Polycom announces cloud strategy (UNEDITED)

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Polycom has detailed its strategy to enable service providers (SPs) to offer cloud-delivered, Video-as-a-Service (VaaS) solutions to its customers.  As part of today’s announcement, Polycom is unveiling Polycom RealPresence Cloud, a wholesale, carrier-ready offering to enable SPs to quickly bring to market VaaS offerings. RealPresence Cloud solutions are designed specifically for SPs to equip them with the carrier-grade infrastructure, endpoints and services they need to offer businesses of all sizes subscription-based solutions for video collaboration. The new offering for SPs is designed to accelerate the penetration and adoption of Polycom video collaboration solutions among small to medium sized businesses (SMBs) and enterprises who want either a hybrid solution of both premises-based video collaboration solutions and video on demand, or a pure VaaS solution.  

Polycom RealPresence Cloud solutions compress the time-to-market and time-to-revenue for SPs to deliver VaaS solutions.  Powered by the Polycom RealPresence Platform, the most complete and interoperable solution for universal video collaboration. RealPresence Cloud provides the carrier-grade scalability, reliability, availability and security required for service providers to offer VaaS to SMBs and enterprises.  RealPresence Cloud solutions encompass a managed multipoint video service that supports a multitude of connectivity options between standards-based room, mobile, PC, and Web-based endpoints, as well as Microsoft® Lync 2010™, IBM Sametime®, and endpoints supporting the non-standard TIP protocol.  SPs can leverage Polycom RealPresence Cloud solutions to offer their customers a true business-to-business VaaS solution without having to integrate and support the core infrastructure on-premises.  This solution leverages the Polycom RealPresence Network (formerly the Halo/HVEN network acquired from HP in 2011) to allow SPs to fast-track their capability to deliver video from the cloud. 

Polycom UK will continue to work closely with SPs to develop VaaS offerings for a range of business and delivery models from on-premises to hosted managed services. Several carriers around the world are currently using the RealPresence Platform as the enabler for VaaS solutions.  For example, China Unicom has created one of the largest video clouds in the world, powered by the RealPresence Platform, which enables the delivery of VaaS to more than 10,000 business and government organisations throughout China. The RealPresence Platform provides the scalability, reliability and interoperability that enable China Unicom’s video cloud to interconnect approximately 100,000 endpoints (and growing) from 10 different vendors.  Another example, Airtel, a leading SP in India, is also using the RealPresence Platform to deliver VaaS solutions to SMBs and enterprises throughout India. These solutions provide a differentiated offering for both companies and are helping to drive further adoption of video collaboration throughout China and India.

Wainhouse Research predicts the five-year compound annual growth rate for the hosted and managed UC market worldwide is forecast to be 30.7 percent with revenues of approximately $5 billion in 20151, further expanding Polycom’s total addressable market. Polycom’s cloud strategy builds on the Company’s goal to make video collaboration ubiquitous, and is a key proof point of Polycom’s recently announced software strategy.

“Polycom RealPresence Cloud is a key component to our vision of making video collaboration ubiquitous.  Service providers are critical partners to drive video collaboration growth through VaaS offerings, which will dramatically lower the up-front investment for SMBs and enterprises, enabling them to reap the benefits of video collaboration,” said Andy Miller, President and CEO, Polycom.

Andy Miller, Polycom president and CEO: “We want to make it as easy as possible for service providers to augment their existing offerings with video collaboration solutions.

To that end, we’re removing the barriers to entry with our wholesale cloud offerings and other delivery options that meet service provider requirements related to investment, management, and operations, thereby enabling our partners to get to market faster and generate new revenue more quickly. Our go-to-market objective is clear: 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.”   

 “As the demand for video collaboration continues to grow, cloud-delivered video offerings will be a key contributor to this growth. Many SMBs and enterprises will find Video-as-a-Service offerings attractive due to their flexibility, scalability and cost savings,” said Rich Costello, IDC senior research analyst. “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.”

 “Video Infrastructure as a Service dramatically reduces the cost of supporting multi-party conferencing. It will become a prerequisite for the support of pervasive video in the enterprise, for example in unified communications deployments,” according to Scott Morrison, managing vice president, Gartner, Inc.

Polycom believes that the most effective and productive way to collaborate is by seeing people face-to-face.  Video collaboration brings people face-to-face to increase productivity, and in addition provides a great solution for business continuity as there are many obstacles that prevent people from physically being together:  weather conditions, natural disasters, epidemics and a range of unpredictable conditions and events that simply prevent people from meeting in person.   Polycom’s goal is to make it possible for everyone to use face-to-face video collaboration as their preferred method of communicating–easily, reliably, and securely–no matter where they are and regardless of network, carrier, protocol, application, or device.  The company is making that possible though multiple routes to market:

  • Cloud-based delivery of Video-as-a-Service solutions from service providers— With enterprise spending on cloud infrastructure and services rapidly growing, and the technology and standards maturing, the “video cloud” is set to explode in 2012.  Polycom RealPresence Cloud will enable SPs to quickly bring to market VaaS offerings and should help drive new and differentiated business models, along with significant incremental video collaboration usage across SMBs and enterprises.
  • Software delivery to mobile devices—Today, more than a seventh of the human population teleworks2, and most are remote or mobile at least some of the time. Polycom’s mobility solution is Polycom® RealPresence™ Mobile, a free-to-download software solution that extends the enterprise-grade video collaboration capabilities of the Polycom RealPresence Platform beyond the conference room, office, and firewall to mobile tablets enabling video usage anywhere.
  • On-premises delivery—The Polycom RealPresence Platform integrates with hundreds of business, UC, and social networking applications, as well as core networking and security infrastructure, to meet today’s enterprise and SPs on-premises video collaboration needs and to flexibly support expansion to mobile and social applications and private cloud delivery.
  • Web-based delivery to social apps—Social apps, now moving rapidly into business, are another new high-growth market for video collaboration: By 2015, the number of people participating in web-based video chats is forecast to grow 14-fold to more than 140 million. , and they are expected to make 11 billion video chat calls that year.3 Polycom® RealPresence™ Social take video collaboration one more step away from premises-based systems and specialised endpoints, even beyond mobile devices, to enable Web access to video collaboration, independently of the device.
  • Embedded delivery on industry-leading devices (laptops, desktops, tablets)— Polycom video collaboration software will be embedded in industry leading devices, enabling users to quickly launch Polycom RealPresence video collaboration solutions, right from their favorite devices.

The ability to achieve video ubiquity also requires open standards and interoperability, which does not lie within the power of any one customer, equipment manufacturer, service provider, or standards body to solve. It takes a concerted effort by the industry to solve this problem. Polycom’s approach is to use open standards to orchestrate interoperability across all of the elements in a communications environment, including multiple solutions, vendors, networks, and connection protocols. This approach is three-part: platform and endpoints plus ecosystem.

The Polycom RealPresence™ Platform provides an open standards-based foundation for integrating the diverse UC applications and infrastructure in most enterprise environments—from video endpoints to mobile devices to UC communications infrastructure from Microsoft, IBM, BroadSoft, Juniper, and Siemens, to name a few. In the interest of driving video ubiquity, the RealPresence Platform also interoperates with some proprietary systems, such as Cisco Telepresence products that use the TIP protocol. In addition the RealPresence Platform, which powers Polycom’s RealPresence Cloud solutions, delivers the industry’s only true carrier-grade reliability and scale, supporting up to 75,000 device registrations and 25,000 concurrent sessions.

In addition to the infrastructure foundation and interoperability hub provided by the RealPresence Platform, Polycom is also active in helping develop the commercial and technical solutions necessary to ensure interoperability across a global partner ecosystem. In June 2011, Polycom partnered with leading global telecommunications solution and service providers from around the world to unleash broader visual communications adoption by enabling interoperability and global business-to-business (B2B) connectivity for telepresence and video conferencing.  The Open Visual Communications Consortium™ (OVCC) ™ organisation was incorporated in August 2011, of which Polycom was a founding member. Currently there are 16 OVCC members whose mission is to develop and support a ubiquitous video marketplace by establishing secure, quality-assured, and video-capable interconnections between service providers.  Service enablement across the OVCC organisation is expected to become commercially available in mid-2012.

“We believe that video as a service from the cloud will be a true game-changer. Delivering video as a service will make it possible for anyone to connect and collaborate face-to-face with anyone as easily as we text or tweet today,” said Andrew McFadzen, President, OVCC. “Making this happen, however, requires that the UC and telco industries come together to solve the underlying interoperability challenges of delivering video across the assets of multiple carriers and video networks. Polycom, along with many of the leading telecommunications solution and service providers, has been working to address this and the result will be the opening of an open video cloud in 2012.”

Availability

Polycom RealPresence Cloud offerings are available now with limited availability for qualified service providers.


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