Teams Interoperability: What’s the latest?

News item: March 17, 2020


Microsoft announced at their “Ignite” event in November that they plan to provide greater interoperability with other solutions. Here’s the post on Linkedin’ by their product manager for MS Teams Ilya Bukshteyn.


Here’s a key quote:

Although CVI [e.g. BlueJeans, Poly and Pexip Gateways for Microsoft Teams] is very useful for the installed base of traditional VTCs, we wanted to take a clean slate approach to the problem specifically for modern room systems. As we looked into how we could deliver interop without the need for cloud gateways and twenty year old standards such as SIP, we were able to pioneer a new approach, based on web technologies and standards. It turns out that pretty much all modern room systems are capable of running web technologies such as WebRTC and Chromium.


A source from an Account Manager at a technology partner has indicated that Teams should be moving to use WebRTC in June/July of this year. This would mean that the new generation of Lifesize ICONs and the Lifesize client should be able to make calls to and from Teams. Along these lines, Microsoft has since released an updated version of their Edge browser in January, which is now based on Chromium. This has natively enabled WebRTC on all Windows 10 desktop devices with the latest Microsoft updates applied. Lifesize Cloud is already 100% WebRTC based, all Lifesize Icon systems (HD and 4K) now natively run WebRTC when cloud connected. This potentially means direct interoperability between Lifesize Cloud and Microsoft Teams will be possible once Microsoft ratify their APIs for interworking. This also means that Microsoft’s proprietary video and audio compression schemes will likely disappear as well, meaning greater interoperability for all vendors.


Below is a link to the Blog of Tom Arbuthnot, a prominent spokesperson on all things Microsoft in the industry, where he highlights how this would likely work.


What this means: Microsoft will now be taking the driving seat with regards to video interoperability with WebRTC, which is a huge benefit for the industry as a whole IMHO. A more open Microsoft, means less hurdles for everyone. All good things.


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