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Service Level Statement:

Video Conferencing

Video conferencing tools are made available to UB faculty and staff for instructional and administrative use.

On this page:

Definitions

Video Conferencing ("Conferencing") A conference established between two or more locations utilizing the H.323, H.320, or SIP protocols. These conferences support multiple content types (video, audio, desktop sharing, etc) and distribution methods (one to many broadcast, point-to-point, multi-directional).
Conferencing Endpoint A device that allows the room or individual to interact as part of a Conference. Typical examples include a telephone/speakerphone, a conference room with cameras, microphones, and video projection, and an application such as WebEx.
Conferencing Interconnect The infrastructure components that allow Endoints to connect and share video, audio and related multimedia.
Conferencing Request Scheduling Conferencing as a one time or recurring event.
Conferencing Capability A technology feature of a classroom or computer that allows it to act as a Conferencing Endpoint.
Hours of Support Hours when CIT staff-facilitated Conferencing activities and support will be performed.

Additional definitions are available in the Service Level Statement - Glossary.

Scope of Services

CIT provides Video Conferencing ("Conferencing") for all instructional activities (routine lectures, visiting lecturers, seminars, etc) as well as for administrative functions. Conferencing services can vary considerably in their complexity, from a simple two Endpoint computer Conference (e.g. WebEx) to a conference with three or more Endpoints, all using different technologies. This Service Level Agreement includes both fully automated service options that require limited or no assistance by CIT staff to initiate, as well as staff-assisted options. Some options are fee-based. For the purposes of this document, we will be describing several supported configurations utilizing UB systems and sites. Other supported options may be available, however additional consultation is needed. Specifically excluded from this Service Level Agreement are document collaboration tools, which are provided as a distinct service as well as the Microsoft Lync service.

Service Options

Supported Endpoints

Room Based/Studio/Hardware Endpoints

All public spaces that support Conferencing are listed as part of the Classroom site.

Hybrid Endpoints

These are local spaces that use the computer like a software endpoint, but have augmented video and audio systems (built in cameras, multiple microphones, etc). Currently, there are relatively few of these types of spaces.

Supported Interconnect Methods

Due to the complexity of configuring multiple endpoint conferences, all of these options require staff consultation to provision unless otherwise noted. All of these conferences may be recorded following the Instructional Video Capture Service Level Agreement.

Computer Only

Using WebEx, it is possible to invite one or more individuals into a multimedia conference. This service is limited to screen sharing, and audio requires additional conferencing support. More information is available at the WebEx service page.

UB Hardware Endpoint to non-UB Hardware Endpoint

This point-to-point option is historically the most common configuration for traditional videoconferencing. Provided that the remote endpoint uses a compatible IP or ISDN protocol (H.323 or H.320 respectively), the setup is usually straightforward. In a few cases these conferences can be self-service, however it is recommended that CIT staff are involved in the initial provisioning and testing of the link. Instructions on how to establish subsequent conferences can then be provided.

Webinar - Local Presenter

This option is for more presentation-focused sessions, where the presenter is local to UB - either using a hardware endpoint of some form or using a supported software endpoint. While some communication is possible from the participants, it can be limited. Typically, text or audio questions can be broadcast by participants, but video and other media sharing is only available from the presenter. The complexity of implementation depends on several factors, primarily the number endpoints and the diversity of protocols involved. An example of this option is having a UB instructor in a large cap classroom and allowing additional students to participate from remote locations.

Webinar - Remote Presenter

Similar to the option above. When the presenter is at a remote location, there is some additional complexity in provisioning. An example of this option is when a UB instructor would like to have a guest lecturer present to their class.

Online Meeting With Less Than 50 Endpoints

This option describes a situation where all of the endpoints are peers, and multiple media types are expected to come from multiple sources. The exact presentation format varies on the number and type of participants, however common configurations are tiled displays of individual video images, alternating video based on who is talking, and/or a desktop or slide show being shared.

Legacy Audio Conferencing

Legacy audio-only telephone conferencing is available, and is described as Making Conference Calls. This capability is limited to audio-only, and so is not typically provisioned as part of a new offering where additional media types my be desired in the future. That said, it provides a convenient, self-service multiparty option when a telephone is the only technology required.

Audio-only Endpoints can participate in Multipoint conferences, but will only receive the audio part of the conference.

Fees

For some activities that are not linked to a credit-bearing course with registration number, there are additional fees for Video and Web Conferencing. These fees are described at Cost of Services.

Service Response Targets for Video Conferencing

All of the listed service goals are defined within the Hours of Support.  In other words, if an issue is reported outside of hours of support, the clock would not start until start of business the following business day.  As targets, these are not guarantees on response time, but goals that help define the needed support resources.


Hours of Availability:

  • WebEx: 24x7x256
  • All other methods: Same as Hours of Support

Hours of Support:

  • Downtown, North, South Campus: 8:30am-5pm M-F

Conference Request:

  • Acknowledgement: 90% in 1 hour (via CIT Help Desk)
  • Lead time for non-Lync methods: Minimum of two weeks of advance notice
  • Resolution: As scheduled

Requesting Services/Support

Requests for services or support should be logged with the CIT Helpdesk or by filling out the Request a Video Conference or a Web Conference. More information can be found at Request Repair or Report a Problem and Classrooms and Learning Spaces.

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