Polycom champions ‘Video-as-a-Service’

Jennifer Scott News
18 Jan, 2012

The unified communications company pushes its cloud computing strategy with video over the cloud.

Polycom today revealed its new cloud strategy, giving cloud service providers (CSPs) the ability to offer ‘Video as a Service.’

With its new product, PolyCom RealPresence Cloud, the unified communications firm will sell a package of the necessary infrastructure, end points and services to enable CSPs to give their customers video collaboration capabilities through a cloud model.

The Polycom offering will not narrow a CSP’s market by firm size though, as it will provide the equipment for a fully subscription service over the cloud – suited perhaps to a smaller business – and what is needed for a hybrid version for larger enterprises, to run alongside Polycom’s existing in-house video collaboration products of course.

The video services will be compatible with PCs, but also with mobile devices and web-based endpoints for businesses with employees working remotely or travelling for work. It will also work with existing Microsoft Lync or IBM Sametime to encourage more established users to make the move to Polycom.

“Our go-to-market objective is clear,” said Andy Miller, president and chief executive (CEO) of Polycom. “We will be an enabler of cloud services, partnering with service providers and, in-time, solutions providers, and unlike competitors, we will not compete with service providers or offer a retail service direct to end users.”

The RealPresence Cloud has some strong support, with the likes of China Unicom and India’s Airtel. However, no European customers were made public at launch, despite the claim of “several carriers around the world” using the solution. We contacted Polycom to see what its plans were in this region, but it had not returned our request at the time of publication.

It does have a few analysts on-board though. Rich Costello, senior research analyst at IDC, said: “Polycom’s cloud strategy is compelling, as it provides an accelerated path to market for cloud-delivered video, and gives services providers the robust infrastructure, scalability, and interoperability needed to deploy wide-scale video clouds and deliver compelling VaaS solutions to customers.”

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