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This syndicated post originally appeared at No Jitter - Recent posts by Zeus Kerravala.

Infinity Fusion becomes first video interoperability
software to earn Microsoft’s stamp of approval.

Cloud has perhaps been the greatest driver of change in the communication industry ever. This force is so strong that one of the biggest on-premises suppliers, Microsoft, has been aggressively pushing its cloud solution, Skype for Business Online, which is part of the broader Office 365 cloud suite. It’s safe to say the cloud era has arrived, and it’s here to stay.

However, the cloud isn’t right for everyone. Many businesses, particularly large enterprises, prefer on-premises solutions, like Skype for Business Server, for reasons such as control and security. Geographic reach is another issue — since no UCaaS provider offers services everywhere around the globe, any large, multinational enterprise that wants to have a consistent set of features everywhere has to roll its own solution. For these reasons, on-premises UC platforms aren’t likely to go away any time soon.

However, no on-premises UC vendors offer all things UC, despite what you might hear them say. Rather, they often rely on partners to fill gaps in their product lines.

Along those lines, Pexip this week announced that Microsoft has certified its Infinity Fusion video interoperability software for use with Skype for Business Server.

No End to Video Connectivity

For those not familiar with Infinity Fusion, the product automatically connects and transcodes almost all legacy and current video codecs. It supports a wide array of standard and proprietary protocols, including WebRTC, H.323, SIP, H.263, H.264 Scalable Video Coding, H.264 High Profile, RTVideo, VP8, VP9, Remote Desktop Protocol video… and now Skype for Business, as well as an equally long list of audio protocols. In addition, Infinity Fusion enables outbound streaming through the Real-Time Messaging Protocol, which enables external public or enterprise content delivery solutions to stream, record, and playback video meetings on demand.

Pexip built Infinity Fusion for the needs of large enterprises by enabling Skype for Business and non-Skype for Business users to conduct meetings, calls, and video sessions with non-Skype users. Notably, the Pexip software handles all interoperability, so the user experience never changes. This is important since a change in user experience can sometimes lead to a decline in utilization, the need for retraining, and other issues.

Since its launch, one of Pexip’s primary strengths has been the ability to scale up very quickly — a key to its success in multinational organizations. Although video deployments may often start small, my research shows that once workers get a taste of video, usage tends to grow quickly. Also, the more personal video gets, the more likely people are to use the systems. While Infinity Fusion does connect room systems, like Microsoft Surface Hub, its strength is in allowing desktops and mobile devices to connect into meetings.

Enterprises that choose Infinity Fusion have a couple deployment options. As one would expect, they run the software completely on premises — and I’m sure many large enterprises will choose this model. However, the software can run on a public cloud platform, like Microsoft Azure, or in a hybrid mode that allows for enterprises to run the software on premises but burst to the cloud as needed.

Certifiably Useful

Infinity Fusion is not the only video software to enable Skype for Business interoperability, but it’s the first to be certified. From an enterprise perspective, the certification shows Pexip has gone through the painstaking process of working with Microsoft to ensure that Infinity Fusion works out of the box with Skype for Business Server, as advertised.

As well documented on No Jitter and elsewhere, Skype for Business is widely deployed, with many enterprises using the UC platform for voice calls. Those companies that want to start experimenting with video now have a certified solution to make that task a bit easier.

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Zeus Kerravala

Zeus Kerravala is the founder and principal analyst with ZK Research. Kerravala provides a mix of tactical advice to help his clients in the current business climate and long term strategic advice.
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