July snapshot – HD conferencing services

SMB : Working, but who’s using?
Enterprise: Cued from the top

3 providers queried:  Citrix Online/Highdefconferencing.com, Global Crossing, ZipDX
2 providers responded:  Global Crossing, ZipDX

A number of conferencing providers are offering HD voice support, primarily through SIP dialing and G.722.  However, it is not clear at this point in time that offering HD voice is a sufficient differentiator and feature to drive customers to a particular service over a non-HD offering in the SMB space.  If businesses have HD, they will – as ZipDX has demonstrated – take advantages of such services.

At the high-end, Global Crossing reports a few of its most elite customers (i.e. Fortune 100 class buying lots of minutes and services) have requested a HD voice conferencing service.  The carrier has built a customized bridging solution for a few of those customers, driven by C-level executives who want “the highest touch” on calls.

Conferencing providers currently offering HD voice support – Responding

Global Crossing

Service started:   One-off projects;not disclosed
Type:   Today, one-off/custom projects for large customers; in 6-12 months, automated conferencing service
Primary target market:  Large enterprise and government customers
Platform:  Mix of vendors, including Polycom and Pactolus
Phones/soft-clients supported:  Cisco, Polycom, G.722; The company also makes available a customized version of CounterPath’s EyeBeam client.
Current number of active wideband customers: A few

Commentary:  Global Crossing is currently working on a “more automated” G.722 conferencing capability that it expects to offer in the future. It expects other service providers to join the move to HD voice within 12 months, as demand picks up.

More information: HD Communications – Global Crossing details HD voice vision

ZipDX

Service started:   October 2007
Type:   Hosted service
Target market:  Small/medium/large enterprises
More specifically: Multi-location businesses using audio & web conferencing
Platform:  Proprietary
Phones/soft-clients supported: G.722, including Polycom, Gigaset, snom, AudioCodes, Avaya, Shoretel, Aastra, Konftel, Mitel, Grandstream, Cisco
Current number of active wideband customers: 20

Commentary: ZipDX is taking an active role in promoting HD voice through its ongoing participation in HDConnect and supporting the weekly VoIP users conference call.

Other providers currently offering HD voice support

Citrix Online/High-defconferencing.com

Service started:   Unknown
Type:   Hosted service
Target market:  Small to medium businesses
Platform: Unknown
Phones/soft-clients supported: ???

Commentary:  Approached for interview; conference call fell through.

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