Polycom’s Software Play and More

Depending on the era, if I asked people what the name Polycom makes them think of they would give me different answers. In the nineties it was video conferencing and audio conferencing devices. Around 2000 you could add IP phones to this list. With the Spectralink acquisition you then could add wireless phones to this list.

Starting in 2008, the company will also be known for software solutions and in a recent meeting with company execs I got to learn about their new Productivity Suite which retails for a reasonable $11.99/seat.

So what void did Polycom see in the market that would have them go out and start selling software solutions? Simple… They want to provide better solutions for service providers who can now roll out phones and applications which give corporate customers much more power to customize their telephony environment.

In addition, corporate customers can utilize the software’s open APIs to begin to embrace CEBP.

Whether this software makes the PBX partners of Polycom uncomfortable is yet to be seen but Polycom’s addition of features such as four-party visual conference call management, local call recording, LDAP corporate directory access, voice quality monitoring and third-party call control are certainly moving the company nicely up the value chain.

The company has also integrated its video solutions with Microsoft OCS in a manner that makes it difficult for users to see where one company’s solutions end and another one’s begins. Examples include secure conferencing with remote camera control and the ability to invite people as well as boot them from conference calls.

Other supported features include a roll call, voting, polling and more.

To me the company’s flurry of announcements shows their commitment to the communications market and not just for the enterprise space but for service providers as well.

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