Polycom: Enabling Collaboration
by Greg Galitzine, Group Editorial Director, TMCnet.com
Over the past several weeks I have spent a fair amount of time on the road, attending trade shows and visiting customers from sea to shining sea. I've been in Orlando, FL and San Jose, CA, Chicago and Las Vegas, Dallas and New York. One of the few constants on this recent travel spree has been the opportunity to meet with the most interesting companies in our industry, and in this one particular case, meeting with one company multiple times, across multiple industries.
I'm talking about Polycom, the well-known producer and provider of solutions that enable people to communicate and collaborate using their telepresence, video, and voice solutions.
For one reason or another I've met with Polycom several times over these most recent trips, whether in the context of seeing their latest devices, or in the context of looking at the company's solutions through the prism of a vertical market like healthcare. The thread that ties all this together is the company's focus on enabling people to work together across vast distances and its push further into video collaboration.
For starters, Polycom introduced a slick new device, a business media phone dubbed the Polycom VVX 1500. This phone brings together the full range of Polycom's expertise, from personal video conferencing, to fully-featured voice over IP (VoIP) with Polycom's HD Voice technology. The VVX 1500 features an open API or application programming interface, which is designed to allow Polycom's solutions partners to create innovative business applications, which can be delivered using the phone's microbrowser.
The VVX 1500 features a full-color touch screen interface designed to enrich the user experience and simplify tasks associated with the device.
Speaking about the VVX 1500, Keith Nissen, principal analyst at In-Stat described it as, "...the first business media phone that enables customers to work more efficiently and effectively than ever before by tying together voice and visual communication with critical business processes."
As with any Polycom initiative, there is always a "green" story to tell. The VVX 1500 enables high-definition, face-to-face collaboration without requiring travel, which is just one green benefit. The VVX 1500 was designed for lower power consumption, using power over Ethernet (PoE), and the company says the device requires less than half the power of similar competing products. The phone also features smart-motion technology, which enables the screen to go into power-save mode when no one is in the office.
I mentioned healthcare earlier and it should be noted that Polycom is no stranger to this market, be it through their video collaboration solutions which are enabling telemedicine applications or their Polycom Spectralink wireless (WiFi ) handsets that are being used to enable hospital workers from doctors and nurses to administrators and staff to be more productive by being more connected.
Polycom also announced a new telepresence solution designed specifically for the healthcare market. The Polycom Practitioner Cart HDX series enables medical professionals to provide patients access to care regardless where they are located. Featuring the full range of HD resolutions, including 1080p and 720p at 30 frames per second (fps) and broadcast quality 720p at 60 fps the new offering from Polycom is resonating with medical professionals.
Australia's Loddon Mallee Health Alliance (LMHA) has deployed the solution and its CIO, Bruce Winzar is thrilled with the results so far.
"Being able to bring a Melbourne-based specialist to the bedsides of critically ill patients in our regional hospitals over video helps LMHA to efficiently and effectively achieve the best healthcare outcomes for those patients — maximizing our resources as a provider, and delivering precious relief to the patients and their families in what can be very stressful circumstances," said Winzar in a recent statement. "Using Polycom's telehealth solution, delivered over a high-speed broadband network, LMHA is able to extend the same healthcare opportunities to rural patients that their counterparts in the city have access to."
By using the Polycom Practitioner Cart HDX doctors can quickly and effectively make decisions on the right treatment plan, without forcing critically ill patients to travel great distances to be assessed by a specialist in person. The ability to bring together leading specialists from all over the world to consult on a case is another benefit.
The bottom line is that whether it is for traditional business productivity or for potentially life-saving applications such as telemedicine, Polycom's video collaboration solutions are being used in diverse applications to achieve similar results. By bringing people together to solve critical challenges, while saving the time and money associated with travel, Polycom continues to help organizations succeed.
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