Industry Leaders Conduct Interoperability Tests for Data Conferencing

SANTA CLARA, Calif., March 27, 1996 — Intel Corporation and Microsoft Corporation, in cooperation with the International Multimedia Teleconferencing Consortium, Inc. (IMTC), today announced the results of Event-120, a three-day T.120 interoperability testing event with participation by 25 leading providers of data conferencing products and services. Interoperability testing spanned all protocol layers of the T.120 standard, including connection, conference management, and applications. Testing was done over analog and digital phone lines (POTS and ISDN), local enterprise networks and the Internet, for both point-to-point and multipoint connections. Of the 140 test sessions comprising 6000 test sequences, more than 95% were successful, demonstrating substantial progress in conferencing infrastructure interoperability.

Event-120 is an important milestone in linking people, places and information interactively in real-time. With interoperable products, organizations and individuals can enjoy the benefits of shared data, documents and applications. For example, desktop conferencing users can join an international meeting linked via a multipoint bridge and participate in a brainstorming session, then help create and edit the material being developed from their office two continents away. Or, members of a manufacturing team located across the country can review process improvements after working through manufacturing calculations together from a shared spreadsheet.

The goals of Event-120, held March 25-27, 1996, in Santa Clara, CA, were to demonstrate participants’ commitment to interoperability via the T.120 standard, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) standard for multipoint data conferencing ratified in 1995; cooperation across the conferencing industry to achieve interoperability; and tangible progress in developing interoperable conferencing products and services.

Companies who participated in Event-120 included; Apple Computer, AT & T, British Telecom, CLI, ConferTech, DataBeam, Deutsche Telekom, Epilog, France Tlcom, Future Labs, Intel, LiveWorks (a Xerox company), Lucent Technologies, Matsushita, MCI, Microsoft, Outreach Technologies, PictureTel, Polycom, SAT, Sprint, TELES, VideoServer, VTEL and Zydacron.

The majority of the testing was done to verify infrastructure interoperability. The implementations tested included desktop data and videoconferencing solutions, group data and video conferencing systems, network devices such as multipoint control units, and conferencing services. Over 85% of the testing concentrated on the interworking of point-to-point and multipoint connections among multiple vendor implementations. In addition, early implementations of data conferencing applications were successfully tested. Applications will be the focus of future interoperability testing. More than 95 engineers, utilizing 100 ISDN digital phone connections, 75 standard phone lines, and 80 LAN and Internet connections verified the interoperability of the T.120 conferencing infrastructure.

“Event-120 represents a milestone for the industry, in that this is the first time broad interoperability testing has been conducted preceding the volume deployment of data conferencing products,” said Neil Starkey, president of IMTC. “I was impressed by the enthusiasm of the engineers from competing companies who worked side-by-side for three days to get interoperable solutions ready for the market”.

To advance the adoption of industry standards, the IMTC is planning to conduct a series of interoperability activities; Event-120, co-sponsored by Intel and Microsoft, is the first event in that series. Future interoperability activities are planned for additional T.120 testing, as well as for H.320, H.324 and H.323, the standards for audio/video conferencing over digital and analog phone lines and computer networks, including the Internet.

“Intel is excited about the level of participation at this event; it reflects the growing realization within the industry that interoperability is critical to market growth,” said Pat Gelsinger, vice president of Intel Internet and Communications Group. “We look forward to contributing to the accelerated development of interoperability testing under the auspices of the IMTC, particularly the H.324 and H.323 activities later this year.”

“The companies participating in Event-120 are working to ensure their products work seamlessly together,” said John Ludwig, vice president of the Internet Platform and Tools division at Microsoft. “This event is a great step forward in providing customers with multi-vendor interoperable data conferencing solutions.”

Intel, the world’s largest chip maker, is also a leading manufacturer of personal computer, networking and communications products.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (NASDAQ “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software for personal computers. The company offers a wide range of products and services for business and personal use, each designed with the mission of making it easier and more enjoyable for people to take advantage of the full power of personal computing every day.

The International Multimedia Teleconferencing Consortium, Inc. is a non-profit corporation formed to promote, encourage and facilitate interoperable multimedia teleconferencing solutions based on open international standards worldwide. The 85 Members and 120 Observers of the IMTC represent companies based in 18 countries, and a broad cross-section of vendors from the conferencing, communications and desktop computing industries. The IMTC welcomes dialogue with all parties interested in accelerating the deployment of interoperable, multi-vendor conferencing solutions. More information about the IMTC may be obtained by visiting the group’s World Wide Web site at , or by calling +1.510.743.4451.

Microsoft and Windows are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries. ProShare is a trademark of Intel Corporation. * Other brands or products are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective holders.

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