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IT distributor Westcon Group, Inc., announced a deal this week with Sony Corp. to distribute the Sony IPELA line of IP-based network cameras, recording devices and video conferencing systems.

The IPELA line provides a more complete solution to Westcon’s VARs already working in the IP video space with Cisco Systems Inc.’s CallManager network technology and RADVision video software, said Paul Cunningham, vice president of Westcon Group’s Technology Solutions Group.

“[Sony is] the leader in network video equipment,” Cunningham said. “They seem to have the right combination of products, applications and programs to be affective in this space. When you take the infrastructure of the Cisco network and Rad vision as the video partner, you bring a robustness and a legitimacy to the architecture.”

Westcon is positioning itself and VARs in the audio-visual space for a shift to IP solutions, similar to that faced by PBX VARs three to four years ago, Cunningham said.

Intel’s Viiv platform will offer solutions for Audio-visual VARs. Read more here.

“There are a lot of barriers being broken down, in both price and architecture that makes this a very interesting time in the market,” he said.

“Whatever the application—video conferencing, monitoring or messaging, which is just stripped down conferencing—IP is going to have an impact. We want to position ourselves and our VARs for the shift.”

By integrating video communications with an IP network, users may view images from a video conference or security camera remotely, outside the local network or closed-circuit system.

The solution is ideal for government, education, medical and enterprise customers looking to access and share visual information in real time, Westcon said.