Polycom, Inc. (Nasdaq: PLCM) today announced new video offerings designed for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) that make it easier than ever to purchase, install, and operate high-quality, business-grade video collaboration solutions from Polycom. Today, Polycom introduced Polycom RealPresence Ready, its new comprehensive open video collaboration solution optimized for SMBs that delivers the highest quality video collaboration at the lowest total cost of ownership (TCO). Polycom is also introducing with its partners new cloud-based offerings powered by the Polycom
Small businesses (SBs, or firms with less than 100 employees) in the U.S. are increasingly using web-conferencing solutions, like GoToMeeting, LiveMeeting and WebEx. According to a recent AMI-Partners report, nearly half of U.S. SBs are using web-conferencing solutions today, with penetration expected to grow to 80% in 2011. However, this trend also brings challenges to many web-conferencing providers. With increased use of these services, AMI is forecasting significant displacement to free web-conferencing offers.
“The recent economic downturn heightened cost management among U.S. SBs, and they identified web-conferencing as a viable, affordable alternative to travel,” says Brian Galgay, Manager of Cloud Services for AMI’s Marketing Strategy Consulting Group. “Over the last three years, U.S. SBs have seen additional benefits in using these solutions. Today, they no longer view web-conferencing as a cost-cutting measure, but rather as an effective, real-time collaboration tool.” However, any optimism among web-conferencing vendors regarding potential revenue growth should be balanced. This growth could be limited by displacement of U.S.
SBs’ current budget allocation, as well as by actual reductions caused by these SBs’ uptake of free web-conferencing services. This trend is a part of the rapid growth of Cloud Services over the past 24 – 36 months, which has produced a large number of low-quality, free web-conferencing solutions.
With more conferencing solution providers competing for market share, free web-conferencing providers have started to differentiate their services by adding more robust features. As a result, the gap in features between free and paid solutions has narrowed significantly. This poses a direct challenge to the paid solution providers. As free solutions add more features like multiple user video-conferencing and desktop sharing, the paid solutions need to offer increasingly more enhanced web-conferencing solutions.
“Cloud Services has had a significant impact on ICT growth and, in particular, on this software category. The concept of premium web-conferencing solutions will evolve over the upcoming two to three years. Paid providers will have to bring the next generation of more advanced web-conferencing solutions to market, as the lower end of the market, enticed by free, limited offerings, moves away from premium, paid services. Conferencing solution providers willing to generate revenue from usage, and not from advertising, could protect such revenue erosion by investing in a richer, fuller product feature set or by specializing in targeted industry verticals,” concludes Galgay.
For the past 14 years, AMI-Partners has tracked the use of video- and web-conferencing solutions, among other ICT products, in the small and medium business markets. A new 30+ country study about Cloud Services is in process, covering in-depth insight on these businesses’ usage, perception and plans of conferencing solutions.
Upcoming Study Small and medium business preferences for Cloud-based application bundles, their price sensitivity and purchase channel preferences are further explored in AMI’s upcoming Worldwide SMB Cloud Services Study. This study provides comprehensive coverage of: Platforms and Devices; IT Infrastructure Services; Business Productivity Applications; Business Management/Line of Business Applications; and Unified Communications. Research will be available later in 2010.
Polycom, Inc. (Nasdaq: PLCM) has signed a multi-year, strategic global agreement with Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) to deliver integrated end-to-end unified communications (UC) and to improve customers
In conjunction with IBM Lotusphere taking place next week in Orlando, Fla., Polycom, Inc. (Nasdaq: PLCM) announced an expansion of its integrated voice and visual communication solutions for customers deploying IBM Unified Communication and Collaboration (UC2) environments with support for Lotus Sametime and Lotus Notes. The combined solution is designed to give users “one-click” access to on-demand voice and video collaboration tools from within Lotus software applications that can enhance teamwork, reduce costs, and help accelerate enterprise decision making among colleagues, customers and business partners.
“People are most effective when the communication and collaboration tools they need are instantly available as part of the everyday workflow,” said Joe Sigrist, senior vice president and general manager of video solutions, Polycom. “Polycom’s integration with the IBM UC2 environment puts our powerful, productivity enhancing collaboration tools just one-click away within the applications that millions of people use every day to communicate with others. This allows customers to extend the value of their UC investment by adding scalable, standards-based telepresence, video and voice collaboration capabilities that can further enhance efficiency and reduce costs.”
The Polycom solution will allow users to “Click-to-Call” and “Click-to-Conference” telepresence, video, voice and unified (combined voice and video) conferencing from presence-enabled contacts within IBM Lotus Sametime and Lotus Notes. In addition, Lotus Sametime Web conferencing users will be able to launch Instant Meetings with voice and video conferences, or include a voice or video conference as part of scheduled web conference.
The Polycom integrated solution will provide organizations with a scalable, redundant, standards-based infrastructure platform for rich-media conferencing within IBM UC2 environments. The solution will feature integration with the latest release of Sametime Release 8.5, IBM Lotus Sametime Server and IBM Lotus Domino Server, and provide seamless call routing between the Lotus applications and Polycom immersive, room and personal telepresence systems and desktop and conference room video conferencing systems for point-to-point video calls, and the Polycom RMX media conferencing platforms for multi-site voice, video or unified conferences. The standards-based solution allows users to leverage existing investments in visual communication systems for greater ROI and provides a broad ecosystem of nearly two-million standards-based telepresence and video conferencing systems in use today for extended collaboration.
This announcement expands existing integration that Polycom offers with IBM UC2 and will complement the existing services offering between Polycom and IBM Global Technology Services to deliver scalable, security-enriched and highly-available unified communications solutions to enterprise clients around the globe. Polycom is a sponsor and exhibitor at Lotusphere 2010 (booth no. 611) and IBM is a Platinum sponsor at the upcoming Polycom partner conference and sales event taking place at the end of January.
Polycom’s integration efforts with IBM support Polycom’s Open Collaboration Network strategy, providing an open and interoperable collaboration solution that gives customers greater flexibility and investment protection for their UC environment. By working with IBM 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 an integrated part of core unified communication environments, making the technologies easily accessible as part of the everyday workflow within a comprehensive solution that is easy to deploy and manage.
Polycom will deliver integration for IBM Sametime 8.5 in 2010, with the first phase planned for availability in the first half of the year.
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) recently deployed immersive telepresence solutions from Polycom, Inc. (Nasdaq: PLCM) to improve operational efficiency, interagency collaboration and enhance its ability to support out of area operations.
“Information flow is vital to fulfilling our goals and mandates, as well as maximizing the productivity and efficiency of personnel and ensuring the success of operations,” said Malcolm Green, Chief of the NATO C3 Agency’s Capabilities Area Team 9 (CAT 9), Networked Information Infrastructure Communication Services. “Polycom telepresence addresses these challenges by enabling our teams to collaborate more effectively over distances.”
Deployed in six international locations, the Polycom immersive telepresence solutions join an existing large deployment of Polycom video conferencing systems in use today at NATO headquarters and in outposts around the world. The standards-based systems also interoperate securely and seamlessly with video conferencing systems in use by NATO allied partners.
The technology is used daily for central command communications, emergency management, critical needs assessment, crisis communications, intra/interagency collaboration, workgroup collaboration and project management. Continue reading NATO employs PolyCom TelePresence
Alcatel-Lucent (Euronext Paris and NYSE: ALU) today announced that Dr. Willard Boyle and Dr. George Smith, both former researchers at Bell Labs, the company
As the world braces for the coming winter flu season, health officials in Mexico expect to battle an anticipated rise in H1N1 flu cases with interactive visual communication systems from Polycom, (Nasdaq: PLCM), the global leader in telepresence, video and voice communication solutions.
During April and May, Mexico’s National Center for Health Technology Excellence (CENETEC) relied on Polycom and other video conferencing systems to help them stem the initial outbreak of H1N1. Experts at Mexico’s Secretariat of Health used Polycom systems to communicate face-to-face with some 1,500 health officials to help determine the source of the flu, where and how it was spreading, and effective treatments.
When the virus emerged in April, Mexican officials immediately recognized the need for clear, streamlined communication and collaboration to help contain the outbreak. So they turned to their video communication network outfitted with Polycom systems.
“Real-time communication and interaction was essential in responding to H1N1, and that made video a crucial element in our approach to managing the crisis,” said Adrian Pacheco, biomedical engineer and assistant director of telemedicine for Mexico’s Secretariat of Health. “Interactive video enables timely information to be distributed to the right people, because when you’re fighting an epidemic, there’s no time to lose.”
In the race to contain the virus, interactive visual communication saved time
Covad Communications Company has completed the next phase of its broader network transformation strategy by building out its access portfolio with the introduction of DS3 service for performance-intensive applications and enterprise connectivity, as well as higher-bandwidth bonded T1 offerings up to 12.0 Mbps. Covad has also introduced network-wide Quality of Service (QoS) capabilities to enable partners to layer on value-added services and applications.
“Covad is rapidly evolving its network to create an intelligent broadband services platform that partners can use to expand their offerings, reach more customers, and increase revenues,” said Young-Sae Song, vice president of marketing for Covad Wholesale. “Covad’s application-aware network capabilities allow our partners to customize network performance for specific applications, like VoIP, video conferencing, and software as a service (SaaS).”
In February, Covad completed a nationwide MPLS deployment and network capacity upgrades that included metro optical rings with up to OC-192 (10 Gbps) capacity. Continue reading Covad Increases Bandwidth Offerings upto DS3