This week at Enterprise Connect, we’ve heard from customers that the partnership between Microsoft and Polycom is a perfect match and has profoundly helped them achieve greater productivity. The popular refrain has been that great technologies that work seamlessly together have truly helped address real pain points in visual collaboration.
The End User Experience
Wainhouse data estimates that the vast majority of meeting rooms are barely equipped for collaboration, but you don’t have to see those data to know it’s true. Take a moment to look at the spaces in your own company. They probably look like one of these.
(fig. 1) (fig. 2)
Would you want to spend time in this room? Would you feel productive or empowered walking in, knowing where to plug in, how to share content, how to make a call? Would you know what to do if you were a new employee? Working together, we can solve that.
Polycom and Microsoft share the belief that these forlorn spaces can and should be equipped to let employees enjoy the richness that true visual collaboration brings: enterprise quality audio, video, and content sharing. Polycom offers unmatched quality combined with the familiar Skype for Business interface to provide the rich experience without the learning curve that sometimes exists, so employees can be collaborating across distance and not calling the helpdesk.
Helping Connect Infrastructure
Our announcements today at Enterprise Connect are a significant step forward and are designed to empower end users. We are also working closely to help our IT customers benefit from their existing investments in two ways.
First, Polycom customers who have invested in our room systems or video endpoints will see our commitment to making the necessary connections between our RealPresence Group Series and Microsoft’s Office 365 come to life thanks to software updates for the Group Series, expected to come in June. This update will allow registration to the Microsoft cloud for our video solutions, just as we already do with our VVX Business Media Phone series and RealPresence Trio for audio, and it will also provide a new UI that is consistent with the Skype for Business interface. Customers who love solutions like Polycom Eagle Eye Producer camera technology, Polycom NoiseBlock technology, Acoustic Fence, and other key innovations will continue to enjoy those experiences with Office 365 and Skype for Business.
Second, for all of the enterprises that have heterogeneous video collaboration environments but want to move to Office 365, we’ve announced a new interoperability service that will be available in Q4 of 2016 to bring Polycom, Cisco, and other video endpoints seamlessly into O365 video sessions. We’ll have much more to share about this service in the coming months, but we’re excited to help cloud customers unite on-premises solutions they already have with new cloud solutions.
Of course, we already offer the best integrated solution with Microsoft Skype for Business on premises with our Clariti RealConnect offering. We will further enhance this on-premises solution in the middle of 2016 with connectivity to Office 365 through an update. Customers who are looking to connect their on premises Skype for Business with existing endpoints should move forward with Clariti now and can have confidence that Polycom and Microsoft will continue working closely together to make any future shift to the cloud as seamless as possible.
We’re hard at work on our Polycom solutions for “Project Rigel” and building the companion hardware and software solutions that will bring this all together.
Read today’s press release: Polycom and Microsoft to Extend Video Collaboration in Office 365 and Skype for Business