Polycom Serves Up New Telepresence, Carrier UC Wares


Polycom Tuesday made several additions to its immersive telepresence and carrier-class unified communications offerings. Both sets of announcements find Polycom looking to extend a hot streak that in recent weeks has meant impressive earnings reports, bold acquisitions and a series of aggressive channel moves.

New to the Polycom portfolio as of Tuesday is a software update for Polycom's UC Intelligent Core platform that offers carrier-grade UC supporting up to 75,000 devices and up to 25,000 concurrent calls. The UC Intelligent Core can also universally bridge devices and standards spanning H.323, TIP, SIP, POTS/ISDN and RTV, and has native integration with tools by Polycom strategic partners such as Microsoft Lync. It'll be available in the third quarter.

Also new from Polycom is the OTX 100 telepresence system, a smaller version of Polycom's OTX 300 offering single-screen immersive telepresence. OTX 100 and OTX 100 Compact will be available in October from Polycom for list prices of $99,999 and $79,999, respectively.

Polycom has further updated its video content management portfolio following its acquisition of video content management specialist Accordent Technologies earlier this year.

Specifically, the Polycom Accordent Media Management System v. 4.5 automates how Polycom RSS 4000 recorded sessions are managed, viewed and tracked, and the Polycom Accordent Capture Station v 5.1 delivers rich media content using HTML5 to mobile devices, as well as new support for Microsoft Expression Encoder and Microsoft Smooth Streaming. AMMS v 4.5 and Accordent Capture Station v. 5.1 will be available this month, with starting list prices of $55,000 and $15,000 respectively.

Following a revamp of its Polycom Choice Program and a steady slew of new releases, Polycom has worked to keep the heat on UC archival Cisco. According to Wainhouse Research, which focuses primarily on the video and UC space, Polycom increased its market share in video endpoint units shipped to 45 percent in the first quarter of 2011 -- a nine-point gain from the previous quarter. Cisco's endpoint unit share in shipments is 25 percent, according to Wainhouse, although it continued to lead Polycom in endpoint revenues: 39 percent to 34 percent share.

Polycom has sought to attack Cisco's base not only through channel and product gains but also with strategic alliances. Polycom is a tightly-integrated partner with both Microsoft and HP, for example, and earlier this month acquired HP's Visual Collaboration portfolio for $89 million -- a move that not only more closely aligned Polycom with HP, but also took another telepresence competitor effectively off the board.

Cisco, for its part, has continued to expand the range of telepresence products it acquired with Tandberg -- including a slew of products, services and interoperability updates it made Tuesday -- as well as fine-tune the integrated ordering system and combined channel programs.