I know that actually Cisco has improved the capability of CTS endpoints to support another telepresence products, including MCU Codian 4500/5300. I also know that this integration works with some limitation, due to the fact that MCU Codian does not support TIP (Telepresence interoperability protocol).
Well, this is my question. Is Cisco going to improve MCU Codian support so that it supports TIP Protocol? Is that in roadmap? If yes, when is it going to happen?
I know that TP Server is a great solution, but Codian has some capabilities which TP Server doesn't have, such several layout options, custom auto-attendents, integration with almost all SIP/H323 endpoints, advanced possibilities to manage a conference (either via TMS or MCU itself) and so on. And CTMS is very limited with regards supported endpoints (actually only supports CTS, TC and 9971). So MCU Codian with TIP support would be a great solution!!!
There are no plans to add TIP support to the MCU. What functionality do you think the MCU is missing that TIP support would solve?
Alternatively, what management functions (via TMS/the web interface) do you see the TelePresence Server is lacking? What H323/SIP endpoints does it not work with that you can successfully use with an MCU? If you think there are interoperability problems then we'd like to know about them so that we can make improvements in this area.
Thank you for your reply!
I have built a lot of telepresence projects in Brazil working for a Cisco partner called PromonLogicalis (UC Master). This is my considerations about what I see with regards TP Server x MCU Codian:
Limitations of MCU Codian with regards non-TIP support:
- In a conference involving three screen telepresences, it is impossible to have the 3 screens being showed at the same time. Only one screen is sent at a time. So the beauty of three screens feature is lost.
- It is not possible to cascade a conference from Codian to CTMS, once CTMS uses TIP.
Limitations of TP Server comparing to MCU Codian:
- It is not possible using TMS Conference Control Center to set the layout per participant.
--> This possible using MCU Codian, I can set the layout invidually using TMS. We have more than 50 options, I guess.
- TP Server doesn't give a lot of layout options. Only its nice dinamic layout and layouts 2x2, 3x3 and so on.
--> Codian gives several layout options. It's also possible to manually define a layout and choose which participant will appear in each frame into layout. This is possible using MCU's web interface. This is a great feature!
- TP Server doesn't have any auto-attendent. it doesn't even receive a call coming to its IP Address.
--> MCU Codian allows the user to create a lot of auto-attendents, using diferents number, having the oportunity to set custom audio prompts, creating PIN to security and limiting which conferences each auto-attendents can reach.
- TP Server doesn't give a possobility to streaming the conference via Multicast or even Unicast. So the users cannot whatch the conference by using web interface or even their media players.
--> MCU Codian does! This is a great feature for many companies that cannot give a jabber or another client to users to get in the conferences. Furthermore, many companies, as I have seen, take the source code of a streaming page of Codian and embed it to their instranet web page.
- TP Sever doen't have Multiway support.
--> Codian does.
Well, I think it's all I rebember for now. With regards to endpoints support, I have exaggerated, TP Sever actually supports almost all telepresences, so that Codian.
MCU Codian with TIP support would be the better multiponint solution, in my opinion. I guess it should have TIP support.
Now, let me ask you a question: Except TIP Support, which important features does TP Server have that MCU Codian doesn't have??
You see, I think that Cisco should keep improving Codian and adding new functionality to it, including, first of all, TIP support. This year I implemented about 6 telepresences projects which had MCU Codian as mulitpoint solution. All the customers are totally satisfied. But I also implemented projects involving TP Server, and I can tell you, many customers are not much satisfied with TP Server because of the lack of the functionalities that I listed above, many customers, mainly those who were Tandberg's customers and begun to buy cisco telepresence products to expand their environment.
I'll add my 2 cents here - the real question is why NOT add TIP support to the Codian series, especially considering how much Cisco promoted TIP and its development? 8710 and 8510 blades are based on the same hardware, so it's definitely capable.
It seems counterproductive to be running two disperate, semi-compatible solutions.
Any update about this matter??
Thanks for you feedback. As previously stated, there are no plans at the moment to add TIP support to the MCU, but new features are being added to the TS which may address some of the perceived gaps. The new 3.0 release when used with Conductor XC2.0 gives significant new functionality, including Multiway support that you mentioned in your list. If you use e.g. a TCS as well as Conductor then this can be automatically added to give streaming support if this is a requirement for your customers.
Thank you for your reply.
What about layout options in TP Server? Does Cisco have plans to improve that feature?
I can't comment on that unfortunately - if this is an important issue for you then I would advise discussing this with your account manager, and submitting a feature request so that we can capture exactly what your requirements are and have them submitted through the official channels.