What’s so different about StarLeaf video conferencing and calling and why should you care?
1. It just works
Imagine buying a mobile phone and then having to have the IT guy come and make it work for you. Then every time you want to make a call, it’s so complicated that you have to ask the IT guy back! It sounds ridiculous doesn’t it? But this is the pain that many go through when installing and using video conferencing equipment. Whereas, a StarLeaf system is just like your mobile phone: you take it out of the box, plug it into the network and watch it sync as our Cloud takes care of everything else. And once you’ve done this, you don’t need to be given any instruction on how to use it, because it works just like your smartphone–it really is as simple as that.
2. See anyone on video – no costly network infrastructure
Aren’t all video conferencing systems designed to allow you to meet anyone else on video? Well yes, and no. The industry bangs on about interoperability, but the way that they make this happen carries a huge cost for the end user. To connect to people that use different manufacturers’ systems requires either a number of complex and costly network infrastructure products, such as gateways, call managers, and MCUs, or some sort of bridging VMR (virtual meeting room) service or both! Either way, you and your associates will all dial-in to a destination. What you don’t get is an easy way to just call out to someone, on or off your network, without scheduling or worrying about what you are calling rather than whom.
As we are 100% Cloud, there is no need for costly infrastructure, instead you get everything you need delivered as a comprehensive service. For scheduled and meet-me video conferencing, we ensure that anyone can join you in your VMR, using any equipment such as Microsoft Lync, Cisco, Polycom etc. Plus, you can make point-to-point calls, again to anyone on any system, and, while you’re on a call, you can immediately bring other people in to join your conversation.
And finally on the subject of interoperability, with StarLeaf you can extend the reach of video conferencing and calling to business partners through our Guest Invite feature, which offers free use of StarLeaf Breeze software and clear dial-in instructions for users of other equipment and software.
3. Cloud plus video endpoints – the best of both worlds
There are an increasing number of cloud video conferencing services out there, but there are many variables that need to be taken into account. Top of mind has to be security and resiliency, alongside a rich feature set for both video conferencing and calling.
As an owner and operator of a global network, which has been built from the ground up, we are unique because we do not rely upon any other third party equipment. This is really important since, unlike other cloud providers, we are in total control of our own destiny. We have the ability to respond to market needs and to introduce technological advancements, all without waiting for or depending upon a third party. We also stand apart from other video conferencing and calling service providers because we have a full range of video conferencing hardware systems for rooms and desktops and a software client for Windows, Mac and tablets. These endpoints all offer a common user interface and a mind-blowing set of features that make collaboration with anyone a seamless experience.
4. Price performance with unrestricted use and scale
Specifying a video conferencing deployment and budgeting for one is a dark art, especially if you are looking to go beyond meeting rooms and want to give everyone the ability to collaborate, make video calls, and hold their own conferences from their desktop, home or while travelling. Clearly, scaling a deployment into the hands of the workforce means a software client. So how many licenses should you buy and how much use will there be? It is daunting, particularly when there are so many variables that may include per user licensing and per minute charges.
A StarLeaf customer is not subjected to this minefield. Price performance is another area that we have addressed by allowing all of our customers to distribute StarLeaf Breeze software to everyone in their organization, without incurring any additional costs. Each Breeze user can make unlimited point-to-point calls, hold ad hoc multiparty meetings and even schedule conferences – without restriction. In addition, all users have the capability to use the Guest Invite feature, which means that they can reach anyone without worrying about additional costs.
5. Management that requires no specialist skills
Unfortunately, most video deployments require specialist skills to keep them running effectively. Not only are these skills in short supply, but they are also very expensive to acquire. However, there is simply no need for any dedicated specialist skills with StarLeaf, we handle things in a much more efficient and cost-effective way!
At the heart of the StarLeaf Cloud is a management portal that provides administrators with complete control over their organization’s video conferencing deployment. From this one dashboard, there is the ability to provision and manage all video endpoints, rooms and users, including all adds, moves and changes. It is the one place that allows admins to control the distribution of the StarLeaf Breeze software client to any or all users. There is also the facility for the management and registration of existing third-party video endpoints, alongside any StarLeaf hardware endpoints. It also offers a wealth of monitoring and reporting capabilities.
6. Ongoing investment protection
We all know that as soon as you buy any technology, like a laptop, or indeed a smartphone, it isn’t long before it is superseded by the next generation. Well, it’s no surprise that this also happens in the world of hardware video conferencing systems. Yes, you receive upgrades to compensate, but in the traditional world these upgrades come at a cost. They are only delivered as part of an ongoing maintenance contract and they require internal IT teams to manually install new upgrades as they become available.
All StarLeaf video endpoints that are connected to our Cloud will be automatically upgraded when new features and functionality become available. There is no manual intervention or huge maintenance costs, it is all part of the Connection License. In this way, it is plain to see that investment in a StarLeaf solution is protected.