I spoke with John Antanaitis, Polycom VP of Marketing to discuss the news about their various news announcements made today. One of the announcements is a new version of RealPresence Mobile (1.3) which now runs on HTC One smartphones and the HTC Jetstream tablet, along with the new Apple iPad. This version adds far end camera control (FEC) to allow users to control the camera. RealPresence Mobile 1.3's camera control feature enables you to remotely control the camera on the other end of a video meeting allowing users to pinch-to-zoom, pan, or tilt the camera to get a better look at the subject or the environment. This feature is especially important in many vertical market applications such as healthcare, for more in-depth patient consultations; educational settings, for panning the classroom or zooming in on a speaker or presentation; and manufacturing plants, to closely examine the products on the factory floor. Both mobile phone and tablet video conferencing are going to be huge industries in businesses and Polycom is looking to be the leaders in this space.
The RealPresence Mobile 1.3 software application will be available as a free download this month from the Apple AppStore for the new iPad, iPad 2, and iPhone 4S; and from Google Play for the HTC One S, HTC One X, and HTC Jetstream; the Motorola XOOM and the DROID XYBOARD by Motorola; and the Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 and 10.1. All components of the Polycom RealPresence Platform are available through Polycom's certified channel partners.
They also announced a new RealPresence resource manager. It's a new scheduling management and provisioning application that increases scalability to 10,000 devices, doubling the prior 5,000 industry-leading scalability. You can stack them for additional scalability, but for a single instance Polycom has doubled the scalability.
John Antanaitis told me Polycom was enabling developers with a new SDK that is launching today. John said, "We're offering a complete SDK that includes a comprehensive suite of APIs, sample code, and documentation that allows both enterprises and service providers to deliver customized applications." He continued, "The thought process is that by delivering open, standard-based and RESTful APIs organizations, individuals, ISVs, etc. can leverage this SDK and the APIs to create new services and new applications that can tie directly into the Polycom RealPresence Platform and the enterprise's business applications or the service provider's business and applications. This is a major differentiator for Polycom." Aimed at making video collaboration easier to integrate into everyday business processes, the suite of APIs allows developers within enterprises and organizations to tailor applications to seamlessly integrate with Polycom RealPresence video solutions such as provisioning, scheduling, directory services, user management, conference control, authentication, and billing.They also announced new professional services including consulting support to assist enterprises in integrating their business apps with Polycom's platform, including leveraging these new APIs. One final news Polycom is also announcing today is integration with Acme Packet, a leading SBC that secures VoIP and video across firewalls. Through this integration with Acme Packet, Polycom is able to have voice and video securely traverse firewalls. Through these new APIs, Polycom hopes to drive UC and video adoption with enhanced scalability, manageability and security.
John gave me an example of how the new APIs have been used. He explained that over the course of a weekend a developer was able to create an app for the iPad leveraging the new APIs to schedule video meetings from a centralized calendar. The app allows an end user or an administrator to control the experience. You join a call and if someone puts you on hold and now the other callers hear on-hold music. The user or administrator can determine who is playing the on-hold music and then using the app, either mute them or take them out of the call. You can also add additional participants from the call using this app as well.
All-in-all a big news day from Polycom showing their market leadership in UC, video conferencing, and collaboration.