Published May 15, 2007
Volume 15, Number 5

Polycom’s Dominance Spurred By Growth and Acquisitions
Virtual Conference Rooms Come Alive With RealPresence™ Video

Steve Huey, Polycom’s chief marketing officer, says that the 
company’s RealPresence Experience technology is “just like
being there.”  

By Barbara Lewis

Business is brisk at Polycom’s headquarters at 4750 Willow Road in Hacienda. In today’s business world, where 90% of American employees do not work at company headquarters and 60-70% work at facilities other than where their bosses are based, it is not surprising that virtual teams have increased 800% over the past five years.  Consistent with this is the fact that Polycom Inc., a worldwide leader in unified collaborative communication (UCC), is selling audio, video and content conferencing and collaboration solutions at an impressive rate, increasing revenue by 22% last year.  

“We address the barriers that distance creates as the result of offshoring, outsourcing, telecommuting, people working in different offices from their managers,” says Polycom’s chief marketing officer, Steve Huey.  We enable them to conduct face-to-face business instantaneously even though they are globally dispersed.

“Now, many companies are moving all of their communication to the Internet where they can save money, experience higher-quality calls and, for the first time, combine voice, video and content sharing all on one network, along with their data,” Huey explains. “That’s what we do. We also supply all the network pieces for the phone and video endpoints that are located on desktops and in conference rooms.  We make it easy and intuitive to escalate a simple phone call into a video and data-sharing call. From something as simple as an instant messaging buddy list, we can begin a point-to-point or multipoint video call.

“What’s exciting now is how high definition (HD) has changed the videoconferencing experience,” Huey explains. “It’s very much like HD television, where you feel as though the other person is actually in the office with you.  The HD sound is CD quality; video resolution is very sharp, providing excellent range of motion and perfect lip syncing . Plus, you can see the exact color of the person’s eyes or the tiniest detail. In my opinion, we are now delivering the experience that people always expected from videoconferencing.”

To take the concept further, Polycom is also a leader in telepresence. “With our RealPresence™ Experience (RPX), you literally feel as though someone thousands of miles away is sitting directly across the table with you,” Huey observes. “The curved cinematic screen and direct eye-to-eye contact delivers an almost 3-D effect with high definition.  Your senses are immersed in a virtual experience.  It’s just like being there.”

Earlier this year, Polycom acquired SpectraLink, a wireless and mobile communication company and can now provide secure wireless phone environments to businesses in addition to wired voice, video and content-sharing solutions. These wireless mobile phones enable people to communicate in premise-based environments such as hospitals where nurses on the move are still able to receive calls about their patients or on a retail floor where sales associates can call stockers in the backroom or shippers at the warehouse.  “With this acquisition, we believe we now have the best collaborative solution, high-quality voice and video, for wired and wireless business environments.  That’s why we’re growing so fast.

“We help boost the productivity of businesses facing the challenges of a globalized market economy in a way that is cost-effective and good for the environment because it eliminates the necessity for most travel,” Huey concludes.  “Our solutions remove the distance between people, allowing them to connect with each other instantaneously over any device or medium.”

Hacienda businesses wishing to experience Polycom’s RPX  and other technologies may do so at the Willow Road facility or at the soon-to-be-opened Executive Briefing Center at The TechMart in Santa Clara.  For additional information, call 800-POLYCOM or visit www.polycom.com.


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