PLEASANTON, Calif., REDMOND, Wash., and VoiceCon Orlando 2009, Booth No. 309 ― March 30, 2009 ― Polycom, Inc. [Nasdaq: PLCM], and Microsoft Corp. [Nasdaq: MSFT] today announced that the two companies are deepening their strategic relationship to deliver one of the broadest and most powerful sets of voice and video solutions for unified communications and collaboration. As part of Microsoft’s vision to broaden the availability of Microsoft RoundTable, Polycom has licensed the right to distribute RoundTable, effective April 13, 2009. The product, renamed the Polycom CX5000 Unified Conference Station, will be available through Polycom and its extensive channel network.
Known respectively for innovative collaboration solutions, Microsoft and Polycom are working together to help customers enhance team communication and collaboration with voice and video conferencing. As a leader in telepresence, video and voice communications solutions, Polycom continues to expand the market for visual communication with a range of new solutions that will put video conferencing and collaboration capabilities into general purpose, point-to-point, and multipoint environments.
The CX5000 adds to Polycom’s broad portfolio and enables it to address the video collaboration needs of organizations that rely on Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 and Microsoft Office Live Meeting service.
Originally launched by Microsoft in October 2007, the CX5000 is a plug-and-play device that connects to a PC through a USB connection, so no extra provisioning or configuration is needed; any user can walk into a conference room, plug in a laptop, and start a meeting. The CX5000 is designed for enterprises that use Microsoft Office Live Meeting 2007 or Office Communications Server 2007 and want a simple way to add audio and visual communication to an Office Live Meeting or Office Communications Server 2007 session. When used with Office Live Meeting service or as part of Office Communications Server 2007, the CX5000 combines content, a panoramic 360-degree view of the entire meeting room, and a separate view of the active speaker for a unique and engaging voice and video experience.
“Microsoft and Polycom share a long-standing, strategic relationship in the unified communications space, and we are confident in Polycom’s depth of experience and customer support in the conferencing market,” said Gurdeep Singh Pall, corporate vice president in the Unified Communications Group at Microsoft. “Our vision to make RoundTable available to more people in more countries has been realized with the introduction of the Polycom CX5000 Unified Conferencing Station, and shows further evidence of Microsoft’s commitment to a software platform that enables device innovation.”
“Our collaboration with Microsoft is a key component of Polycom’s vision to provide our customers with unified communications endpoints that embody the high quality for which Polycom is known,” said Sunil Bhalla, senior vice president and general manager of Voice Communications Solutions at Polycom. “With our expertise in enterprise collaboration and our broad distribution network, it makes perfect sense for us to incorporate the CX5000 into our family of devices optimized for Microsoft UC solutions. We look forward to our continued relationship with Microsoft and the benefits this will bring our joint customers.”
Customers using the device report better daily interaction with colleagues, as well as significant operational benefits.
“The University of Kentucky has a very robust IP-based voice and video network, and Microsoft and Polycom are integral to our communications strategy,” said Doyle Friskney, chief Technology officer. “We’ve been using RoundTable for real-time communications and information-rich virtual meetings, and it has helped us streamline operations, improve productivity, and reduce travel costs significantly and encourage improved productivity. As we continue to enhance our UC platform, it gives us great confidence knowing two companies with innovative technologies and high-quality products that truly make a difference in our daily interactions are deepening their partnership in this way.”
“IDC’s 2009 Top 10 list for Enterprise Networking includes the prediction that 2009 will become the year of the great enterprise video experiment which will help businesses do more with less,” said Nora Freedman, senior analyst, Unified Communications Infrastructure, IDC. “The ability for partners to cross-sell video and voice solutions, as well as leverage their respective distribution channels, can help to lower the barriers to entry in an enterprise, which is especially advantageous in this economy.”
Polycom offers a full suite of devices that integrate with Office Communications Server 2007. Polycom’s series of CX phones optimized for Office Communications Server 2007 includes the CX700 IP telephone, CX200 desktop USB phone and CX100 personal speakerphone. These phones deliver crystal-clear, wideband audio and provide full, convenient access to the advanced presence-enabled features of Office Communications Server 2007. For versatile video communications, Polycom’s HDX video endpoints register, authenticate and share presence information with Office Communications Server 2007, making it simple for users to launch video calls by clicking on presence-enabled contacts to see the availability status of Polycom video and telepresence users. Additionally, Polycom’s RMX 2000 real-time media conferencing platform works with Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 R2, allowing users to launch on-demand voice, video and unified (voice and video) conferences with other standards-based video and voice endpoints.
Availability and Pricing
The Polycom CX5000 will be available beginning April 13, 2009, at a list price of U.S. $4,300. The CX5000 will be available in 27 countries through Polycom’s extensive channel partner network and will be available for shipment in late April. Once the Polycom CX5000 is available, RoundTable will no longer be sold. Microsoft will continue to support all RoundTable devices already sold, while Polycom will provide front-line customer support for CX5000 units sold beginning April13. More information about the Polycom CX5000 can be found online at http://www.polycom.com/cx5000.
Polycom, Inc. (Nasdaq: PLCM) is the global leader in telepresence, video, and voice solutions and a visionary in communications that empower people to connect and collaborate everywhere. Please visit www.polycom.com for more information.
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.
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