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Polycom Unveils New HD Video Conferencing Systems at PUG

Videoconferencing Insight Newsletter

Polycom, Inc. has launched its high definition (HD) communications and collaboration architecture known as UltimateHD.  In addition to delivering the requisite video resolution, the Polycom UltimateHD architecture enables a total high definition solution comprising: HD video as well as HD voice, HD multimedia content, HD bridging, HD recording/ archiving/streaming, and supporting HD services.

At the annual, independent Polycom User Group (PUG) conference in Orlando last week, Polycom demonstrated its high definition offerings with HD video and HD Readiness services. The new Polycom HDX Series video platform brings high definition to the desktop, group system, and to Practitioner Cart healthcare systems (See first News Byte).

UltimateHD is an open architecture which enables discrete solutions to be used with great flexibility; adding functionality and expanding availability of high definition voice, video, content, infrastructure and services to additional types of systems as business needs change. With UltimateHD solutions, customers can transition to high definition smoothly from their existing investments.

Polycom began delivering components based on the UltimateHD architecture last year with the Polycom MGC/MGC+, the only multipoint bridges that support true high definition and are capable of scaling to support 90 concurrent high definition sessions. In the spring of 2006, the company introduced the only scalable high definition recording and streaming server, the Polycom RSS 2000. At VON in September, Polycom introduced HD Voice systems with the VoIP SoundPoint IP 650 handset and plans to introduce a new VoIP conference phone in the second quarter of 2007 that will enable users to launch HD video sessions directly from the conference phone.

Bob Hagerty, chairman and CEO of Polycom said: "Because UltimateHD solutions enable remote participants to easily engage with everything happening in the on-site meeting without any of the common distractions of conferencing over distance, we expect to see a dramatic increase in the applications for our collaboration technology."

"For example: CEOs can gauge their counterpart's reactions and establish trusted relationships faster as they negotiate during merger talks; surgeons can display operating room procedures to their colleagues millimetre by millimetre; manufacturers can check output quality directly and in real-time from the factories of their outsourced vendors; animation filmmakers can see and hear the nuances of the daily footage from teams around the world; aeronautical engineers can collaborate on detailed plans; and pharmaceutical R&D teams can keep drug development on schedule and speed time to market by following the sun with a daily hand-off to teams in the next region. An organisation's productivity and efficiency skyrocket when people enjoy the same level of experience remotely as those participating in the on-site meeting do physically"

Wayne State University, Michigan's only urban research university with more than 33,000 students in Detroit, Mich., is awaiting delivery of its first Polycom HDX series video systems.  "Wayne State University is incorporating Polycom HD video into its collaboration environment in order to offer the most realistic experience possible over video," said David Fleig, project manager with Computing & Information Technology at Wayne State University.  "At our remote locations our goal is to replicate the look and feel of the main campus and HD video will go a long way to helping  achieving that.  For us, there is no compelling reason anymore to buy standard definition products. We chose Polycom's HD solutions for the same reasons we have always gone with Polycom in the past: the company's reputation, the quality and ease of use of its products, and its exceptional service and support."

"AT&T is deploying increasingly sophisticated audio and video conferencing systems for our business customers' communications and collaboration needs," said Eric Shepcaro, senior vice president, business development, AT&T. "Polycom's evolution to HD with their focus on standards, interoperability, and the ability to upgrade continues to fit AT&T's strategy of integrating and deploying a broad range of video solutions."

Will Stofega, research manager at IDC Research, said : "Polycom's UltimateHD solutions deliver stunning voice, video and content collaboration benefits. The quality of detail, both visual and vocal, finally delivers the experience we have all been waiting for since the inception of video conferencingsystems. Everything is crystal clear."

"And because the high definition video experience is enabled by a new architecture developed from the  infrastructure up to support high definition, all types of multimedia content from many diverse sources can be supported, recorded, archived and streamed. The MGC bridge can support simultaneous HD and non HD, on-demand and scheduled unified collaboration meetings across devices and protocols. Polycom's UltimateHD architecture truly delivers solutions that are the closest experience to the in-person meeting."

Pricing and Availability

Polycom HDX solutions are available for order today through IVCi, a Certified Polycom Platinum Reseller. IVCi is one of only a handful of Polycom resellers nationwide recognized with this distinction for our superior service and support of Polycom's integrated, end-to-end voice, video, Web and data communications solutions. In 2005 IVCi became a Polycom Certified Service Partner (CSP), the highest level of certification a channel partner can receive from Polycom, which requires consistent compliance with a comprehensive set of methodologies designed to guarantee complete customer satisfaction. IVCi factory-trained sales and technical staff install and support Polycom projects across the country and around the world. As with the other video conferencing products we represent, IVCi provides clients with one point of contact for sales, service, management and support of the entire Polycom product line.


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