Polycom, Leading Global Service Providers Form Consortium to Further Accelerate Video Telepresence and Make it Easy for Millions to Communicate via Video

• Open Visual Communications Consortium (OVCC) formed to enable businesses to connect virtually anywhere
• Breakthrough visual communications exchange allies leading global service providers to enable visual B2B communications beyond corporate firewalls and proprietary video platforms
• OVCC members to connect millions of users worldwide via agreements with hundreds of interconnected service providers across six continents
• OVCC will open the door to faster decisions, easier collaboration with partners and customers, streamlined supply chains, and game-changing applications in education, healthcare, government, and business

Jun 1, 2011, PLEASANTON, Calif.

Polycom, Inc. (Nasdaq: PLCM), a global leader in unified communications (UC), today announced it has teamed with leading service providers from around the world to unleash broader visual communications adoption by enabling interoperability and global business-to-business (B2B) connectivity for telepresence and video conferencing.

The broadest visual communications exchange of its kind, the new Open Visual Communications Consortium (OVCC) organization will provide high-quality connectivity across service provider networks, making it easy for businesses, governments, universities, healthcare institutions, and other organizations using telepresence and video conferencing to connect with each other whenever they want without networking headaches. OVCC will be the first to establish a global standards-based, multi-vendor, multi-network visual communication exchange. Unlike proprietary exchanges, OVCC members plan to support the full spectrum of video systems from immersive telepresence and room-based systems, high definition and standard definition, followed by desktop clients and mobile devices.

Polycom CEO Andy Miller will discuss OVCC during a live webcast today at 11 a.m. EDT /8 a.m. PDT.

Announcement Highlights:

Global open alliance with unprecedented reach:

  • Sponsored by Polycom, the OVCC organization includes founding members: Airtel, AT&T, BCS Global, BT Conferencing, Cable&Wireless Worldwide, Global Crossing, Glowpoint, iFormata Communications, Masergy, Orange Business Services, PCCW Global, Telefonica, Telstra, and Verizon and will be extended to include additional service providers in the future.
  • The goal is for OVCC members to provide secure, standards-based B2B connectivity to organizations and consumers connected to hundreds of service providers in countries around the world, representing the largest global video exchange of its kind.
  • As a proof of concept, OVCC members demonstrated the first multi-vendor high-definition (HD) telepresence call to join 18 standards-based systems across 12 service provider networks on January, 28, 2011. Polycom UC Intelligent Core™ infrastructure served as the foundation for this historic multi-site call. Polycom's UC Intelligent Core technology is a key innovation platform for enabling service providers to drive visual B2B communications beyond corporate firewalls and proprietary video platforms.
  • As sponsor, Polycom is leveraging its standards leadership, technology innovation, and industry relationships to help create the OVCC organization. This initiative furthers the Polycom UC Everywhere™ strategy – allowing people to communicate and collaborate around the world across multiple devices and deployment options.

Driving B2B applications and connecting communications islands to accelerate market growth:

  • OVCC will significantly increase the business value of new and existing visual communications systems because it will open video communications to millions of enterprise users and consumers.
  • Interoperability services delivered by OVCC members will further accelerate market growth and drive a network effect for users by bridging the islands of communication between enterprise, mobile, and consumer applications, which will help usher in this new era of widespread visual communications.
  • Primarily focused on connecting the estimated 2 million standards-based video systems in use today, OVCC members will also provide even greater reach by enabling interoperability with non-standards-based systems.
  • The market for enterprise UC solutions represents a significant growth opportunity for qualified service providers. Service providers and channel partners can create new revenue opportunities by leveraging OVCC services to expand existing offerings. According to an independent report from Forrester, Inc., the Enterprise UC worldwide market will grow from $3.75 billion in 2010 to $14.5 billion in 20151.

Catalyst for exciting new collaboration applications:

  • Global B2B connectivity will create exciting new applications. Concepts include:
    • Business: B2B telepresence will make it easier for businesses to offer complementary services from within retail locations. For example, a global provider of wireless solutions is already trialing in-store telepresence kiosks powered by Polycom to better serve small business customers within consumer retail locations.
    • Education: Visual communications will expand distance learning programs. For example, a Polycom education customer is leveraging video to offer world-class instruction to schools across the U.S. and around the globe. These video distance learning programs are helping schools augment and supplement education programs in the face of funding deficiencies within public schools.
    • Healthcare: Global connectivity with high-quality video will help expand the reach of telemedicine programs to improve access to care in rural areas and help elevate the quality of care in underserved countries through programs like Medical Missions for Children. OVCC could also be a catalyst for innovative healthcare delivery programs, such as those offered by Polycom customer NuPhysicia, which offers affordable, onsite healthcare programs for businesses.

Supporting Quotes:

  • Andrew Miller, CEO, Polycom
    "The growth and potential business and user value of telepresence has historically been stifled by interoperability and connectivity challenges. Today, Polycom and OVCC are rewriting the rules. This groundbreaking global consortium is transforming the connectivity model with a world-class global exchange that, over time, removes the barriers to ubiquity, thus further enabling our UC Everywhere vision."
  • Jonathan A. Zwang, Senior Directory Global Technology and Infrastructure, Tyco International
    "Telepresence helps us stay ahead in today's rapid business environment by streamlining business processes, improving productivity, accelerating decision making and managing costs. The ability to extend video use to partners and customers would increase the business value exponentially. We commend OVCC members and Polycom for leading this effort. We look forward to the future of borderless visual communications."
  • Rich Costello, Senior Research Analyst, IDC
    "The need for an inter-company UC federation, of which video and telepresence are critical components, has grown tremendously. Progress around system interoperability is being made through industry forums and alliances, but true B2B interoperability will also require exactly this type of service provider inter-connectivity. The Open Visual Communications Consortium is addressing an immediate business need that will help drive greater value for customers and spur broader adoption."


  • OVCC will open to new members beginning in the second half of 2011. The initial OVCC capabilities are expected to launch mid-year 2012.

Supporting resources:

About Polycom
Polycom, Inc. is a global leader in unified communications solutions with industry-leading telepresence, video, voice, and infrastructure solutions built on open standards. Polycom powers smarter conversations, transforming lives and businesses worldwide. Please visit www.polycom.com for more information or connect with Polycom on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

© 2011 Polycom, Inc. All rights reserved. POLYCOM®, the Polycom "Triangles" logo and the names and marks associated with Polycom's products are trademarks and/or service marks of Polycom, Inc. and are registered and/or common law marks in the United States and various other countries. All other trademarks are property of their respective owners.

NOTE: The product plans, specifications, and descriptions herein are provided for information only and subject to change without notice, and are provided without warranty of any kind, express or implied. Polycom reserves the right to modify future product plans at any time. Products and related specifications referenced herein are not guaranteed and will be delivered on a when and if available basis.

1 Forrester Research, Inc., "Market Overview: Sizing Unified Communications," February 5, 2009


Ellen Topp Polycom, Inc. Tel: +1.925.924.5865 ellen.topp@polycom.com