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Adding PSTN Connectivity Advances Nefsis Video Conferencing Service

Nefsis offers an excellent illustration of the growing power and capabilities of Internet video conferencing services for small to medium-size businesses. The San Diego-based company offers a cloud-based conferencing service with document and app sharing, text chat and the like. The highlight of the offering is high-quality video conferencing via Web cam-equipped PCs running downloadable client software. It offers 1080p resolution, 30 frames per second speed and effortless firewall and/or proxy traversal, for meetings with as many as 20 or more participants. Given that the service runs over high-speed Internet connections, it's natural that the audio portion of the conference uses VoIP by default.

Recently, however, Nefsis added a new option: PSTN audio. The addition means callers can participate in conferences via ordinary phone lines even if they're nowhere near an Internet connection. This greatly expands the number of people who can use the service, and the places where they can use it. And while on the surface it might seem to be a technological step backwards, in reality it's a significant advance.

In fact, the new capability represents a recognition of the reality that no matter how technically sophisticated an organization gets, it exists in the real world. Thus there will inevitably be people who can't get to a high-speed Internet link. Services for their part will have to find ways to accommodate such users. That doesn't mean the service or organization is less advanced than those without such capability. To the contrary, it means it has made a superior use of its technology, by adapting it to the needs of its users.

A future step for Nefsis, according to marketing VP Tom Toperczer, is to bridge VoIP and PSTN calls in the same session. Another inevitable move is to offer client software for the Mac platform, in addition to the existing Windows client.


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