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Randy Savicky
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Polycom

Logitech ConferenceCam CC3000e Video Conferencing for SMB Review

March 14, 2014

Logitech, a leader in USB-based computer peripherals is targeting their new Logitech ConferenceCam CC3000e towards the SMB, which cannot afford $50,000+ telepresence video systems, but is looking for something a step up from a webcam for conference room based video conferencing.

The Logitech ConferenceCam CC3000e is easy to setup with everything clearly numbered and labeled so you know how to make all the connections. Since it uses USB you can use your favorite UC or Web conferencing application, including Microsoft Lync, Skype, Vidyo, and Cisco. The CC3000e has a remote control for changing the camera angle including left/right and up/down movements. You can do incremental movements with single presses of a certain direction or you can press and hold for faster movement, which was very smooth.

Polycom Launches SDK, Doubles Scalability, Better Tablet Video Conferencing Support

July 16, 2012

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.

Panasonic KX-UT670 Android IP Phone Review

June 26, 2012

The Panasonic KX-UT670 IP Phone is an impressive and cool looking 7" touchscreen phone running the Android 2.2 operating system. It's interesting how long it has taken for a non-proprietary operating system to come to the IP phone market, especially when you consider Asterisk, the open source IP-PBX came out in 1999 - more than a decade ago, yet the phones from major IP phone vendors like Aastra, Cisco, Polycom, ShoreTel, snom, and others all use their own proprietary, relatively closed operating systems. So when I learned about the Panasonic KX-UT670 running Android I was very intrigued and had Panasonic send me a unit for a review.

The Panasonic KX-UT670 is one step removed (not portable) from my prediction that a tablet running Apple iOS or Android could replace the desktop phone.

Watch out for Metallic Objects in IP Phones! You Could Get Hurt!

February 13, 2012

I've tested, used, and reviewed many Polycom phones over the years, but apparently I never noticed or received this warning letter with these phones. Check out this ridiculousness:

WARNING ALL SOUNDPOINT IP PHONES
With respect to section 5.4.3.10 of the Australian Communications Authority as Telecommunications Technical Standard AS/ACIF S004 2004 under the s376 of the Telecommunications Act 1997:

You should be aware that, under certain operating conditions, the handset earpiece may retain small metallic objects. If this occurs, these objects should be removed before using the handset.

Really? Seriously?






Verizon and BT Announce Cross-Network Video Calling & Telepresence

February 8, 2012

Verizon and BT announced a deal enabling each of their respective customers initiate high-quality video conferences and telepresence sessions. I spoke with representatives from BT and Verizon to learn more about their collaboration.

Marc Hambley, Sr. Product Manager at BT explained, "We are connecting our respective telepresence exchanges together - that will allow BT clients to have meetings with Verizon clients, either hosted on BT service or Verizon service.

Sprint Nextel Throws Out 489 PBXs - Switches 100% to Microsoft Lync

December 16, 2011


Sprint Nextel thew out 489 PBXs and switched over their 39,000 employees to using Microsoft Lync, a unified commutations solution gaining in popularity. Sprint Nextel said their goal was to "reduce its environmental impact, improve employee productivity, and reduce costs and administration for its cumbersome telephony systems". Whether they truly "threw out" the 489 PBXs and they're sitting in a landfill somewhere or they sold off the PBXs is unknown, but I'm hoping for the latter or it would defeat Sprint Nextel's purpose of "reduced environmental impact".

Here's what their Lync deployment / voice infrastructure looks like now:


Sprint Nextel claims that switching to Microsoft Lync has saved them nearly $13 million annually by reducing the TCO of maintaining hundreds of hardware-based PBXs, on-site maintenance fees, and annual upgrades. It went with Microsoft's software approach and leveraged Sprint's Global MPLS network and SIP trunking to connect their 39,000 employees together seamlessly allowing them to retire 489 PBXs scattered across the country.





Polycom RealPresence Connects Non-standard TIP TelePresence Systems

November 16, 2011

I've written about Polycom supporting TIP (Telepresence Interoperability Protocol) and Cisco's response to Polycom supporting it. Well, today Polycom announced a new software update for Polycom RealPresence Platform designed to "free users locked into proprietary telepresence solutions."

This update will allow customers with standards-based video collaboration solutions, like Polycom, to join calls with non-standard based telepresence systems, like Cisco. The solution is made possible by Polycom's support for the Telepresence Interoperability Protocol (TIP), developed by Cisco and only implemented on Cisco TelePresence System suites. The latest RealPresence Platform software update, released today, also further extends interoperability across Microsoft and IBM UC environments.

Polycom VVX 500 Launches

October 17, 2011


In 2009, Polycom announced the Polycom VVX 1500, a touch-screen business media phone, that combines IP telephony with business-class video and the ability to integrate with business applications. It was a little bit clunky to be honest, so I'm intrigued by the new Polycom VVX 500 that was just launched, especially since it's slimmer and sexier than the VVX 1500. The VVX 500 has a 3.5-inch TFT (320 x 240 pixels) touch screen.

It has built-in Web applications and a Digital Photo Frame. Polycom’s “My Info Portal” serves up stocks, news, sports, weather, and other streamed content directly to the phone’s screen.


Kerio Technologies Launches New Asterisk-based IP-PBX

July 19, 2011

Kerio Technologies, a company established in 1997, is launching a new Asterisk-based PBX today. They are announcing Kerio Operator 1.1, an IP-PBX that is designed to be easy-to-use and targeting the SMB space. Kerio Technologies has 180 employees and is best known as a Microsoft Exchange Server alternative. I spoke with Kerio Technologies last week to find out more about this Asterisk-based offering.

They explained that Kerio Operator 1.1 features integrated security, including protection against SIP password guessing and can block IP addresses that fail SIP authentication automatically based on criteria you specify.

Polycom Launches CX7000, Microsoft Lync Telepresence Solution

July 11, 2011


Polycom today announced the Polycom CX7000 Unified Collaboration System, what they claim is the "first room video telepresence solution custom-built for full integration with Microsoft Lync." It's an interesting solution that combines a wireless keyboard, wireless mouse, omni-directional full-duplex speakerphone, a high-end camera, and a small footprint PC, which I'm guessing is running some flavor of Windows in order to run the Microsoft Lync client.
 
According to Polycom, the Polycom CX7000 solution (codenamed “Rally”) features an especially tight integration between the Polycom and Microsoft solutions, with an intuitive interface, simplified UC experience, and more seamless telepresence. The solution offers all the typical Lync features you need: presence, IM, online meetings, content collaboration, etc.

“The power of UC is to eliminate barriers to teamwork and bring people face-to-face. Polycom and Microsoft share a passion for delivering easy-to-use UC solutions that transform businesses into highly collaborative environments,” said Andrew Miller, president and CEO, Polycom.




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