Polycom announces new strategic relationship with Microsoft

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Polycom has signed a strategic global agreement with Microsoft to deliver integrated end-to-end unified communications (UC) and to improve customers’ business productivity. Under the agreement, Polycom plans to develop and market standards-based UC solutions that span the enterprise, small-to-medium business, and government markets, that will encompass software, hardware, networking and services, and will enable customers to improve business productivity and reduce travel, telecom and IT operating costs.

Polycom and Microsoft say they share a vision for business productivity solutions built on standards-based platforms that work with the tools and applications people know and use today. The companies’ strategic agreement is a step towards streamlining communications across messaging, video and voice with connected applications and devices.

“Microsoft and Polycom solutions play a critical role within our current and future unified communications strategy,” said Martin Smale, IT director at NDS, a News Corp. company. “We’re already benefiting from improved collaboration, increased productivity, and significant ROI based on our existing UC network, and we’re looking forward to leveraging the expanded offerings from two of our most valued vendors in the UC space.”

“Our research shows that nearly 70 percent of the companies considering a unified communications solution are thinking of deploying Microsoft Office Communications Server,” said Brent Kelly, senior analyst and partner at Wainhouse Research. “These enterprises need seamless integration and interoperability between Office Communicator on the desktop and personal, group, and telepresence video solutions like those offered by Polycom for executive offices, meeting suites, and conference rooms. By working together, Microsoft and Polycom are making it easier for organisations to have a true end-to-end unified communications environment, which includes high definition video.”

Offering a broad portfolio of integrated solutions spanning voice, video and application integration for Microsoft UC, this agreement makes Polycom a member of Microsoft’s key strategic global alliance for the company’s UC business. As part of this long-term strategic agreement, each company is investing in product development, sales, and marketing. Through resources, investments, and strong field engagement, Polycom and Microsoft will deliver rich, compelling UC solutions, offering customers the flexibility to deploy the features that help them lower their costs, improve productivity and meet their unique business needs.

“Microsoft and Polycom are committed to a roadmap that will deliver interoperable UC solutions with choice and innovation in video conferencing and customer devices that will help transform enterprise communications,” said Gurdeep Singh Pall, corporate vice president of Unified Communication at Microsoft. “By integrating video, voice, instant messaging and conferencing solutions, Microsoft and Polycom give customers the ability to be present, anytime, anywhere.”

“Polycom and Microsoft deliver a winning combination to our customers around the globe by delivering seamless, easy-to-use, high-definition communications at the click of a mouse,” said Andrew Miller, Polycom president and CEO. “Polycom is 100 percent committed to delivering best-in-breed, standards-based, fully interoperable UC solutions to market, and Microsoft is integral in helping us achieve this goal and meet the needs of our customers.”

In practical terms the agreement will see Polycom developing a broad base of solutions for Microsoft Communications Server “14” and beyond, including: New and next-generation Polycom CX series endpoints optimised for Microsoft UC, featuring Polycom’s HD video and voice technologies as well as new room-based video systems designed specifically for enabling direct integration with Microsoft Communications Server “14”.