The International Telecommunications Union (ITU) has ratified an improved standard which it says will make internet videoconferencing easier and less expensive.
Resulting from an Internet2 Middleware Initiative Video working group, the revamped H.350 standard provides a uniform way to store and find information related to video and VoIP in enterprise directories.
The standard allows organisations to scale up video and VoIP operations from a few hundred endpoints to full enterprise deployments without needing additional systems administrators.
It does this by linking account management and authorisation automation to the enterprise directory using the Lightweight Directory Access Protocol.
Tyler Johnson, a systems analyst at the University of North Carolina, and editor of the H.350 document, said: "H.350 allows you to search for and find a user's video or VoIP address just like you would find an email address or telephone number today.
"Because it is standardised, enterprises can maintain this information with the confidence that it will work with multiple vendors' equipment."
H.350 was born out of the Video Middleware Group, a joint effort between the Internet2 Middleware group and the Video Development Initiative.
It supports H.320, H.323, Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) and non-standard protocols.
H.320 is ISDN video conferencing; H.323 is the video and VoIP widely deployed over ViDeNet today; and SIP supports video and VoIP with an emerging following.
An example directory service based on H.350 for searching and making IP calls around the world is available here.
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