Cisco recently announced support for H.323 IP address dial-in to WebEx meetings. This will allow standalone Cisco, Polycom, Lifesize and other video conferencing endpoints to be able to dial-in and join a WebEx meeting by simply inputting an IP address. WebEx customers on WBS32 releases will automatically start to see H.323 dial-in IP addresses populated on their meeting invites (check out the image below).
Note: Existing customers on lockdown WBS31 versions can contact their Cisco CSM to enable H.323 dial-in for their sites with minimal end-user impact.
Dial the IP address and join the meeting, it's that simple!
IP address dialing gets the job done, but there are benefits of using SIP. Organizations can leverage SIP enabled endpoints in conjunction with a firewall traversal components to make joining a meeting much easier for end users. For example, video call back can bring video endpoints into a meeting with one click of a button, vs. manually dialing an IP address. This experience is getting even simpler, Robert Sestili in his post on AI and Meetings outlines how the voice activated join experience is not only the future but available today. Additionally, there are security benefits of using SIP enabled endpoints with firewall traversal components. Cisco delivers firewall traversal services via Expressway Core and Edge Applications. Expressway Core server will sit inside the company’s firewall and connects to other UC application servers such as Cisco Unified Communications Manager. Expressway Edge is deployed in the DMZ. Expressway Edge builds a secure, encrypted connection to the Expressway Edge and routes all of its traffic flows from remote users and endpoints to the Expressway Core server inside the network. Expressway Core then routes the traffic to their right destination within the company’s internal network. This results in very tight firewall rules and a secure network while enabling UC services with the external world. You can see how this is a much more secure way to connect to the external world than opening ports in the firewall for unmanaged H.323 devices.
Regardless, this is great news for organizations whom:
Want to move their meetings platforms to the cloud but don’t have dedicated call control and/or firewall traversal components
Are looking to extend their investment of legacy video endpoints that don’t support SIP URI dialing.
Work with clients whom still have legacy video infrastructure deployed
Let's go fire up the video conferencing unit, dial an IP, and all get to work!