Today, Polycom has launched the Polycom VVX 1500 touch-screen business media phone, a new VoIP phone that combines IP telephony with business-class video and the ability to integrate with business applications. Recently, Verizon make a big splash with their consumer-class Verizon Hub
, a multimedia phone that combines VoIP, Internet access, color screen, video streaming, and more. One could easily make the case that the Polycom VVX 1500 is the "business-class" version of the consumer-oriented Verizon Hub phone.
Although there are many similar features and both could be classified as "media phones
", the Verizon Hub does not do video conferencing, since it does not have an embedded camera. The Polycom VVX 1500 on the other hand does have
a video camera embedded (2-megapixel) and is therefore more suited to video conferencing, which is more prevalent in the business world any way.
The Polycom VVX 1500 combines a personal video conferencing system with a fully featured voice over IP (VoIP) telephone along with Polycom HD Voice (wideband telephony) and an open application programming interface (API) and microbrowser for real-time delivery of personalized Web content. It also includes a 7" color touch-screen interface making this a very unique business IP phone.
So is a business-class media phone with a color touch-screen, web browsing, and video conferencing capabilities a game changer
in the VoIP space? Well, the VVX 1500 has a list price of U.S. $1,099, so this is not
an IP phone for everyone's desk in a corporate office. A decent IP phone for the every day worker can be had for $150-$300 which is much less expensive. However, for business executives, CEOs, VPs, and other high-level management, the VVX 1500 is a very attractive IP phone. Often times if a VP or CEO has to have a high-quality video conference, they have to reserve a high-quality video conferencing system located in a particular boardroom. With the VVX 1500 they can stay at their desk and have their meeting. Further, impromptu video conferencing with co-workers sporting a VVX 1500 on their desk can be had allowing for quick collaborative meetings.
In-Stat is very high on the prospects for business-class media phones
. According to Keith Nissen, principal analyst at In-Stat, "We anticipate that within five years, nearly 10 million business media phones will be shipped worldwide, generating more than U.S. $3 billion in annual revenue. They are a key to the future of the IP PBX business." He added, "With its rich heritage in voice and visual communications and content sharing, Polycom is well positioned to be a leader in this new world of communications. The company's VVX 1500 is the first business media phone that enables customers to work more efficiently and effectively than ever before by tying together voice and visual communication with critical business processes." Polycom VVX 1500 Touch-Screen
"There is growing demand from our service providers and customers to help them configure video within our BroadWorks call control platform," said Mike Tessler, CEO of BroadSoft. "We have a long history of teaming with Polycom to deliver high quality hosted VoIP solutions, and the VVX 1500 is especially compelling because it goes far beyond the functionality of a traditional video phone by combining rich telephony, business-class video and an applications platform that is all deeply integrated with the BroadWorks platform, and it is extremely easy-to-use."
The VVX 1500 was also specifically designed for lower power consumption, using power over Ethernet (PoE) using IEEE 802.3af, and requiring less than half the power of similar competing products such as traditional video phones. The device's cool smart-motion technology enables the screen to go into power-save mode when no one is in the office.
The VVX 1500 features an open API and microbrowser that enable third-party application developers to integrate VVX 1500 with business applications such as unified communications, customer relationship management (CRM), and appointment management systems. The always-on, touch-screen user interface of the VVX 1500 includes a menu screen on which developers can place icons for users to locate and start their applications. Polycom VVX 1500 Profile View
The VVX 1500 comes bundled with several applications including the Polycom Productivity Suite, which enables users to initiate and control audio conference calls right from the device's screen as well as record calls locally using a flash drive in the phone's USB port. The VVX 1500 also features a free Web service called My Info Portal through which customers can select to receive content such as local weather reports and other personalized information on the screen when the device is not in a voice or video call.
Interoperability is not a problem since the VVX 1500 uses the same Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) software as incorporated in Polycom's SoundPoint IP and SoundStation IP desktop and conference phone product lines to communicate with SIP based IP-PBXs and hosted SIP servers. The product is in the process of being SIP video-certified by Polycom's ecosystem of more than 30 VIP and VoIP Field Verified call control partners, including BroadSoft, Deltapath, NEC Sphere, Objectworld, and Zultys.
"Our customers consistently seek better leverage of their communication systems to improve productivity and reduce costs. They also expect Polycom to continuously deliver innovative, intuitive products to market," said Sunil Bhalla, senior vice president and general manager of Voice Communications Solutions at Polycom. "Our leadership and legacy in both voice and video communications enables us to develop a truly unique device. The VVX 1500 is the business media phone to combine a superior business-grade VoIP telephone that features our renowned HD Voice with one-touch video and access to key enterprise applications. We're delighted propel collaborative communications to the next level with this ground-breaking device."
The Polycom VVX 1500 will be available this month through Polycom's channel partner network at a list price of U.S. $1,099. To learn more about the Polycom VVX 1500, visit www.polycom.com/vvx1500