Integrating Google Hangouts Meet with Pexip Infinity

The Pexip Distributed Gateway provides any-to-any video interoperability with Google Hangouts Meet. It enables the seamless interoperation of HD video between Hangouts Meet conferences and:

  • H.323 & SIP room-based videoconferencing systems, including Cisco, Polycom, LifeSize, and others
  • Microsoft Skype for Business and Lync
  • Browser-based video (WebRTC / RTMP).

Third-party systems can connect to Hangouts Meet conferences via the Pexip Distributed Gateway either by dialing the conference directly or via a Virtual Reception (IVR).

Google Hangouts Meet connectivity

The Hangouts Meet in-call features that are supported via the Pexip Distributed Gateway include:

  • Active speaker switching
  • Content sharing
  • Recording indicator
  • Bandwidth optimizations

Pexip interoperability can be used with all paid G Suite licenses (Basic, Business and Enterprise).

Note that Google Hangouts Meet is inherently a dial-in service i.e. you can only dial from a third-party video system into Hangouts Meet. You cannot dial out from Hangouts Meet to a SIP, H.323 device etc — instead, you have to send the relevant joining instructions/invitation to the user of that device.

Deployment environments

The Pexip Infinity platform can be deployed in any of its supported environments such as on-premises or in a public or hybrid cloud (including Google Cloud Platform).

Pexip Infinity has a close integration with Google Hangouts Meet and uses Hangouts Meet APIs to provide Infinity's interoperability features. Even though Pexip strives to maintain backwards compatibility between older versions of Pexip Infinity and the latest release of Hangouts Meet, to ensure compatibility with the latest updates to Hangouts Meet we recommend that you aim to keep your Pexip Infinity deployment up-to-date with the latest Pexip Infinity software release. If, for example, you have a large Pexip deployment for non-Hangouts Meet related services, and you have stringent upgrade procedures meaning that you do not always keep your Infinity software up-to-date with the latest release, you may want to consider deploying a second instance of the Pexip Infinity platform that is dedicated to your Hangouts Meet interoperability requirements, and which can be managed separately and upgraded more frequently.

See Pexip Infinity installation guidelines for complete information about all of the platforms into which you can deploy the Pexip Infinity platform, and Configuring G Suite for Google Hangouts Meet integration and Configuring Pexip Infinity as a Google Hangouts Meet gateway for specific instructions about how to integrate Pexip Infinity with Google Hangouts Meet.

Native user experience for all participants

All participants receive the appropriate native user experience of the Hangouts Meet conference when there is a mix of direct and gatewayed third-party participants.

Google Hangouts Meet experience

Hangouts Meet experience when third-party VTC systems are connected to the conference

VTC experience

Third-party VTC system experience (Pexip's standard 1+7 layout) when connected to a Hangouts Meet conference

Scheduling and joining conferences

Users in your organization can schedule meetings as normal via their Google Calendar, and choose to enable Hangouts Meet conferencing within their event options. The joining instructions for internal and external VTC systems are then automatically included in the Calendar invitation and event.

All calls are routed into the Hangouts Meet conference by means of the meeting code that is associated with that conference.

The meeting code is generated automatically and is 5 or more digits long, depending on the length of your preconfigured PIN prefix and the number of meetings you have previously held. For scheduled meetings, the meeting code is normally included in the meeting invitation (select More joining options and look under Third-party systems — see the screenshot, right). This shows how to connect via standards-based video conferencing systems and Skype for Business users such as Windows/Mac clients, Surface Hubs and Skype Room Systems.

For ad hoc conferences the meeting codes are presented to the host when the meeting is initiated and are also available from the Meeting details option while in the conference.

Enabling access and admitting external participants into Hangouts Meet conferences

After you have installed and performed the basic configuration of your Pexip Infinity platform, you have to link your Pexip platform to your G Suite account, so that it can route calls into your Hangouts Meet conferences. This is handled via access tokens, which are private codes that can be used by a third-party system, such as Pexip Infinity, to identify your account.

You can set up two types of access tokens in your G Suite account: a trusted and an untrusted token. You can use these two token types to control whether an endpoint that is routed via Pexip Infinity into a Hangouts Meet conference is automatically admitted into the conference, or whether an existing conference participant has to explicitly admit it into the conference. When you configure Pexip Infinity, you decide which type of token to associate with the access rules and dial patterns that allow devices to be routed into Hangouts Meet conferences.

Pexip Infinity also adds an additional layer of trust control by including an explicit setting on each Call Routing Rule to indicate whether or not the devices that are routed via that rule into Hangouts Meet are trusted endpoints from Pexip Infinity's perspective (for example, you could treat the device as trusted if the caller is coming from a specific location, or if the device is registered to Pexip Infinity).

In essence, when Pexip Infinity routes a call to Hangouts Meet, it provides three pieces of information:

  • the meeting code (so that the endpoint joins the correct conference)
  • the access token, which can be either a "trusted" or "untrusted" token
  • a "domain member" flag, which indicates if the calling endpoint is a trusted endpoint from Pexip Infinity's perspective.

If the access token is a trusted token and the endpoint is trusted by Pexip Infinity, then the device is automatically admitted into the conference.

In all other cases, the device has to be explicitly admitted into the conference (this takes the form of a popup dialog as shown right, which is displayed to all participants who are connected directly to the conference — note that "Pexip" will be replaced with your own company name). Any of those participants can then choose to allow (admit) or deny access.

See Configuring G Suite for Google Hangouts Meet integration and Configuring Pexip Infinity as a Google Hangouts Meet gateway for details about configuring access tokens, and Registering devices to Pexip Infinity for registration information.

Presentation / content sharing

If a participant who is using the native Hangouts Meet web client starts presenting, any VTC participants are able to see both the presentation content and the presenter's standard video stream. Similarly, if a VTC participant starts presenting, the other participants in the conference will see both the presentation stream and the video from that participant. Note that in version 21 and earlier of Pexip Infinity, if a VTC participant starts presenting, the other participants in the conference only see the presentation stream from that participant.

Recording and streaming

If a Google Hangouts Meet conference is recorded or streamed, audio prompts indicating that streaming or recording has been started/stopped are played to callers who are gatewayed via Pexip Infinity into the conference, and distinct messages and indicators are used depending on whether the conference is being recorded, streamed or both. When streaming, the audio prompts and indicators also vary according to whether the stream is public or not.

Recording and streaming indicators