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June 2, 2011
Communications and collaboration vendor Polycom has grabbed a few headlines of late, especially with its acquisition of HP’s Visual Collaboration Business. of equal import is the launching of its Open Visual Communication Consortium (OVCC), designed to fulfill its “UC Everywhere” ethos. The purpose of the OVCC is to provide an interconnected network specifically designed for delivering video across a range of devices with multiple use cases, with almost no configuration needed. Sound too good to be true? Read on for more details …
Polycom isn’t going it alone on this one; key telecommunication companies and other business organizations are also backing this technology ideal, with the focus to proliferate telepresence and other video-chatting technologies. Founding members of the OVCC are a veritable who’s who in the communications service provider space: Airtel, AT&T, BCS Global, BT Conferencing, Cable & Wireless Worldwide, Global Crossing, Glowpoint, iFormata Communications, Masergy, Orange Business Services, PCCW Global, Telefonica, Telstra and Verizon. Big vertical markets are being targeted, with health care, government and educational spaces the most obvious beneficiaries from the technology. Polycom CEO Andrew Miller is heralding it as “a new era in communications.”
But the idea of a connection “virtually anywhere” is a bold one. How does Polycom and the OVCC see that happening? The OVCC will oversee a “breakthrough visual communications exchange” that makes video chats easy behind complex corporate firewalls or compatible between different video platforms. OVCC will also provide faster and more streamlined supply chains, offer partner collaborations and promote vendor interoperability. To start, OVCC plans to establish a global standard for these video communications, and future members will have to support these standards.
OVCC will allow new members to join around the second half of 2011, and the full-blown OVCC infrastructure is expected to launch halfway through 2012. Meanwhile, Polycom’s extensive four-point plan is available at its OVCC page.
If OVCC takes off, it could standardize video communications much in the same way TCP/IP standardized networking.
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