Accord Networks Inc. is announcing a Web-based interface for its top-line multipoint conferencing unit that lets service providers and large enterprises offer self-service video applications. The new Web Commander product works in conjunction with Accord’s MGC-100 MCU and lets users set up virtual chat rooms, classrooms and videoconferences between multiple participants without having to go through an operator. Users log on to the service then can program in whom they want included in the conference. Commander then works with the MGC-100 to connect all the participants. Once a session is started, the user that initiates the conference has full control over it via a Web browser and can add or remove users on the fly. User also can select the look and feel of the conference, laying out the video windows in separate frames or having a single window showing the active speaker. This means a conference can include ISDN and IP-based endpoints without the users having any idea who is on what system. According to company officials, even though the scheduling is happening on the Internet, it doesn’t matter what network each end user is on. Whether they’re using ISDN, IP or POTS Web Commander acts as a gateway and can transcode across the network. This means a conference can include ISDN and IP-based endpoints without the users having any idea who is on what system. Though Web Commander is primarily targeted at the service provider market, Accord will sell to those enterprise customers that want to act as its own application service provider. The product comes in two components: Scheduler, for scheduling and launching ad hoc conferences, and Director, which allows end users to control the conference, including adding and removing users. Schedule is priced at US$10,000 and Director is available for $15,000. Accord, of Atlanta, is at http://www.accordnetworks.com.

Prices listed are in US currency.



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