by Vincent Toesca
Adobe released last week an update to our industry-leading webconferencing solution, with Adobe Connect 7.5 Service Pack 1. This service pack is available at no additional cost to all licensed customers with active maintenance and support plan, and to all hosted customers. Hosted accounts are gradually updated over time, and hosted customers will be notified ahead of time when their account is scheduled for upgrade.
Before discussing the details of this service pack, we’re glad to announce that we have further simplified our product name, with “Adobe Connect”. Why, you ask? First because most of you were already referring to our solution as such (or sometimes even as “Connect”). But also because a shorter and more explicit brand makes it easier for end-users, systems administrators, industry experts and media professionals altogether to distinguish our solution and feel familiar with it.
As for this service pack itself, three themes have been center-stage: telephony, platform support and quality.
1. Telephony integration has for long been core to Connect, and Connect 7.5 sustained this trend last year with the extension of our partner ecosystem to InterCall and the release of the universal voice feature. Interworking with audio conferencing providers is also part of our open approach towards unifying communications, without forcing enterprises to align on one single vendor. In Service Pack 1, we have made remodeled our telephony architecture to enable:
Feature parity across all adaptors. Each telephony adaptor (e.g. PGI, InterCall, MeetingOne) now equally supports functionality such as breakout audioconferencing (when breakout rooms are activated), token merge to automatically link unknown callers in the attendee list pod, and the ability to mute all.
Ease of use. The application handles all standardized formats for phone numbers, facilitating end-users’ input especially when calling internationally. Administrators can now trigger bulk uploads of telephony profiles for their entire organization.
Ease of installation. Changes in telephony configuration no longer requires the restart of the main Connect service. Additionally, setup documentation has been streamlined.
2. Platform support means that we keep evolving our solution components to run on the latest versions of operating systems. In Service Pack 1, we have officially added back-end support for Windows Server 2008 (OS) and SQL Server 2008 (database). Peripherally, we have improved support for single-sign-on integration (SSO), by allowing the passing of credentials through custom headers and cookies.
3. Quality is part our unwavering commitment to providing not just a collaboration solution, but also an experience that is rich, reliable and enjoyable. In Service Pack 1, we have kept working hard on improving the quality of audio and addressing concerns reported by our customers. For instance, we have extended the ability to turn on echo cancellation (audio set up wizard) to Mac users and delivered several other minor changes that cumulatively make a sharp difference.
Finally, all these additions are delivered with little impact on users’ systems: no upgrade of the Adobe Flash Player is required, and attendees can keep using the baseline Flash Player 8 (or later versions, such as Adobe Flash Player 9 or 10) to participate in meetings. Only presenters and hosts are offered an update to the meeting Add-in.
For further details about Service Pack 1, I invite you to view this excellent presentation by Alistair Lee.