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Polycom Enhances Unified Communication Solutions for Microsoft Lync Server 2010

December 29, 2010

Polycom, a provider of unified communications (UC) solutions and a Microsoft Gold Certified partner, announced enhancements to its comprehensive portfolio of voice and video solutions for Microsoft Lync Server 2010.

Industry analysts say the partnership between Microsoft and Polycom will offer the interoperability, a rich feature set, and simplified management and administration capabilities that customers demand today.

“Polycom is teaming with Microsoft to transform business communications by offering our customers the most comprehensive, intuitive, interoperable, end-to-end UC experience,” said Joe Burton, Polycom chief technology and strategy officer, in a statement.

“Through our shared commitment with Microsoft to deliver flexible standard-based solutions, we offer an enterprise-grade, personalized communications experience to customers—one that is more collaborative, engaging, and accessible—and with demonstrated ROI for customers.”

Polycom HDX series telepresence systems and Polycom UC Intelligent Core Infrastructure are the industry’s first telepresence solution designed to be fully interoperable with Microsoft Lync, according to company officials.

Lync offers a single interface that unites voice, IM/presence, audio-, video-, and Web-conferencing into a richer, more contextual offering and a single identity making it easier and more efficient for users to find contacts, check their availability and connect with them.                                                                                                                    

Supporting standard-based H.264 High Profile technology, Polycom telepresence solutions reduce bandwidth requirements for HD video communication by up to 50 percent, while also working with Lync.

The HDX series telepresence systems and RMX conference platform are now part of a full portfolio of Polycom UC endpoints optimized for Lync. Other solutions included in the portfolio are the Polycom CX500 and CX600 UC devices and the Polycom CX3000 IP conference phone, the only conference phone optimized for Lync.

Polycom’s devices optimized for Microsoft Lync offer Polycom HD Voice, time-saving features such as single sign-in, calendar access, and advanced presence on vibrant color screen displays.

These video solutions from Polycom incorporate Microsoft’s RTV codec, enabling communications throughout enterprises as well as B2B environments and across multiple collaboration tools.

The Polycom solutions also enable customers to collaborate from their desks, on the road, at home, or in a conference room using standards-based Polycom solutions.

Utilizing Microsoft’s Edge Server, Polycom’s UC Intelligent Core infrastructure traverses firewalls and enable federation between organizations that would otherwise not be able to collaborate via video or would require the additional cost and management complexity of gateways to connect, the company said.

The company is also preparing its partner ecosystem to deliver Microsoft-optimized solutions by offering a dedicated Microsoft UC enablement program designed to assist channel partners to successfully sell, implement and service the Polycom offerings.

Polycom solutions optimized for UC increases the competitiveness of organizations by enabling people to easily leverage productivity-enhancing voice, video, presence and data collaboration tools through the familiar environment of their everyday workflow, company officials said.

“The arrival of Microsoft Lync elevates productivity and transforms business communications,” said Gurdeep Singh Pall, corporate vice president of unified communication at Microsoft. “Polycom’s support of Lync, with their new portfolio of Lync-optimized voice and video solutions, helps enable business users to stay connected from virtually anywhere, anytime.”

Polycom and Microsoft recently announced mutual R&D and go-to-market activities to ensure customers interoperable end-to-end UC solutions that encompass software, hardware, networking and services, and will enable customers to improve business productivity and reduce travel, telecom and IT operating costs.

The company now offers a full suite of standards-based UC voice, video, conferencing, and collaboration solutions optimized for Lync, with enhanced video interoperability expected in the first quarter of 2011.

The new CX series UC devices are now available through certified Polycom reseller partners with an MSRP U.S. $199 for the CX500 IP phone, designed for use in public areas; $299 for the CX600 IP desktop phone; and $849 for the CX3000 IP conference phone, the company said.

Rajani Baburajan is a contributing editor for unified communications. To read more of Rajani's articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Jaclyn Allard

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