Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Cisco Cius is Implemented at Gas Station of the Future in Brazil

BRAZIL, SAO PAULO, January 20, 2012 - Cisco Cius, an enterprise mobile collaboration device in a tablet form-factor, is part of the Petrobras Gas Station of the Future technology portfolio launched by Petrobras Distribuidora, a subsidiary of Petrobras, and Intel, last month in Rio de Janeiro. In addition to the rich, integrated unified communications and collaboration features already provided on the Cius, Cisco has customized a number of applications for the project, allowing gas station visitors to benefit from a much greater level of engagement with the station and to understand and purchase services available to them.

The first Petrobras Gas Station of the Future is a collection of the latest interactive technologies, capable of providing a customized experience when refueling, shopping and enjoying other retail services at the gas stations. The Gas Station of the Future is unique in Brazil for its energy efficiency and environmental sustainability.

Consumers can approach a Cius in a kiosk of the gas station and talk to specialists from Petrobras Distribuidora, in real-time via mobile TelePresence. This allows the customer to obtain information on maintenance activities offered by the gas station, such as oil changes. Cius also offers users voice access to the Petrobras Distribuidora customer service center, permits use of the company loyalty card, allows users to obtain information on the store product catalog and monthly promotions, provides access to maps of specific addresses in the city and other services.

"The Cius platform offers mobility and a number of features simultaneously. I'm sure that this device will be a success in all Gas Stations of the Future," said Nelson Costa Cardoso, executive manager of Information Technology, Petrobras Distribuidora.

The Gas Station of the Future project demonstrates the role of technology in increasing service interactivity to create a new experience for consumers. By including mobile devices like the Cisco Cius in this project, Petrobras Distribuidora is consolidating its reputation as a Brazilian pioneer, mirroring other global market leaders which have adopted this type of equipment to provide their customers with faster, more secure and better quality services," said Rodrigo Abreu, CEO, Cisco in Brazil.

Ultraportable and weighing just 520 g, the Cius includes a host of Cisco collaboration applications on a highly secure mobile platform. In addition to full TelePresence interoperability, Cisco Cius also offers streaming HD video, conferencing with several participants, e-mail access, instant messaging, Internet browsing and the ability to produce, edit and share content stored locally or in the cloud.

Based on an Android operating system with enterprise-grade security from Cisco, Cius is an open communication and collaboration platform whose form factor and applications were designed to provide corporate users with more secure real-time connections and the ability to access and share content they need from any network location. A major point of differentiation of the device is the centralized corporate management platform, ensuring that the services used are more consistent and secure while offering a more flexible method of technology management.

In addition to the Cius, the Cisco project for the Gas Station of the Future also includes the entire data center and network infrastructure, needed to provide users with differentiated, robust and high quality services. The project also provides the gas station with sustainable environmental management.

"This gas station has put together some integrated and interactive technologies. Other solutions are being evaluating for testing here, where they are evaluated as a gas station-concept, working as a showroom of new technologies", explained Cardoso.

Petrobras Distribuidora

The largest company on the Brazilian market for distribution of oil and biofuel derivatives, Petrobras Distribuidora currently has over 7000 branded service stations throughout the country as well as around 10,000 clients in industries such as aviation, asphalt, chemical products, energy and transportation solutions, selling a wide range of products and services. For more information, visit www.br.com.br.

Follow Petrobras Distribuidora on Twitter at @postospetrobras.

About Cisco Systems

Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO) is a global leader in networks transforming the way that people connect, communicate and collaborate. For further information on Cisco, visit http://www.cisco.com. For news about Cisco, visit http://newsroom.cisco.com.

Polycom Announces Cloud Strategy to Enable Service Providers to Fast-Track Delivery of Video-as-a-Service

Polycom® RealPresence™ Cloud, Powered by RealPresence™ Platform, Provides Service Providers a Fully Managed Wholesale Video Collaboration Service to Accelerate Time-to-Market With Subscription-Based Offerings

PLEASANTON, CA–(Marketwire – Jan 18, 2012) – Polycom, Inc. (NASDAQ: PLCM), the global leader in standards-based unified communications (UC), today detailed its strategy to enable service providers 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 service providers to quickly bring to market VaaS offerings. RealPresence Cloud solutions are designed specifically for service providers 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 service providers is designed to accelerate the penetration and adoption of Polycom video collaboration solutions among SMBs (small to medium sized businesses) 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 service providers 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 fully 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. Service providers can leverage Polycom RealPresence Cloud solutions to offer their customers a true business-to-business VaaS solution without having to fully 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 service providers to fast-track their capability to deliver video from the cloud.

Polycom RealPresence Platform Powers Video Clouds from China Unicom and Airtel
Polycom will continue to work closely with service providers to develop VaaS offerings for a range of business and delivery models from on-premises to hosted to 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 organizations 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 service provider 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. “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 Vision: Make Video Collaboration Ubiquitous through Multiple Routes to New and Expanding Markets
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 through multiple routes to market:

Cloud-based delivery of Video-as-a-Service solution 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 service providers 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 service provider 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 solutions take video collaboration one more step away from premises-based systems and specialized 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.
Open Standards and Interoperability: Polycom® RealPresence™ Video and OVCC™
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 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™) organization 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 organization 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.


Classic Bad Technology Predictions

For the most part I think that we can all agree that it's generally a bad idea to say something can't or won't be done. In addition to inciting the multitude of industrious thinkers that exist today to think even harder, technology is changing at such a rapid pace that almost anything is possible in the future.

I thought that I would put together a list of some common bad predictions that were made in the recent past, and maybe not so recent past, to remind everyone that anything is possible, and when it comes to anything" being something related to public safety that will save lives, there is even more "possibility". With that, I offer you Fletch's list of top 5 bad technology predictions:

5
"I think there is a world market for maybe five computers." - Thomas Watson, chairman of IBM, 1943.
(Some have estimated that there are upwards of one and 2 billion computers in the world today.)

4
"The Americans have made use of the telephone, but we do not. We have plenty of messenger boys." - Sir William Preece, chief engineer of the British Post Office, 1876.
(You mean have somebody write a note, and then deliver it for them?)


3
"The wireless music box has no imaginable commercial value. Who would pay for a message sent to nobody in particular?" - Opponents of David Sarnoff in response to his request for investment in the radio in the 1920s.
(They should have tweeted their views and opinions, or put them in a podcast, not publish them in the paper.)

2
"This 'telephone' has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication. The device is inherently of no value to us."
Western Union internal memo, 1876.
(No value to you, but to 6 billion other people apparently.)

1
"Unless you are under 30 years old, you will not have to be concerned about next generation 911 in your career." - Participant at the Great E911 Debate, Newport Rhode Island, 2011.
(Hey, I'm 50! And I'm worried about it now! NG911 is here today.)

As I mentioned last week, there's been far too much complexity around E 911 for the enterprise. IT administrators don't necessarily understand it, and quite often they fall back on the simple approach of "what is the law?" But don't get too wrapped up in what "the law says" in any particular state. You need to think about what level of service you need to provide to your employees under your care, using your telephone system.

Too often I see too many companies over rotating on their E 911 solution in the enterprise. They've never had anything before, they realize they got a huge problem now, and they put in an architecture that "sounds" like it's the best, or most precise. Another common mistake is to provide a required hosted E 911 solution for remote VPN users, or work-at-home employees who have an IP device, and then, without any further thought, roll out that same solution throughout the entire enterprise, not just externally where it's needed, but internally where it may not.

Understanding E 911 in the enterprise, and defining the problem and resolution, usually doesn't mean buying a particular box from 911 vendor XYZ Incorporated and plugging it in. E 911 is a process that requires potential system integration, maybe some database work, and a formalized standard operating procedure that covers moves adds and changes, new employee provisioning, and the removal of stale records as employees move on.

Just like there's no magic Accounting box that will automatically and autonomously prepare your financial statements with no input from your bookkeeper, there is no magic E 911 box that will automatically and autonomously manage your E 911 parameters in the public ALI databases, and quite frankly, the real amount of management that's required is that level may just surprise you.

I like to break E 911 in the enterprise down to three primary decision points:

Localized On-site Notification to Internal Staff
Assigned internal first responders should be aware that any E 911 call took place, and wherein the building the caller was located. This is not data that we are pushing to the PS/ALI database. It's internal information for use by our own internal employees that will assist public safety in locating the caller in need.

Support for Nomadic Behavior on my PBX, AND on my Network
Administrators, and the PBX itself, need to understand where users are, when they move, as well is when they enter or leave the environment, in the case of WLAN devices.

Support for Remote VPN Workers on my PBX, but NOT on my Network

As we flatten and consolidate the network, and allow employees to ubiquitously work from wherever they gain an Internet connection, we need to be cognizant about how we provide E 911 services using new a new native technology designed specifically for that class of user.

Unfortunately, enterprise 911 is teaming with "snake oil salesman" that drone on about cases of misfortune and million-dollar lawsuits. Sure, some of that is valid, but most of that stems from ill-fated procedures that have never been vetted or even audited for local compliance.

A new form of engagement, is the E 911 Risk Assessment Audit. It includes a site visit, discussion with your staff to determine specific requirements, as well as a review of the configuration on your PBX.

A good risk assessment audit can't be done over the phone, nor can you click a few questions on a webpage to get the magic answer. It's going to take a professional who understands E 911 compliance a face-to-face meeting to help you determine what you're going to need. And remember, if they just come in and throw dirt on the floor, they're probably going to try to sell you vacuum cleaner.

Connect and Collaborate Anywhere...with "Avaya Flare"

Friday, January 20, 2012

Another reason for Cisco to pound its chest

UCS blade server system reaches 10,000 customers

By Jim Duffy on Thu, 01/19/12 - 7:35pm.

Never one to pass up an opportunity to toot its own horn, Cisco is celebrating a milestone... and not in its traditional stronghold of switching and routing. In just over two years, Cisco has landed over 10,000 customers for its Unified Computing System (UCS) blade server platform, the controversial product that alienated longtime partners HP and IBM.

Not bad for a router company that entered the data center server business two years ago amid much skepticism of its chances for success. Especially with stalwarts like HP, IBM, Dell and Sun - now Oracle - entrenched in data centers for decades.

And now all competing with their ex-partner, the new kid on the block - or rack.

UCS combines X86 blade or rack mount servers with virtualization, switching and storage access to offer a "unified computing" platform for consolidating data center functionality and reducing footprint and cabling, and cost. Cisco says it uses one-half the components and requires less cabling and power/cooling than legacy servers. Cisco also says a unified computing and virtualization strategy in the data center - like that proposed by UCS - can save over 30 billion kilowatt hours of energy per year.

Two of the key attributes of UCS are extended memory and service profiles. Extended memory, a patented Cisco development, is designed to support applications with large data sets and allow servers to support more virtual machines. Service profiles are defined per VM and stay with the VM as it moves, which helps automate provisioning of IT services per VM or application from days to minutes, Cisco says.

UCS began shipping in July 2009 and is now on an annualized order run rate of $1.1 billion, Cisco says. The system set 54 "world records" in industry performance benchmarks, the company claims, and received a dozen industry awards for innovation. It also captured the No. 3 market share spot in X86 blade servers worldwide in Q1, 2011, and No. 2 in the US, according to IDC.

Cisco Systems, Inc. : Cisco TelePresence Enables Physician Consultations in Pharmacies

January 19, 2012 | Hogan Keyser http://www.telepresenceoptions.com

Cisco-logo.gif
  • Installation of Cisco TelePresence in 200 Swiss pharmacies
  • Easy physician consultations on live video link
  • Greater efficiency and quality of healthcare delivery

Wallisellen, Switzerland, January 18, 2012 via 4-Traders.com -- Cisco and Swisscom are equipping 200 pharmacies in Switzerland with Cisco TelePresence(R) video communication systems. Launched recently under the name netCare, this two-year pilot project will help enable the provision of advanced telemedicine services. With netCare, patients can receive a formal and documented initial consultation (triage) with a physician over a video link at a pharmacy. "We are delighted to be able to offer this unique, pioneering HealthPresence project based on Cisco TelePresence technology," says Christian Martin, general manager of Cisco Switzerland.

Virtual consultations in almost real-life quality

The Cisco TelePresence system connects pharmacy consulting rooms with physicians at MEDGATE, Switzerland's center for telemedicine. At each end of the link there is an EX90 system equipped with a microphone, a camera and a 24-inch full-HD display. The physician and patient can see and hear each other as if they were sitting in the same room. For the patient, the experience is like visiting the physician in-persons; for the physician, it is easy to make a visual assessment of the patient's problems. The system has a touch screen for simple operation.

The TelePresence system can be expanded by incorporating additional components if necessary. For instance, diagnostic devices and an additional monitor can be connected to measure a patient's heart rate, blood pressure and temperature. The system also supports multiple languages.

Maximum security, confidential and efficient

Information is shared between the patient and the physician over a highly secure high-speed link. "Cisco TelePresence offers optimized secure data transmission that fully protects users' confidentiality," explains Christian Martin. In addition, to safeguard patient privacy, medical examinations take place in a separate consultation room, and physicians and pharmacists are bound by an obligation of confidentiality.

The project was initiated by pharmaSuisse, Switzerland's association of pharmacists, in association with MEDGATE and the medical and accident insurer Helsana. "This collaboration between pharmacists, physicians and insurers is playing a key role in helping to boost the efficiency and quality of basic healthcare delivery," says Dominique Jordan, president of pharmaSuisse.

About Cisco

Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO) is the worldwide leader in networking that transforms how people connect, communicate and collaborate. More information about Cisco can be found at http://www.cisco.com. For ongoing news, please go tohttp://newsroom.cisco.com. Cisco equipment in Switzerland is provided by Cisco International Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of Cisco Systems, Inc.

Cisco and the Cisco logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of Cisco and/or its affiliates in the U.S. and other countries. A listing of Cisco's trademarks can be found atwww.cisco.com/go/trademarks. Third-party trademarks mentioned are the property of their respective owners. The use of the word partner does not imply a partnership relationship between Cisco and any other company.

Polycom Cloud-Based VaaS Platform Aimed at SMBs

By: Nathan Eddy eweek.com


The solution leverages the RealPresence Network, formerly the Halo/HVEN network acquired from HP in 2011.


Unified communications (UC) provider Polycom, Inc. (Nasdaq: PLCM) detailed its strategy to enable service providers to offer cloud-delivered, Video-as-a-Service (VaaS) solutions to its customers. The company also unveiled RealPresence Cloud, a wholesale offering designed to enable service providers to bring to market VaaS offerings. RealPresence Cloud solutions are designed for service providers to equip them with the infrastructure, endpoints, and services they need to offer businesses subscription-based solutions for video collaboration.

The offering for service providers is designed to accelerate the penetration and adoption of Polycom video collaboration solutions among small to medium-size 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.

Powered by the Polycom RealPresence platform, 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. Service providers can leverage RealPresence Cloud solutions to offer their customers a VaaS solution without having to fully integrate and support the core infrastructure on-premises.

Several carriers around the world are currently using the RealPresence Platform as the enabler for VaaS solutions. For example, China Unicom has created a video cloud, powered by the RealPresence Platform, which enables the delivery of VaaS to more than 10,000 business and government organizations throughout China. China Unicom’s video cloud interconnects approximately 100,000 endpoints from 10 different vendors. Another example, Airtel, a service provider in India, is also using the RealPresence Platform to deliver VaaS solutions to SMBs and enterprises throughout 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 2015. Polycom’s cloud strategy builds on the company’s goal to make video collaboration ubiquitous and is a key tennant of Polycom’s recently announced software strategy.

“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.”

The RealPresence platform provides an open standards-based foundation for integrating UC applications and infrastructure in enterprise environments—from video endpoints to mobile devices to UC communications infrastructure from Microsoft, IBM, BroadSoft, Juniper, and Siemens. 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 the company’s cloud solutions, supports up to 75,000 device registrations and 25,000 concurrent sessions.

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) organization was incorporated in August 2011, of which Polycom was a founding member.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Polycom Offers Wholesale Video-As-A-Service

By Robert Mullins InformationWeek

Videoconferencing system vendor Polycom is announcing Wednesday that it will launch a cloud-based video-as-a-service offering to service providers and other strategic partners on a wholesale basis only.

In addition, Polycom is announcing that its video conferencing technology will be natively integrated into IBM's Sametime unified communications (UC) offering; the Lotus Notes desktop client for managing business applications; and IBM Connections, the company's business social media platform. The announcements are being made at IBM Lotusphere 2012, a company conference held this week in Orlando, Fla.

The video-as-a-service wholesale offering--the Polycom RealPresence Cloud--will be built on the RealPresence platform, Polycom's software infrastructure for video collaboration, and can be hosted by the service provider on the Polycom RealPresence Network, which is based on what was the HP Halo/H-Ven Network that Polycom acquired from HP in 2011 for $89 million. The RealPresence Cloud also can run on the service provider's network, John Antanaitis, Polycom's vice president of product marketing, explained.

"We're offering a wholesale solution today to those qualified service providers so that they can take that and offer it retail to the end user community," Antanaitas said. "We will not compete with our go-to-market partners." However, Polycom still will offer an on-premise video conferencing solution to enterprise customers that might compete with that of other service providers. It also will continue to sell videoconferencing infrastructure such as end points and other hardware, including, potentially, to subscribers to the cloud service, a Polycom spokeswoman said.

Antanaitas said Polycom's strategy with the new cloud service and other offerings is to provide "videobiquity." He pointed to industry figures on the sales of tablet computers and smartphones with video conferencing capability as evidence of the videobiquity trend, plus the fact that younger people already are comfortable collaborating with others via video and would want to continue to use video in the workplace.

The number of tablet computers--most of them video-enabled--sold in 2011 was expected to hit 64 million globally, according to the research firm Gartner, which Antanaitas said would be more than 50 percent above an earlier projection for the year of just 40 million units. By 2015, tablet sales will reach about 325 million annually for an installed base of 900 million. Simultaneously, 1 billion video-enabled smartphones will be shipping by 2015. Meanwhile, wireless carriers will continue to invest in greater network speeds and capacity as they transition to 3G and 4G networks, he said.

Polycom CEO Andy Miller, who spoke at Lotusphere, has said he sees videoconferencing gaining traction in 2012.

Besides the RealPresence Cloud announcement, Polycom also announced at Lotusphere tighter integration with IBM UC technology. The integration of Polycom RealPresence with IBM Sametime means that users can quickly initiate a high-definition video or audio call from within their e-mail or social business application. "You don't need to open a separate application to add video," said Antanaitas. Users of Lotus Notes can click on a box in an e-mail and add a video session to a meeting invitation.

Last year, Polycom also introduced a new room video telepresence system, the CX7000, with native integration with Microsoft Lync, a competitor to IBM in the UC space.

Polycom to Integrate IBM Sametime

By: Zacks Equity Research

Polycom, Inc. (PLCM) recently entered into a strategic partnership with IBM (IBM) to incorporate its popular RealPresence video solutions technology with IBM’s interactive application called IBM Sametime and IBM Connections.

Polycom’s RealPresence video technology that host video conferences for enterprise clients are quite similar to IBM Sametime application, which facilitates Web conferencing and group chat within an organization. Hence, the integration of Sametime application with RealPresence technology will upgrade Polycom’s product feature.

The new integrated technology that supports High Definition (HD) quality video calling can be accessed through different touch points like web, email, IM clients and other social media sites, hence providing enhanced solutions to different organizations to improve its work efficiency.

The advanced technology will cater to different needs of the enterprise by means of conducting virtual meetings from different touch points like email, WiFi and 3G/4G network. It will also be beneficial for the healthcare industry where doctors will be able to provide medical assistance to patients living in remote areas, thereby improving the service qualities of healthcare industries. Furthermore, the whole system is highly secure and reliable and is delivered directly from the cloud or integrated within the devices.

Polycom is well positioned financially to pursue its future ventures. Increased demand for video-conferencing services mainly from India and China, coupled with overall improvement of marketing and sales service, will boost the company’s market share.

The company is currently making inroads in the retail consumer market by developing video conferencing application for smartphones and tablets, which we believe will create huge growth opportunities for the company going forward. We, thus, maintain our long-term Outperform recommendation for Polycom, Inc.

Currently, Polycom, Inc. has a Zacks #3 Rank, implying a short-term Hold rating.

Based in Pleasanton, CA, Polycom Inc. is a leading provider of video and audio conferencing equipment and related network infrastructure.

Avaya debuts UC app for Android, promises iPhone app in 1Q

Avaya, playing catch-up with several other vendors, has rolled out a mobile UC app for Android devices, enabling SMEs to access a set of unified communications capabilities. The company said it plans to release an iPhone app in early 2012.

The app for Avaya's IP Office 8.0, one-X Mobile Preferred for IP Office, allows users full conference management through their mobile device, including the ability to invite, view, mute and drop participants during a conference call.


The app lets users display their availability and show specific times of availability based on a user's Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) Outlook calendar.

The app also includes instant messaging, a geopresence display that lets users display their location and visual voicemail.

One-X Mobile Preferred for IP Office builds on Avaya's existing Essential Mobility solution for IP Office, which extends voice capabilities such as one number access and call control. Already available on Symbian, Windows Mobile and iPhones, Essential Mobility will be available for Android and Blackberry devices in first quarter of 2012.

Avaya is the latest in a string of vendors to announce mobile platforms for their technologies, especially to Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL)'s iPad and iPhone and to a variety of devices running oin Google (Nasdaq: GOOG)'s Android OS.

Cisco (Nasdaq: CSCO), Polycom (Nasdaq: PLCM), Radvision (Nasdaq; RVSN), ShoreTel (Nasdaq: SHOR), Vidyo and others already have apps on the market for Apple and Android.

The mobile segment is seen as a potential boon market as 37 percent of the world's workforce, about 1.3 million people, is expected to be mobile by 2015, new research finds.

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Read more: Avaya debuts UC app for Android, promises iPhone app in 1Q - FierceEnterpriseCommunications http://www.fierceenterprisecommunications.com/story/avaya-debuts-uc-app-android-promises-iphone-app-1q/2012-01-17#ixzz1jqfLGA5R

“ShoreTel investing for growth” says UK boss

By Will Garside, Channel Pro

New pan-European distie on the cards for ShoreTel with plans to double channel

Although ranked sixth in the overall enterprise voice market share, UC vendor ShoreTel(NASDAQ:SHOR) claims it is profitable, agile and ready to offer VARs a viable competitor to entrenched market leaders Cisco(NASDAQ:CSCO) and Avaya.

According to ShoreTel's UK MD, Adrian Hipkiss (pictured), the UK arm is making money and ploughing it straight back into the channel and is keen to invest in joint activities. The firm hopes to double the size of its channel over the next year. “We are not going to do anything that will cause a red flag for our channel or [potential] customers,” explains Hipkiss.

The firm currently has around a 100 active partners in a three tier channel served by distributors ScanSource, Avnet and Cohort. Hipkiss confirms it is also looking for a pan-European distributor to complement the existing set-up, but stated there are no plans to drop any existing distie.

ShoreTel offers IP phone systems with integrated unified communications. The distributed architecture offers self contained appliances that can scale as a cluster to provide more capacity and to add redundancy. Although primary an on-site sale, several UK partners are offering the systems as a hosted service.

Hipkiss’ comments dovetail a new survey from analyst Aberdeen Group, which claims the firm’s technology is the easiest to set-up with customers experiencing a 67 percent savings in internal implementation cost per phone when compared to Avaya Aura Communication Manager. The survey of 236 different businesses also found that in terms of system administration, ShoreTe’s system cost 77 percent less to manage than Cisco's Unified Communications Manager.

Hipkiss joined ShoreTel in October 2011 following long stints at Vodafone, Cable & Wireless and as an account director at Avaya. In his view, 2012 is likely to be a tough year for enterprise communication vendors who have that failed to innovate in line with the expectation of a more knowledgeable partner and customer community.

In the frame are firms like Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE:ALU), which saw most of its divisions drop revenue during the third quarter of 2011 with its wireline and network application divisions seeing sales decrease by more than 20 percent.

Customers are prepared to look for something new, claims Hipkiss: “[The channel] needs to really understand what is in for the end customer,” he says, pointing out cases where customers upgrading from rival products two versions back can find that an entire ShoreTel equivalent is often less than the incumbent’s upgraded license costs.

ShoreTel Reinforces Commitment to Resellers with Program and Systems Enhancements

SUNNYVALE, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–ShoreTel Inc. (NASDAQ:SHOR), the leading provider of brilliantly simpleIP phone systems with fully integrated unified communications (UC), today announced Certification Central, a new learning management training system associated with ShoreTel University; an updated reseller dashboard, a critical partner relationship management tool; and a revitalized store for resellers, for quick and easy access to print-on-demand ShoreTel collateral and other demand creation tools – all available internationally. Mirroring the brilliant simplicity of its Champion Partner Program, ShoreTel strives to provide resellers with easy-to-use tools that support a successful business relationship, while delivering some of the best product and service margins in the industry.

These updates made to the Champion Partner Program are specifically for the benefit of the reseller community. ShoreTel relies on an outstanding network of channel reseller partners to deliver end-to-end solutions that produce a competitive advantage for customers. To learn more about becoming a ShoreTel certified reseller, visithttp://www.shoretel.com/partners/resellers.

ShoreTel University Certification Central

ShoreTel’s new Learning Management System, now known as Certification Central, has been revamped to provide easy-to-manage tracking of courses, certificates and calendars to provide a higher level of service to the reseller. These changes have made managing certification requirements for ShoreTel’s brilliantly simple Champion Partner Program even easier.

ShoreTel’s ongoing dedication to training enables resellers and customers to learn via the method that best fits an organization’s individual needs – whether that’s classroom, Web or self-paced training. Every certification class is available in person and online – giving both resellers and customers access to training-on-demand or in-person. Additionally, training “labs” can be accessed remotely, so participants can experience real-life scenarios without needing their own equipment.

Champion Partner Dashboard for Resellers

The enhanced reseller dashboard continues the company’s tradition of making it easy for resellers to do business with ShoreTel and provides comprehensive benefits not found with most other vendors. The dashboard is a one-stop-shop for reseller partners to instantly take a pulse on their business. Summarizing a reseller’s current status and key partner metrics, the all-in-one dashboard reflects the requirements achieved for the present Champion Partner tier and highlights any gaps. The dashboard also provides daily updates for resellers to view and analyze their total ShoreTel business, customer satisfaction, TAC utilization, certified resources and details of their customer support contracts.

Reseller Store Updates

Accessible from the website dedicated to resellers and their customized dashboard, resellers can easily co-brand collateral – such as brochures, reference guides, solution briefs and product specification sheets – in just a few simple steps. Customization is completely free to resellers and can be locally printed and delivered by ShoreTel’s vendor, for ultimate ease and convenience. It’s a one-stop-shop to building a successful demand creation activity — whether lunch-and-learn, trade show or customer appreciation event.

More at www.shoretel.com