Posts tagged Unified Communications

Polycom Announces Expansion of UC

Today, Polycom announced plans to expand video communications solutions to the masses through its new product and service offerings specifically for mobile users, small and medium businesses (SMB), and consumers (who, up ’til now, had all been relatively left out of the video communications market).

This announcement is based on Polycom’s new vision of “Unified Communications Everywhere” and its plan to open video communications to everyone on any device.

John Vitale, our director of product management for Video & UC commented on the announcement: “I like what I’m reading in Polycom’s announcements. To me, this is saying Polycom is expanding its  product and technology reach beyond the enterprise market and is looking to position itself as a formidable player with Service Provider grade solutions, strengthening its relationship with Microsoft and addressing the ever growing mobile device market needs. With Smartphones dominating 50%+ of the market and still growing, and the constant improvements in 3G and 4G wireless networks, high-end applications like video calling are becoming more desirable and something that mobile users will eventually expect to be on their mobile phone.”

Read more about Polycom’s plan to bring unified communications to everyone.

What do you think?

Could Google’s Latest Move Spell Trouble for the Unified Communications Market?

Over the last few years, the battle for the desktop has been intensifying between some of the biggest technology names in the world. It wouldn’t surprise folks to see Microsoft, IBM and Cisco all pitching to convince companies to use their platform and suite of applications across an enterprise.

However, just as the line has blurred between work and play, the traditional “enterprise” players are seeing new entrants join the fray. Frost and Sullivan’s recent article on Google’s acquisition and development of a Unified Communications (UC) and Collaboration suite reveals the heightened interest of traditional consumer-based players, as they try to penetrate the workplace as well. They do have a ways to go to before they can compete with the established, feature-rich solutions provided by the traditional players. However, the brand recognition and “cloud”-based approach Google will most likely take with its UC offerings could enable them to make inroads into the corporate world.

Here at AVI-SPL, we take a neutral approach to technology solutions. We help our customers deploy and leverage UC tools and applications, and are focused on solutions that best fit their requirements and budget. We do not see Google UC gaining a large market share in the enterprise in the near future. In the next few years, however, we expect that Google will be considered a viable option for corporations on a wider scale.

The above is written by Michael Brandofino, executive vice president of VTC and UC, AVI-SPL.

As momentum on this story grows, we’d like to hear from you too. Does Google have what it takes to become a strong contender in such a tightly-established market?

Polycom, Microsoft to integrate Unified Communications offerings

Polycom and Microsoft have announced a channel partnership to increase Microsoft’s Unified Communications (UC) offerings. As a part of the multi-year global agreement, Polycom will develop and provide integrated end-to-end UC solutions, including room-based video systems, for Microsoft’s clients. Under this partnership, Polycom becomes a member of Microsoft’s key strategic global alliance.

AVI-SPL Director of Video and UC Project Management John Vitale shared his thoughts about the partnership: “I think this is a good step for both Microsoft and Polycom to take and help accelerate the adoption of Unified Communications. In the past, video has always been the ‘leave it for later’ feature of UC due to its challenges with mass scale deployment in an enterprise. Polycom and Microsoft teaming up to help solve these issues can only help the situation. I’m looking forward to the fruit this partnership will bear.”

For more information about the agreement, click here to read the announcement and watch a brief video featuring Microsoft Corporate Vice President of UC Products and Polycom President and CEO.

Lessons in UC From the Classroom

Unified Communications (UC) tools are moving out of the board room and into the realm of higher education. In a great post on the UC Strategies blog, Blair Pleasant discusses a variety of areas that universities could use UC to streamline communications between faculty, staff, students, and others.

All UC vendors today are trying to find ways to differentiate themselves from one another and to stand out from the crowd. I generally recommend that they focus on professional services and/or applications, especially vertical applications. One vendor that has been successfully building UC applications and solutions based on its vertical expertise is NEC, which is working with its partners to understand the business challenges and business processes in the areas of health care, hospitality, higher education, and government.

For the full text of the blog post, click here.

For more information about UC products and services from AVI-SPL, click here.

Frost & Sullivan Helps You Maximize Your VTC Investment

As the cost-saving reputation of videoconferencing (VTC) technology grows, more organizations are curious to know if they’re receiving the maximum benefit. Noted business research and consulting firm Frost & Sullivan addresses concerns with a new informational video, especially designed to help you make the most of your videoconferencing investment.

The online resource breaks down the 5 assessment steps you need to take. Be sure to check out the video and ask yourself the following key questions:

  • Are you measuring the current adoption rate within your organization?
  • Have you determined how and when your employees are using VTC technology?
  • Has your organization successfully overcome user resistance?
  • Have you promoted the use of unified collaboration technology through your corporate messaging?
  • What steps have you taken to expand your collaborative technology reach?

To view the video, click here ».