Scheduling and Starting Conferences

If your environment has a standalone RealPresence Collaboration Server, you can use it to schedule and start conferences.

Note: If your environment includes a RealPresence Resource Manager system, which has a Web Scheduler feature, or another scheduling application such as Microsoft Outlook or the Polycom Conferencing Add-in for Microsoft Outlook, Polycom recommends that you create and schedule conferences using one of these standard scheduling applications and not the MCU.

This section on conference management discusses how to schedule and start conferences and the available operations to perform on active conferences.

View Scheduled Conferences

Each RealPresence Collaboration Server maintains its own calendar of scheduled conferences in the Reservation Calendar.

Procedure

  • In RMX Manager, go to RMX Management > Rarely Used > Reservations.

Schedule a Conference

You can schedule a conference by making a reservation on the RealPresence Collaboration Server

The system reserves the required resources using the following criteria:
  • The number of participants at the time and duration you specify
  • The highest video resolution supported by the line rate specified in the conference profile associated with the reservation
  • At or up to the maximum system video resolution specified for the system

Procedure

  1. In RMX Manager, go to RMX Management > Reservations.
  2. In the Reservation List, select the date and time for the future conference. Drag the cursor across the calendar to extend the duration of the conference.
  3. Right-click and select New Reservation.
  4. Select and edit the conference parameters you wish to define.
    Table 1. General Conference Parameters
    Field Description
    Display Name

    Unique name that identifies the conference within RMX Manager.

    If left blank, the MCU automatically generates a display name for the conference, which you can then modify.

    The maximum field length for the display name is approximately:
    • 80 ASCII characters
    • 40 European or Latin text characters
    • 25 Asian text characters
    Note: Don’t use commas or semicolons in this field.
    Duration Identifies the duration of the conference in HH:MM format.
    Permanent Conference Displayed in the New Conference dialog only. Enable this option to create this conference as a standard recurring conference.
    Routing Name

    Unique name the MCU uses to register the conference with network devices such as gatekeepers and SIP servers.

    Enter a name using ASCII text only. If left blank, the MCU automatically generates a routing name using the following options:
    • If you use only ASCII characters in the display name, the MCU uses the Display Name as the routing name.
    • If you use a combination of Unicode and ASCII characters or full Unicode text in the display name, the MCU uses the ID as the routing name.
    Note: Polycom recommends that you allow the MCU to assign this field automatically.
    Profile Choose the predefined conference profile that best identifies the conferencing mode, line rate, media settings, and general settings suitable for your conferencing environment.
    ID
    Unique ID number for the conference on the MCU. If left blank, the MCU automatically assigns an ID number once you submit the reservation.
    Note: Polycom recommends that you allow the MCU to assign this field automatically.

    Communicate this conference ID to dial-in participants to enable them to dial in to the conference.

    Conference Password

    Password that participants must enter (if configured) to join the conference. If left blank, participants can join the conference without entering a password.

    By default, this password is 4 numeric characters.

    You can configure the MCU to automatically generate a password when you leave this field blank.

    Chairperson Password

    Password that the chairperson must enter (if configured) to join the conference with chairperson responsibilities. If left blank, chairperson functionality is not enabled for the conference.

    By default, this password is 4 numeric characters.

    You can configure the MCU to automatically generate a password when you leave this field blank.

    Reserve Resources for Video Participants

    (Appliance Edition only)

    Number of video participants for which the system must reserve resources.

    Default: 0 participants.

    Maximum participants:
    • MPMRx-D / RMX 1800: 100
    • MPMRx-S: 30

    Reserve Resources for Audio Participants

    (Appliance Edition only)

    Number of audio participants for which the system must reserve resources.

    Default: 0 participants.

    Maximum participants:
    • MPMRx-D / RMX 1800: 300
    • MPMRx-S: 90
    Maximum Number of Participants

    Total number of participants that can join to the conference. Choose Automatic to allow resource availability to determine the maximum number of participants that can join the conference.

    Note: If you specify a number, it should be large enough to accommodate the participants specified in the Reserve Resources for [Video/Audio] Participants fields.
    Enable ISDN (audio/video) Dial-in Allows ISDN-video and ISDN-voice participants to join directly to the conference.
    ISDN (audio/video) Network Service Identifies the predefined network service that best suites your conferencing environment.
    Dial-in Number (1)

    Unique dial-in number for the conference. Choose this number from the dial-in number range defined for the selected network service.

    If left blank, the MCU automatically assigns a number from the dial-in range defined for the selected ISDN (audio/video) network service.

    Dial-in Number (2)

    Second unique dial-in number for the conference. Choose this number from the dial-in number range defined for the selected network service.

    By default, the second dial-in number is not defined.

  5. Click Participants and do one of the following:
    • Click Add from Address Book to invite participants already in your address book.
    • Click New and enter the required information for new participants.
  6. Optional: Choose a participant as a lecturer and, if needed, enable Dial Out Manually so the MCU can dial out to the lecturer. (AVC dial-outs only.)
    Note: Dial-out and dial-in participants are two separate participants even if they have the same IP address or number. If you add a dial-out participant to the conference, but that participant dials in before the MCU dials out to them, the MCU creates a second participant in the Participants list and still attempts to dial out to the participant. If you designated the dial-out participant as the conference lecturer, the MCU can’t replace that participant with the dial-in participant that is already connected to the conference.
  7. Optional: To make the conference recurring, click Schedule and enter the required scheduling and recurrence information.
  8. Optional: To add additional conference information, click Information and enter your information in the following fields:
    • Info1
    • Info2
    • Info3
    • Billing Info
  9. Optional: To override the layout identified in the selected conference profile, click Media Sources and select the Override layout from profile check box.
  10. Click OK.

    Unless otherwise specified, the system automatically assigns an ID to the conference when you submit the reservation.

  11. Communicate the conference ID to conference dial-in participants.

Start an Ad Hoc Conference

You can create and start an ad hoc conference immediately.

Procedure

  1. In the Conferences section of RMX Manager, click New Conference (Image for New Conference).
  2. Select and edit the conference parameters you wish to define.
  3. Click Participants and add participants from the Address Book or click New and enter the required information for new participants.
  4. If required, choose a participant as a lecturer and as needed enable Dial Out Manually, so the MCU can dial out to the lecturer. (AVC dial-outs only.)
    Note: Dial-out and dial-in participants are two separate participants even if they have the same IP address/number; therefore, if a dial-out participant is added to the conference, but that participant dials in before the MCU dials out to him, the MCU creates a second participant in the Participants list and still attempts to dial out to the participant. If the dial-out participant was designated as the conference lecturer, the MCU can't replace that participant with the dial-in participant that is connected to the conference.
  5. To override the layout identified in the selected conference profile, click Media Sources and enable Override layout from profile.
  6. To add optional conference information, click Information and enter the required text into the Info1, Info2, Info3, or Billing Info text boxes.
  7. Click OK to start the conference.

    Unless otherwise specified, the system automatically assigns the conference an ID when the conference starts.

  8. Communicate the conference ID to conference dial-in participants.

Other Ways to Start a Conference

The RealPresence Collaboration Server provides many ways to start a conference.

The most common method is documented previously. The other ways include:

  • By dialing into a meeting room
  • By dialing into an ad hoc entry queue
  • By clicking on a reservation in the calendar
    • If the reservation start time is past due, the conference starts immediately.
    • If the reservation start time is in the future, the conference starts at the specified date and time.
  • By clicking on a conference template and selecting Start Conference from Template
  • By copying and pasting a conference in the Conferences list.
  • From Microsoft Outlook using the Polycom Conferencing Add-in for Microsoft Outlook.
    • Polycom Conferencing for Microsoft Outlook is an add-in that enables users to easily organize and invite attendees to video-enabled meetings via Microsoft Outlook.
    • This feature is applicable to Continuous Presence (CP) conferences only.