Collaboration is easy. It’s what we do every day. We collaborate and interact with people – colleagues, family, friends; meeting and working with new people, whether new to our own organisations, partners, customers or vendors.
But when we talk about collaboration it can quickly become quite daunting. Why? Because there’s a special language in the collaboration world, and if you don’t speak the language and understand what’s meant by all the terminology you may feel out of your depth.
Here at Polycom we believe in keeping things simple for everyone involved, which is why we’re offering free e-learning with our Polycom Start Here series. So where to start? A great place is with the Introduction to Voice and Video Technology module, which introduces all the technical jargon that’s most commonly used when discussing video and voice collaboration.
If you’re new to collaboration, the module starts by explaining what infrastructure is, what networks are and how they are created, along with some of the basics of video technology, and what all this means within the context of a video and/or voice collaboration environment.
If you’ve ever wondered why the internet is called that, what IP means, what your IP address is or why it’s important, the module explains all of this in language that’s easy to understand; before moving on to two important concepts related to IP addresses Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) and Domain Name Service (DNS). Although this may sound like it’s getting a bit technical, the acronyms make a lot more sense when you know what they mean, and you’ll never have to feel like you’re being blinded with science the next time somebody mentions them.
Having established the basics of how a collaboration network is built, the next step is how to link multiple networks together using switches, gateways, ports and routers; and how to keep them secure - which is typically by deploying a firewall. Again, all of these are terms that many of us will hear every day without really understanding what they are or how they work.
Handling video communication and traditional voice telephony over a modern data network is one of the more difficult tasks it’s asked to do. The training module explains how the introduction of Voice over IP (VoIP) and protocols such as the Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) have evolved to allow this ‘real-time’ traffic to be carried over a network originally designed for e-mails and file-sharing.
To complete your whistle-stop tour of the basics of collaboration solutions, the module concludes with a review of the most important terminology related to video and voice collaboration environments, including video infrastructure, endpoints, content, bandwidth, access, and point-to-point and multipoint calls. It also explains the role of one of your voice or video solution’s most important components – its bridge (or Multipoint Control Unit (MCU)); and associated devices and functionality such as gatekeepers, on-net and off-net calls, WANs, codecs, packets, protocols, frame rates, screen resolutions and scanning.
No doubt you’ll already familiar with a lot of these are terms or ideas. But even if just a few of them are new or you’re unsure about them, our FREE Introduction to Voice and Video Technology is well worth a look. You can find it and the rest of the Polycom Start Here series here.