Polycom Firming Up Software, Services Strategies For Partners

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Polycom on Wednesday made several moves related to its expanding software strategy, with executives saying that Polycom's continued push toward software opportunities will help double its overall run rate over the next few years, from $1.5 billion to $3 billion.

The moves come at the same time Navin Mehta, Polycom's new senior vice president, global services, looks to broaden Polycom's services organization and offer more services opportunities through the channel.

According to Susan Hayden, Polycom's executive vice president, Channels, Alliances and Global Programs Organization, Polycom spends 85 percent of its R&D on software resources for unified communications. A number of Polycom's videoconferencing competitors already push software-only or software-centric approaches to video, and Hayden said the trend -- focusing on software infrastructure instead of hardware endpoints -- is legitimate.

"Software is really what's driving the growth in every area," Hayden said. "What we're finding with our software platform is that it's the fastest growing part of the business, up 51 percent year-over-year in the second quarter. This is the part of our solutions set that's really driving the most business value."

Among the moves Wednesday is Polycom's rebranding of its UC Intelligent Core -- the software infrastructure that powers its telepresence and video products -- as the RealPresence Platform. Following updates Polycom made to the platform in June, RealPresence can support 25,000 concurrent sessions and 75,000 device registrations, as well as bridge devices and standards spanning H.323, TIP, SIP, POTS/ISDN and RTV.

It also sports native integration with Microsoft's Lync platform and IBM Sametime, and configures with a range of call control, web conferencing and mobile device vendors, too, from Adobe and Apple to Cisco, Avaya, Samsung and Siemens.

Polycom also said Wednesday it will further extend its application programming interfaces (API) to more solution providers, service providers and app developers to create and sell UC-centric applications and develop custom solutions with Polycom.

"This is a tremendous amount of revenue opportunity and upside for them," Hayden said. "Being able to provide services, interoperability, implementation, optimization and delivery of HD video solutions through the cloud are [is] a partner benefit and a business benefit."

Polycom's Developer Program will begin field trials in the first half of 2012, according to the company.

Also new this week is a strategic partnership between Polycom and Jive Software to integrate Polycom HD video into Jive's social media platform for business. Jive customers will be able to conduct live video conferences and record video meetings and messages using Polycom's tools.

New products have helped Polycom push further into software, but so have acquisitions. In March, Polycom paid $50 million to acquire Accordent Technologies, a specialist in video content management tools.

Polycom in June also acquired HP's video and telepresence business, and Hayden said the company is open to more acquisitions.

Next: Polycom Tightens Services Focus

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