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November 21, 2011
Polycom continues to push its vendor-agnostic “video everywhere” agenda in a variety of ways. The company recently acquired web-based videoconferencing technology company ViVu, and now its RealPresence technology is getting an overhaul to extend its “interoperability across UC environments.” Read on for the details and The VAR Guy’s channel implications …
Polycom’s RealPresence update is really quite simple: Polycom has added support for Cisco Systems’ TelePresence Interoperability Protocol (TIP), which allows for connection of “non-standard TIP TelePresence systems to standards-based video systems, [to] extend interoperability across UC environments.” In plain English, almost any video collaboration tool can be used with any other collaboration tool to initiate a Polycom call, including “non-standard Cisco TelePresence systems,” as well as IBM and Microsoft UC solutions. (It’s worth noting this TIP support comes not too long after Polycom’s appointment of former Cisco and Juniper exec Tracey Newell to lead Polycom’s global sales.)
According to the company, Polycom’s support for TIP, “liberates uses who for years have been locked into proprietary TelePresence solutions.” Polycom’s adoption of Cisco’s TIP is a smart move, especially for a company that prides itself on bringing video collaboration everywhere in every way for every device with a camera attached to it. And of course, our resident blogger thinks Polycom’s adoption of TIP could have a lot of potential for Polycom partners that have been looking to court former and existing Cisco TelePresence users.
Polycom’s growth to support all platforms also plays to the goal of Polycom’s Open Visual Communication Consortium, which seeks to create a single video collaboration protocol. Blogger Dave Courbanou likened this to the standardization of networking with TCP/IP, and The VAR Guy is starting to agree. Polycom mentioned the OVCC as benefiting from the new implementation of TIP, calling the group’s all-encompassing interoperability the first steps toward a “video cloud,” a world where “video service providers” can flourish and Polycom’s vendor-agnostic support becomes a “valuable roadblock-remover” for adoption and collaboration alike. Polycom may be right, especially as VARs and MSPs focus on delivering cloud solutions, something The VAR Guy noticed at Varnex 2011.
One thing is for certain, Polycom has no intention of slowing down. As UC needs expand, it’s becoming increasingly more difficult to ignore vendors who provide the most friendly and compatible solutions. And partners who are aching for opportunity will flock to those vendors.
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