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Nefsis Video Conferencing, Unified Communications
Suites & Compatibility with Microsoft Lync

Nefsis Screenshots. Use Nefsis to extend Microsoft Lync to external conference participants.


Unified communications platforms provide a wide spectrum of communication services including telephone, PBX, FAX, voice mail, email, presence management, instant messaging and, in many cases, web and video conferencing too. But even if web and video conferencing are included, there are still gaps that Nefsis can easily fill.

Nefsis is a best-of-breed video conferencing software and online service solution. It uses cloud computing and multi-core software technology to deliver multipoint HD video to desktops and rooms. Nefsis includes built-in collaboration tools for fully interactive meetings. Moreover, Nefsis features firewall and proxy traversal, and delivers its components dynamically via the web. It can successfully connect virtually any business user with Internet access.

Nefsis can be used to complement and extend the capabilities of Microsoft Lync and other unified communications suites. In particular, Nefsis can help by providing more video conferencing and advanced collaboration features, more conference room support, and Nefsis makes it easier to conference with external participants.

The paragraphs below provide more background information and various strategies on using Nefsis to complement and extend unified communications products. Please contact us for assistance with these topics.


During the dot-com bubble circa 2000 it was quite evident that the Internet would soon be pervasive and telephone audio would ultimately be carried over packet-switched IP networks. Even at that time, long distance carriers were already digital and many vendors were vying for converting business and consumer telephone services to Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP). Telephone audio was the last of the analog communications services to fall and the communications world would soon be 100% digital.

This led to the inspired view that a full set of workplace communications products could provide a unified experience and fit together consistently and transparently to users across the enterprise and across all devices and media types. Unified communications became a relevant product category for business.

This view held throughout the following decade as several competing unified communications products came to market, including Microsoft Lync (formerly Microsoft Office Communicator), IBM Lotus UC2, Siemens OpenScape and Avaya’s portfolio of products. Systems integrators created new competency centers and started offering unified communications services under facilities management contracts and other forms of turnkey customer delivery — all hardware, software, and professional services included.

Some unified communications vendors provided all or most of the software functional components themselves. Microsoft Lync is a good example. Others, such as Siemens OpenScape, provided the basic framework and the telephony products, but relied on third-parties to fill-out their suite.

Regardless of the vendor’s product line strategy, the requirements for security and successful deployment across a multi-office enterprise drove a substantial list of network prerequisites. This included domain name services (DNS), Active Directory Server (ADS) or other directory service, IIS or other specific web server, SQL server, and of course, servers for each communications application as needed. The physical placement, routing, access, security settings and revision levels of all these components had to be taken into account.

Originally considered a general-purpose tool for organizations of all sizes, the latter complexity and level of investment required led to the adoption of unified communications almost exclusively within large enterprise networks.

At the time this article was written, February 2011, the number of substantial vendors in the unified communications field has narrowed. Although adoption has been limited to large networks so far, unified communication does indeed appear to be enjoying a resurgence of sorts. In particular, the Unified Communications Interoperability Forum (UCIF), an industry standards body, has met with success in creating standards for more vendors to interoperate with, and extend the capabilities of unified communications installations.

Introducing Nefsis Video Conferencing

Nefsis offers Web- and video conferencing as an online service. It is attractive to businesses of all sizes because it is easy to implement, use and maintain, and because of its industry-standard security features.

Nefsis offers video conferencing that works well alongside of unified communications products. It combines high-quality video with strong collaboration, sharing and presentation tools for better online meetings than those generally offered by unified communications platforms.

In addition, Nefsis web and cloud-based technology downloads the software components dynamically — as needed — for advanced collaboration, VoIP, and video conference processing. Only the meeting host has to have a Nefsis account, external participants just click on a like to join a video conference. The dynamically downloaded components, plus firewall and proxy traversal mean virtually any business user can join a Nefsis video conference.

Even as an online service, Nefsis fits into the unified communications landscape of servers and infrastructure. Overall, Nefsis can be used as a best-of-breed video conferencing product to complement or extent a unified communications suite. In particular, it can be used for conferencing across desktops and rooms; and conferencing with external users that simply do not have the unified communications toolset already installed.

Video conferencing strategies for unified communications environments

Listed below are three basic strategies for video conferencing in a unified communications environment. Undoubtedly there are several more, but these are the most basic. In addition to video conferencing, in a large corporate environment there are likely to be several additional communications services such as chargeable webinars, streaming media events, and others to meet various departmental needs.

1. Use the designated web- and video conferencing components in the unified communications suite. Since it is already part of the suite, this is an easy alternative. However, these components usually depend on access to internal resources — see list above, ADS, IIS, SQL, etc. — which dramatically limits conferencing with external participants.
2. Take advantage of the unified communications suite for its basic tools such as telephone and email, and use compatible products for specialized communication services such as video conferencing. Using the right tool for the right job, an organization might dedicate all of its internal communication to UC2 or Lync, then complement it with Nefsis for video conferencing, especially with external participants.
3. Integrate a best-of-breed video conferencing product with the unified communications suite through custom applets, employee portals and other techniques. For example, a tray applet that authenticates the user and launches a video conference. For small- and medium-size businesses, and those with no unified communications suite, Nefsis offers a free tray applet to do just that. This optional, no charge add-on also includes presence management and secure pop-up messaging features.


Nefsis is a cloud-based video conferencing software and online service solution that delivers HD video to desktops and rooms; its web-based architecture downloads components dynamically allowing virtually anyone to get connected.

Nefsis can be used as a best-of-breed video conferencing product to complement or extend a unified communications suite. In particular, Nefsis has a deep, advanced collaboration feature set, supports conference room cameras, and easily conferences with external participants — closing large gaps in many unified communications solutions.

Nefsis has many customers that use Nefsis video conferencing within their own unified communications environment. Some customers simply use Nefsis as a compatible product (strategy #2 above), and yet others take the extra step and integrate Nefsis via employee portals and custom apps (strategy #3 above).

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