Polycom Delivers Breakthrough Video Integration for Microsoft Unified Communications Environments

Polycom delivers industry-first capabilities in scheduling, user experience, management and enabling smart rooms for Microsoft UC environments.

Feb 9, 2010, PLEASANTON, Calif.

Polycom, Inc. (Nasdaq: PLCM), the global leader in telepresence, video and voice communication solutions, today announced an expansion of its integrated visual communication solutions for Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 and Microsoft Exchange with breakthrough capabilities that make it easier for organizations to deploy, manage and use Polycom telepresence, high-definition (HD) video conferencing and desktop video collaboration within Microsoft unified communications (UC) environments.

Polycom offers the most comprehensive voice and video collaboration solutions for Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007, including a highly scalable infrastructure platform for enabling reliable, broad-scale video deployments across organizations; industry-leading telepresence, HD video conferencing and desktop video collaboration systems that enable people to work more effectively across distances; integrated recoding and streaming for capturing and sharing conferences and video content, allowing teams to use real-time communication to create video assets; and a complete line of VoIP phones designed specifically to leverage the presence-based contact capabilities of Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 to simplify everyday communications.

"Polycom and Microsoft are aligned in making people more productive and helping organizations become more efficient and competitive through improved communication and collaboration," said Joe Sigrist, senior vice president and general manager of video solutions at Polycom. "Polycom's integrated solution for Microsoft unified communications environments puts powerful, productivity-enhancing visual communications just one-click away within the familiar Microsoft applications that millions of people use every day. Polycom is accelerating efforts with Polycom Open Collaboration Network (POCN) partners like Microsoft to deliver integrated unified communications and collaboration solutions that provide open interoperability, flexibility and investment protection."

As part of its expanded offering for Microsoft UC environments, Polycom is introducing an innovative video scheduling solution for Microsoft Exchange and Microsoft Outlook that will help organizations realize greater productivity gains and higher return on unified communication and collaboration investments by increasing the use of video collaboration and lowering operational costs:

Polycom Conferencing for Outlook – This breakthrough solution for Microsoft Exchange and Microsoft Outlook ties productivity-enhancing and cost-saving visual communication capabilities directly into the normal Microsoft Outlook workflow for users. Users can now simply incorporate telepresence, unified voice/video conferences and desktop video collaboration into meetings and enable invited participants to join with a single click of the mouse or remote control. In addition, users can easily record video meetings and make the recordings available for on-demand playback for people that missed the meeting or as a public record – a requirement for some meetings in healthcare, government and legal industries. This capability can also be used to cost-effectively create HD video content such as training materials, company announcements, customer support videos, etc. by leveraging the Polycom video endpoints as recording capture stations, allowing customers to speed return on investment while driving consistent communications and information flow deeper into their organizations.

When a meeting organizer adds video to a scheduled meeting, Polycom Conferencing for Microsoft Outlook will automatically insert links and meeting room numbers within the meeting invitation allowing participants to easily join using a variety of video devices, including Polycom CMA Desktop™ video application, Microsoft Office Communicator, appliance-based desktop systems like the Polycom HDX 4000™, or room-based telepresence or video conferencing system like the Polycom HDX 8000™ Series. The flexible Polycom infrastructure platform supports unified voice and video conferences allowing people to also join video-enabled meetings by phone. The meeting invitation can also include dial-in information for participants outside of the company, including necessary gatekeeper codes, simplifying inter-company visual collaboration.

The solution also enables conference "smart rooms" by displaying the Microsoft Outlook calendar and scheduled meetings on the room's display as provided by the connected Polycom HDX room or personal telepresence system. The display will also show reminders for upcoming meetings and allow conference participants to join a meeting simply by clicking a single "join now" button.

"Polycom Conferencing for Outlook is a real breakthrough in eliminating some of the key barriers to broader adoption of visual communication within organizations – ease of use and IT support requirements," said Sigrist. "It helps users easily schedule and join video calls using a variety of methods and automates the entire process from a resource standpoint, significantly reducing the support requirements for scheduling and initiating calls."

Polycom is also significantly enhancing its integrated solution for Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 with enhanced network scalability and reliability, simplified management and provisioning, advanced security and improved support for remote workers and inter-company collaboration. New developments include:

  • Extending scalable and reliable video networks – Polycom is extending the unrivaled scalability, reliability and redundancy benefits of the Polycom Distributed Media Application™ (DMA™) to Microsoft environments. The Polycom DMA is a unique network application that virtualizes conferencing resources among multiple Polycom RMX conference bridges and intelligently routes calls. This network intelligence improves the efficiency, reliability and performance of video calls while making it easier and more cost-effective for organizations to deliver on-demand video conferencing services to employees and reducing IT administrative requirements. It also allows organizations to configure and update RMX bridges and add additional bridging resources as needed without impacting video services or resource availability.
  • Polycom HDX endpoint provisioning – The Polycom Converged Management Application™ (CMA™), a highly scalable and redundant video network management solution, now allows administrators to provision and manage a large network of Polycom HDX systems in Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 environments. This ensures seamless signaling and presence support allowing users to easily connect with their presence-based contacts and rooms using the Polycom HDX systems.
  • Advanced security through SRTP media encryption – Polycom HDX systems now support SRTP, providing system-wide security including authentication, signaling and media encryption.
  • Seamless exchange of presence information – Enhancements to the Polycom HDX user interface allow presence-enabled contacts, including contact groups, to be shared between Polycom HDX endpoints and Microsoft Office Communicator clients (in companion mode).
  • Improved support for inter-company collaboration and remote workers – Polycom HDX and RMX systems will support Interactive Connectivity Establishment (ICE), a standardized NAT/Firewall traversal method for SIP clients, providing flexibility for SOHO workers working to be able to communicate with teammates inside the corporate network, or for companies with federated Office Communications Servers to enable inter-company communications using Polycom HDX endpoints and Polycom RMX bridges.

Polycom's alliance and integration efforts with Microsoft support Polycom's Open Collaboration Network strategy, providing open and interoperable collaboration solutions that give customers greater flexibility and investment protection for their UC environment. By developing and natively integrating with Microsoft and other leading unified communications platform providers, Polycom is able to deliver its productivity-enhancing and cost-saving telepresence, video and voice collaboration products as the integrated collaboration core unified communication environments, making the technologies easily accessible as part of the everyday workflow within a comprehensive, scalable solution that is easy to deploy and manage.

The enhanced Polycom solution for Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 and the Polycom Conferencing for Outlook solution are planned for availability in the second quarter of 2010.

Supporting Links:

Tags / Keywords:
Polycom, Microsoft, Microsoft OCS, Microsoft Office Communications Server, Microsoft Outlook, Microsoft Exchange, unified communications, telepresence, videoconferencing, collaboration, video conferencing, visual communication

About Polycom
Polycom, Inc. (Nasdaq: PLCM) is the global leader in telepresence, video, and voice solutions and a visionary in communications that empower people to connect and collaborate everywhere. Visit www.polycom.com for more information and follow us on Twitter @AllAboutPolycom.

© 2010 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.


Kevin Young Polycom, Inc. Tel: +1.925.924.5706 kyoung@polycom.com