Historically, video conferencing has required specialised hardware based on the H.323 video conferencing standard. The ANU has a number of audio visual spaces fitted with this technology, however the high entry cost had meant that personal video conferencing services were not possible. Easier access to the Internet and cheaper web cameras saw the development of software based video conferencing services such as Skype from around 2003.
A wide range of video conferencing, collaboration and communication services are available from vendors such as Adobe (Adobe Connect), Citrix (GoToMeeting and GoToWebinar), Microsoft (Skype and Skype for Business) and Zoom. Vendors such as Cisco (Tandberg) and PolyCom provide H.323 hardware video conferencing systems which integrate with software based video conferencing services.
ANU Online and ITS licence, and can provide support for the following video conferencing services. Other business areas and ANU Colleges and Schools may also offer support for other video conferencing services:
- Adobe Connect (integrated with the ANU Teaching and Learning Wattle Learning Management Service)
- Cisco/Polycom H.323 hardware based video conferencing in some ANU venues
- Skype for Business
- Zoom (as of 1st June 2017)
Adobe Connect is the preferred video conferencing solution for ANU Teaching and Learning. This service has been integrated into the ANU’s Wattle Learning Management System.
Support for Adobe Connect is provided by the ANU Online support team.
Cisco/Polycomm H.323 video conferencing
The ANU has a number of venues with H.323 hardware based video conferencing. Some of the venues are managed centrally, others are managed and supported by other ANU service providers.
Skype for Business
Skype for Business is part of the Office 2016 suite of productivity tools for the MacOS and Windows operating systems.
Staff and students have access to Office 2016 (which includes Skye for Business 2016) through the ANU’s Office 365 licence. This includes Office licences that can be installed on home computers only. Computing hardware owned by the ANU or purchased using ANU funds must use the ANU Office site licence.
Zoom is a cloud based video conferencing and collaboration platform that provides a number of services:
- Personal video conferencing on MacOS and Windows computers, or on Android and iOS devices through the Zoom client.
- Large meeting add-on licences (up to 300 attendees) available.
- Webinar licensing available with up to 500 attendees and up to 50 panellists.
- Zoom room licences available which provides economic room based video conferencing using commodity components.
- H.323 room connectors are available allow personal client Zoom licences to interconnect with either ANU or external venues that utilise H.323 video conferencing hardware.
Features of the ANU Zoom licence include:
- A site licence for the Zoom client for all ANU staff and students.
- Instant messaging, privacy options, screen sharing and remote control of desktops through the Zoom client. Mobile applications may have more limited functionality.
- Flexible licensing for collaboration – only the person sending the meeting invitation requires a licence. All other attendees do not require a Zoom licence to connect to the meeting.
- No need for contacts to be established before the meeting. Invitation is by a calendar meeting request.