A guest post by Jason Bordujenko, Solutions Engineer, Polycom ANZ:
How often do you do a tune up on your video conferencing equipment? Is it as often as you would service your car? Keeping up to date with the latest security and feature enhancements is just like keeping a vehicle regularly tuned and serviced.
Unlike a car however, keeping your Polycom video conferencing systems regularly updated not only keeps them running at their peak potential, but also unleashes regular updates to both system security (reactive) and new features (proactive). Just think what it would be like picking your car up from a dealership after a service and having new features and functionality that you can take advantage of!
The Polycom Support portal makes it easy to keep your video collaboration systems up to date; this is a one-stop resource to find out details about your conferencing systems and ascertain what the latest version of software is. If you don’t already have a login for the portal, you can easily create one in order to gain access to this information, by simply registering for an account, and selecting your relationship to Polycom (e.g. end user or consumer).
Don’t worry, we will keep your information safe and this is a great way for us to tailor the information that is provided to you so you are only presented with relevant information for your circumstances.
Following registration, here’s a rundown of what you get access to:
If you are using a Polycom RealPresence Group Series system, you will get access to not only security patches as per our advice in the Security Centre but also new product features and enhancements. If you are an HDX customer you will receive product security updates only but may not be able to take advantage of some of the more recent feature developments as these are progressively being made available on the latest platform only to take advantage of the increased flexibility of the RealPresence Group Series hardware. For VSX customers it is highly recommended that you contact your local Polycom partner to talk about trade-in options to get onto the latest supported RealPresence Group Series hardware.
Specifically what features can you access on Group Series?:
In the major revision 4.2.0 software for RealPresence Group Series (January 2015) we introduced several major updates including significant improvements to Microsoft Lync 2013 functionality, SVC updates, CEC monitor control (switches CEC enabled HDMI screens on, and to the correct input automatically) as well as enabling the Polycom EagleEye Producer add-on capability. In the Polycom Labs area of the software we also included the Acoustic Fence experimental feature (allowing audio isolation when using a combination of ceiling and desktop microphones), updates to VisualBoard functionality (PowerPoint slide conversion, slide zoom and swipe navigation) as well as the NoiseBlock feature on incoming audio. Outgoing Keyboard Noise Reduction and NoiseBlock are now part of the core General Audio settings as they have been released in to general code from previously being experimental features.
Do you have >10 systems and don’t want to handle this on a per-system basis?
If you have a number of RealPresence Group Series endpoints that may need to be upgraded and no direct internet access from the endpoint itself, there is an option that may be useful which is storing a copy of the downloaded firmware on a USB drive alongside a master-list of serial numbers and activation keycodes then progressively using this to upgrade your fleet of devices. Alternatively, if you have multiple USB drives available you can make a master copy and push this to a number of drives and process multiple upgrades in parallel. All you need is a master-list of your system serial numbers, and access this page to get started (HDX and Group Series systems)
For customers who have outgrown individual or batch upgrades on a per system basis, there is a RealPresence Platform solution that can assist known as RealPresence Resource Manager (RPRM). With RPRM administrators can centrally provision, monitor and manage their entire video collaboration network. With dynamic provisioning capabilities, RPRM can easily configure and maintain thousands of video endpoints, across both hardware and software. This eliminates having a variety of software releases in the field, fixing end-user configuration mismatches, being uncertain about the quality of video being provided, and other typical management issues.
You want to gain access to the latest software but the Support Portal says ‘Available but not entitled’:
This error message indicates that the portal recognises your system serial number, however there is not a valid service contract in place to allow you to download the latest software. Polycom customer care services are available in multiple levels however while all valid contracts will give you access to download the latest software releases applicable to your system there are differences to the inclusions inherent with these contracts.
Premier Support is our entry-level service offering. It enhances your in-house resources with conferencing technical experts who are available to support your video collaboration usage. For selected locations Premier Onsite support is also available where you can request an onsite technician to respond to any hardware related issues that you may encounter.
Another extended support offering is Advantage level service which can be taken out on endpoints only, or across your entire endpoint and infrastructure deployment, to allow up to 24/7 service and more ingrained onboarding and customer analytics access.
Keeping up to date:
You can subscribe to our Support Notification Bulletins. It is suggested to have your video admins on the Support Notification Bulletin list and your security admin on the Security Bulletins to ensure coverage on both new features and security fixes as they become available.
For more information on your local Polycom partner that can provide you the above services, please use the contact form on the Polycom website: