Faculty, staff, and students have several options for web and video conferencing at USC.
- Skype for Business: Skype for Business is a web conferencing platform that enables high-definition web conferencing, screen sharing, and instant messaging. Skype for Business is available to faculty and staff through their ITS-provided Office 365 accounts. For information on getting started with Skype for Business, see the Skype for Business page.
- Google Hangouts: Google Hangouts, available through Google Apps at USC, allows faculty, staff, and students to participate in face-to-face video calls with up to 9 other people. For faculty and staff information on getting started with Google Hangouts, see the Google Apps at USC for Faculty and Staff page. For student information on getting started with Google Hangouts, see the Google Apps at USC for Students page.
- Blackboard Collaborate: Blackboard Collaborate allows faculty and students to meet in an online space using features such as video and/or audio chat, whiteboard, slideshows, and screen sharing. Blackboard Collaborate is also available to staff through Blackboard Organizations. For more information how to get started with Blackboard Collaborate, see itservices.usc.edu/blackboardcollaborate/
- Bridged Services: For a higher quality experience with a larger number of participants, ITS recommends using a conference bridge. You may connect three or more users to a video conference using your own equipment via the ITS Multipoint Control Unit (MCU) or “bridge”. (This service can support and convert between the H.323 (IP), and H.320 (ISDN), and SIP (IP) protocols.) To place a request for bridged video conferencing services or to have a representative discuss your specific needs in more detail, please contact the Communications Services Group (CSG) by calling 213-740-5555 and choosing option 3.
- Self-Service Video Conferencing/Studio Classrooms: USC provides self-service video conferencing at some USC libraries and remote sites at no charge to USC faculty, staff, and students. These video conferencing systems support point-to-point connections. In addition to the facilities provided by ITS and the USC libraries, studio classrooms in many schools on USC campuses are equipped with integrated video conferencing capabilities, including high-quality microphones, cameras, and transmission/receiving equipment. For information on self-service videoconferencing or studio classroom locations in your school or department, contact the Local IT Support for your school or department.
Comparing Web and Video Conferencing Options
For a comparison of the features of Skype for Business, Blackboard Collaborate, and a variety of other web and video conferencing platforms supported by schools and units at USC, see our PDF guide to comparing web and video conferencing options.
NOTE: Not all services listed on this chart are supported by ITS but may be available from your school or unit.
- For information on how to use Skype for Business, see the training videos at the Microsoft website and the lynda.com training course, Up and Running with Skype for Business.
- For more information on how to use Google Hangouts, see Google’s Get Started with Hangouts web page.
- For more information on Blackboard Collaborate, see the following websites:
This service is available to all USC faculty, staff, and students.
To place a request for web or video conferencing services or to have a representative discuss your specific needs in more detail, please contact the Communications Services Group (CSG) by calling 213-740-5555 and choosing option 3.
Skype for Business
- All USC faculty and staff with ITS-provided Microsoft Office 365 accounts receive free access to Skype for Business.
- All USC faculty, staff, and students receive free access to Google Hangouts through their Google Apps at USC accounts.
- All USC faculty, staff, and students receive free access to Blackboard Collaborate.
- For rate information for bridged video conferencing services available through ITS, please contact the Communications Services Group (CSG) by calling 213-740-5555 and choosing option 3.
- Contact the Local IT Support for your school or department for their self-service videoconferencing rates.
Bridged Video Conferencing Services
Self-Service Video Conferencing/Studio Classrooms