant Audio

Individual participant audio controls are accessible by clicking on the participant’s name in the roster.

This will activate the participant’s Action Window including the Audio Control Action Tab.


What s special about presenter

What’s Special About Presenter?

  • Integrates with Audio Conferences

    • One more way to manage your unattended conference

    • It’s a CONFERENCE – not a point-to-point meeting

    • It works over WAN, not just in your local network

  • Other Features

    • Annotations, Pass-Control, Chat, Meeting Recording and Playback


Agenda4

:: Agenda

  • Introduction

  • Conferencing – Big Picture

  • System Integration

  • Data Collaboration – CONTEX Presenter

    • Concept and Overview of Presenter

    • Presenter Architecture

    • Challenges and Design Choices

    • Integrating Presenter with Audio Conferences


Client server architecture

:: Client-Server Architecture

Presenter Server

SSL/TCP


Architecture details

SERVER

Archive/Playback

CLIENT

Image CODEC

Image CODEC

Audio Integration

SSL

Email Integration

Proxy Support

Conferencing

Database

:: Architecture Details

WEB PROXY


Agenda5

:: Agenda

  • Introduction

  • Conferencing – Big Picture

  • System Integration

  • Data Collaboration – CONTEX Presenter

    • Concept and Overview of Presenter

    • Presenter Architecture

    • Challenges and Design Choices

    • Integrating Presenter with Audio Conferences


Challenges and design choices

:: Challenges and Design Choices

  • Firewall/Proxy friendliness requires TCP

  • Elementary security requires SSL

  • For performance reasons: persistent TCP connections, data streaming

  • Lightweight client – small memory footprint and processor requirements

  • No administration rights installation or no installation


Collaboration or conferencing

:: Collaboration or Conferencing?

  • Data Collaboration:

    • Application used mostly to co-author documents

    • Few simultaneous users

  • Data Conferencing:

    • Application used mostly to present information to many other users

    • Many simultaneous users

  • Presenter is a conferencing application

    • It has some features that enable collaboration


Math exercise

:: Math Exercise

  • How much data is in one computer screen?

    • 1024 x 768 x 24 bits ~ 2.4 MB

    • 1600 x 1200 x 24 bits ~ 5.8 MB

  • If we wanted to stream this as video

    • HI definition MPEG-4: 80 Mb/s/connection

  • Assuming ONE frame / second:

    • Uncompressed: 48 Mb/s/connection

    • Compressing screens with JPEG with 15% quality gives ~200KB / screen, so it’s 1.6 Mb/s/connection

      • Unreadable !


Question

:: Question

  • How much bandwidth do we really need?

    • A lot: although we may be changing only a fraction of a screen or not changing the screen for a significant amount of time at all,

      USER EXPERIENCE DEPENDS ON RESPONSIVENESS


Jpeg compressed text anyone

:: JPEG Compressed Text, Anyone?

Compressed

Original


User experience

:: User Experience

  • Depends on (roughly in this order)

    • Responsiveness

    • Quality

    • Reliability

    • Feedback

    • Features (this is a niche product – most people use it for a specific purpose)


Compression for data conferencing

:: Compression For Data Conferencing

  • We do not want to compress text or regular screen with JPEG

    • VERY LOW quality

    • Compression ratio not very good

  • Multiple compression methods necessary

    • Question: how to detect reliably and automatically, which compression method is the best?

  • Bandwidth: we aim to compress each screen under 100KB

    • Possible without visibly losing quality?


Alternatives to image transfer

:: Alternatives To Image Transfer

  • Transfer documents and work “remotely” on them

    • Pros: *potentially* much lower bandwidth requirements, much better responsiveness

    • Cons: requires tight integration with the application that is being shared – grabbing events on one side, pumping them into application on the other side (potential for a lot of problems with applications that will not tolerate such interference)

      • Problem: how to reliably map window handles?

    • Relatively Easy With MS Office – Microsoft exposes COM and .NET API


Archiving playback

:: Archiving/Playback

  • Saves data stream in real-time to an archive on the server

  • Later can be played back in the client

  • Since audio going through the phone conference, audio is recorded on the conferencing bridge

  • On the roadmap:

    • Publish recorded data conferences in Flash

    • Integrate audio and data recordings

      • Audio recordings can be published automatically through different software


Agenda6

:: Agenda

  • Introduction

  • Conferencing – Big Picture

  • System Integration

  • Data Collaboration – CONTEX Presenter

    • Concept and Overview of Presenter

    • Presenter Architecture

    • Challenges and Design Choices

    • Integrating Presenter with Audio Conferences


Audio integration

:: Audio Integration

Public, Open API

Presenter

Server

Presenter

Client

CONTEX

Web

Access Server

Proprietary

API

Conferencing

Bridge

Operator

Console


Audio integration1

:: Audio Integration


Audio integration2

:: Audio Integration

Integration through audio PIN

Integration through call-out

1.

2.


Audio integration3

:: Audio Integration

Audio User Control Panel

Audio Conference Control


Other features

:: Other Features

  • Outlook Contact List

    • Can send email invitations through the server

    • Moderators and Participants

      • Moderators can share applications, have full control over the conference

      • Participants are viewing the conference, can chat and receive files, control the shared application if they are being passed the control, and be promoted to a moderator temporarily

    • “Invisible” participants and moderators – for operator assistance


Come visit us

Come Visit Us!

Compunetix

Pittsburgh


Questions

Questions?

Thank You


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