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Company and Technology Summary

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Company and Technology Summary

Introduction

Three years ago, the founding


members of Iformata
Communications embarked to
create an automated video
communication management
system, making complex video
meetings as simple as a phone call
in an era where this had never
been done before. After selling
their previous venture to
publically traded Polycom
Figure 1. Destiny Conferencing sold its technology, patent portfolio, and manufacturing
Corporation of California, where facility to Polycom which became its telepresence division for RPX and TPX products.
they patented the first telepresence
technology and founded a new industry (see the neighboring image), the inventors focused their efforts
on building infrastructure that nests at the core of converged networks, providing back office controls
for enterprise video systems. The product portfolio and platform was initially announced in 2009 at the
time when the first patent filings were made with the United States Patent Office. In 2010, the first
customers began using this automated system in a production environment, and the patent portfolio
was expanded to 450 individual claims across two patents.

Overview

The infrastructure at the core works like an automated telephone


switch, connecting A to B (or many to many) except with 50 to 100
times the complexity. This “complexity” is the reason this solution
hasn’t been created by now and offered in the open market by many
competitors. The platform is called VNOC Symphony® and is currently
used worldwide by many notable firms such as Zurich Financial, Cisco,

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Charles Schwab, Polycom, Sodexo, Saban Univision, Merck, Willis Financial, Fluor, Norfolk Southern and
others. VNOC Symphony solution is available as: (a) a hosted solution, allowing users to power their
video technology using infrastructure provided and maintained by Iformata personnel (we refer to this
as hosted services); this is similar to a telephone switch in a telco facility (like a 5ESS switch), powering
phones in their communities. Customers pay a monthly recurring fee for this service based on the level
of service and quantity of endpoints powered in their enterprise. (b) the solution which may be
purchased as hardware and installed directly into a customer’s environment as a product; this is similar
to a company installing a Cisco CallManager into their offices. A CapEx fee/purchase is associated with
this investment (instead of a MRC) along with annual licensing and maintenance contract obligations.

Traditional Concierge Services

Today all providers of managed video


services (VNOC services) employ skilled
operators to setup video calls using
highly complex steps or rules that are
prone to error. In the neighboring
image, notice the Iformata VNOC center
that performs these steps to ensure a
customer’s meeting is setup properly
prior to the meeting’s start time. This
process is not easily scaleable, neither
for Iformata nor for our competitors,
and, until now, there’s been no
automated solution. Surprisingly all VNOC service providers around the world have this same problem –
staffing VNOC facilities with operators that use manual and extensive processes to setup meetings every
day… a resource intensive effort that makes managed video services costly for the user.

Automating High Definition Video Meetings

By automating the process, Iformata has been able to substantially reduce the cost of meeting
management while vastly improving quality controls, consistently and predictably. Users can setup their
own meetings using buttons on their favorite tools like the Apple iPhone, the Blackberry, Google’s
Android, Microsoft Outlook, Lotus Notes, and more. These tools appear as interfaces to the VNOC
Symphony platform, and the platform processes the user’s request in real-time, turning on video
systems around the world, deciding the best layout for participants to view, and managing real-time
changes as they are happening, adding and deleting participants as they arrive and leave the meeting
throughout the session. It’s like having a full broadcast network behind the entire meeting production,
making decisions real-time, except with automated predefined decisions from a library of scenarios to
be applied to any combination of events.

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The VNOC Symphony Platform

Built on a web-oriented architecture, VNOC Symphony’s framework easily interacts with current and
emerging interface technologies for ubiquitous and mobile real-time access of any meeting resource.

Symphony provides users the option of scheduling meetings or requesting an immediate conference
with no prior notice requirement (see the scheduling tool). Users select the region on the left window
which displays available video systems in the middle window in that region. The user can select any
available video room (personal video system, room video system, or large scale telepresence system) by
dragging the image into the right scheduler pane – that’s all that’s needed.

This process is supported from many interfaces, including Microsoft Outlook, Lotus Notes, an intuitive
web interface, an animated Microsoft Silverlight interface, Apple’s iPhone, Google’s Android, Apple iPad,
and others being developed. Using these interfaces, users can
select rooms for their conference. For example, launching a ten
city conference would require a traditional VNOC 15 to 30
minutes of setup time. Using VNOC Symphony, the user quickly
selects the cities from a list of available rooms, and watches the
[ “We found VNOC Symphony to be conference sites appear automatically by the VNOC Symphony
the most unique, powerful, and full service in a fraction of the time.
featured tool in the industry for
enterprise management.” ] At the heart of the platform is a runbook engine called VNOC
Conductor which polices meeting setup, maintenance, and
Wayne McAllister
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Senior Vice President, Cisco
teardown in an enterprise environment according to an organization’s process or runbook rules.
Numerous parameters are configurable to ensure departmental or global directives are followed,
including setup times, startup messaging, teardown messaging, in-progress meeting modification
messaging, custom messaging, remedial functions, escalation processes, email and SMS notifications,

charge-backs, conflict management, and many others processes that regulate a complex enterprise
deployment.

Business process and implementation logic compiles into runbook processes during Iformata’s customer
on-boarding phase. Iformata works with stakeholders within the organization to integrate current
business practices with Iformata’s VNOC processes that are specific to the organization. VNOC
Symphony stores these processes to follow conference reservation, conference management, fault
management and impromptu meeting practices that match the needs of the organization.

Numerous tools are available to users and


administrators in the form of widgets, which are
interactive web-services that communicate with
VNOC Symphony’s framework. Each widget
provides a unique toolset, such as the reservation
widget, the helpdesk widget, the reporting
widget, and many others. A Digital Airlines
widget plots live conferences on a geo-spatial
interactive map, showing all connected meetings

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graphically. Users may pan and zoom the map from world view to
“VNOC Symphony has been street level, even showing multiple video systems interconnected on a
deployed to our users over the last campus network in close proximity.
few months. With video systems In the near future, Iformata will be releasing the information
in thirty different countries, we necessary for corporations to write their own widgets and share this
finally have a powerful, full technology with other companies, rapidly growing the base of tools
featured and integrated platform available for video management. This is a first in this industry that we
that meets the needs of different hope will help both small and large businesses meet their unique and
cultures in different time zones.” precise needs.

Loren Cunningham, Founder A full featured reservation widget allows users to see photographs of
each meeting room, add participants to each site, choose MCU
University of the Nations
framing, view time zones of each location, and modify in-progress
meetings, among other features. An express scheduler widget lets
users quickly create a reservation with as few keystrokes as possible,
listing the last ten meetings and ten sites as possible quick start
selections. A meet-now widget enables users to request immediate
video services for sites selected, whether by web interface or mobile
application.

VNOC Symphony is available in a hosted environment per user


subscription and device registration process and is also available as a
standalone solution for purchase and installation into an enterprise
organization.

VNOC Producer: the virtual wizard

When a customer makes a conference request using an interface (i.e.


such as an Apple iPhone application), VNOC Producer agent executes
those requests from VNOC Symphony, governing the transaction
according to a flexible process environment, managing both
infrastructure and endpoints, providing automated meeting
connections for accurate, repeatable, and immediate conference
choreography.

VNOC Producer provides numerous capabilities to a company’s fleet of


video systems, including call setup, call maintenance, call teardown,
pre- and post-meeting messaging, in-meeting messaging, video
framing, custom triggered messaging, in-progress meeting
modification and reframing, automated ticket creation, performance
tracking, automated site sweeping, and many other functions. The
system supports sole or mixed endpoints by Tandberg, Polycom and
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LifeSize, and it supports infrastructure by Tandberg and [“Within seconds from pressing the
Polycom, managing port availability across multiple MCUs submit button, VNOC Producer launches
making resource allocation transparent to user requests. and frames video and telepresence
endpoints. With traditional VNOC
The logic in VNOC Producer is a well implemented process services, a large meeting might have
instructed by VNOC Conductor℠, the communication hub and taken at least 15 to 30 minutes for setup
process implementation logic that VNOC Symphony and call launching. But with VNOC
encapsulates. Based on these network engines, VNOC Producer Producer, meeting requests are almost
understands how to filter and manage both routine and highly immediately executed.”]
unique situations. For example, consider the use case where a
user launches an impromptu, unscheduled meeting. When Thomas Berry Jr.
permitted by an organization’s stakeholder through the VNOC Chief Executive, Verrex
Conductor process environment, VNOC Producer can override
the meeting when necessary by politely placing on-screen messages at each impromptu endpoint,
naming the conference requestor that requests the override. The current conference is given a few
minutes to complete their meeting while VNOC Producer notifies users, preparing for teardown and
immediate reconnection of each endpoint into its scheduled override conference.

VNOC Producer, as part of the VNOC Symphony platform, provides the first ubiquitous toolset in the
industry to offer fully automated VNOC services to organizations, regardless of their size.

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The VNOC Symphony platform and its associated tools are available through Iformata channels and
partners. VNOC Symphony redefines VNOC services from the ground up, creating a framework of
interacting web-services within a service-oriented architecture. This enables users many ways to view
the same information, launch impromptu meetings, or schedule large conferences.