BLOOMINGTON, Ind., and OSLO, Norway — Indiana University announced it will partner with Norwegian company Pexip Inc. to deliver expanded videoconferencing services to its eight campuses and 135,000 students, faculty and staff. The new service, Pexip Infinity, is a software platform that provides personal meeting rooms for users on video, voice and mobile. IU will deploy Infinity in spring 2014. With guidance and consulting from SKC Communications, IU and Pexip are creating the most scalable video infrastructure in higher education.
From far-flung students taking distance education courses to distant colleagues holding face-to-face meetings, videoconferencing is how things get done at Indiana University. In fact, IU hosts one of the largest videoconferencing installations in the United States, with approximately 100,000 video connection hours each year and 176 videoconferencing-delivered courses each semester.
"With thousands of students, faculty and staff all over the state, connecting with people all over the world, Indiana University requires a videoconferencing system that is robust enough and flexible enough to adapt to the future," said Anastasia Morrone, IU associate vice president for learning technologies. "By adding Pexip Infinity to IU’s current suite of collaborative technologies, the university gains the edge it needs in our age of global, high-tech communication."
Pexip Infinity takes advantage of the new WebRTC (Web Real Time Communication) two-way videoconferencing capabilities that are native in Google Chrome and Firefox browsers. IU students, faculty and staff – and their guests – will need nothing more than a web browser to join a conference: It’s as simple as going to a URL, typing your name, and clicking "join."
Distance education and collaboration are on the rise at IU, and the university has been seeking to expand its capacity – while using existing systems – for about a year. "Pexip Infinity grows as IU’s needs grow by allowing us to leverage our virtual server infrastructure to size the video bridging as needed. As we add capacity, we simply bring up more virtual servers and nodes," said James McGookey, manager of IU Collaboration Technologies. "This lets us offer distance education courses to even more students and make teaching easier for faculty. For example, let’s say a professor wants to have a presenter speak remotely to a class from overseas – Infinity provides easy connections along with high-quality video. It’s a win for everyone."
"We are proud to be part of the evolution of IU’s distance education program together with SKC Communications," said Simen Teigre, co-founder and CEO of Pexip. "IU is at the forefront of featuring the next generation of technology in higher education, and it is exciting to partner with such an innovative organization to enable students and educators to easily and quickly connect from wherever they are."
With Pexip Infinity’s native support of Microsoft Lync, IU now has a truly unified communications environment. "This is central to our videoconferencing strategy: When users know they’ve got easy, instant access to the bridge from any device or room, videoconferencing becomes just another app, like email or chat," said Steve Egyhazi, principal analyst-multimedia, IU Collaboration Technologies.
About Indiana University
Founded in 1820, Indiana University is a major public research institution with 115,000 students across eight campuses in the state. IU is a recognized leader in higher education information technology. Its University Information Technology Services unit develops and maintains a modern IT environment throughout the university in support of IU’s vision for excellence in research, teaching, outreach and lifelong learning.
Pexip provides an affordable, virtualized, simple approach to HD videoconferencing on any device. Pexip is built by world-leading innovators from the videoconferencing industry with over 200 years of accumulated experience. Founded in 2012 by videoconferencing experts from Tandberg (acquired by Cisco Systems in 2010), Pexip is headquartered in Oslo, Norway, and has offices in New York and London. For more information, visit www.pexip.com.