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What makes interoperability so important? For the customer, it’s all about choices. Polycom recognizes that while no company will ever claim to be against interoperability, or open solutions, some are more open than others. Here’s a way you can discern the difference.

 

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gears-interoperability-blog.jpgLet’s look back at early LAN technology. There were many popular protocols IPX, IP, DecNet, Appletalk and Banyan vines to name a few. Different companies and often different departments within companies chose LANs depending on specific features that they deemed important, cost, printer support, easy deployment, etc. As time progressed, new communication capabilities (like email) made it important to interconnect those LANs and in the early days that interoperability was difficult and painful. Consolidating and standardizing on IP changed all that. Not only did it make existing applications like email work better, it created a platform for endless innovation around a little technology that we now call the Internet.

 

For customers looking to purchase collaboration solutions today, the proprietary technology on the market is not all that dissimilar to the LAN analogy. Customers may want a mix of capabilities available on different platforms. They may want to mix products for specific features. Customers want to choose. An open standards-based solution gives them that option. Over time, collaboration equipment (think: IPX) may become outdated. And, companies may want to upgrade (think: IP) or add on to existing infrastructure. They want choices and pervasiveness. That’s the whole point.

 

It’s not easy being open

It’s not easy being able to offer an interoperable solution, primarily because our competitors – rightfully so – keep their product specs very close to vest. So for each individual installation, we have to analyze the situation and – in some cases – reverse engineer certain things to make it work for the customer. It is real work that we believe is making a difference for our customers. Even if they have an endpoint that’s from one of our competitors, and they don’t want to completely overhaul their system, we’ll make it work. It’s our goal. It’s in our DNA!

 

Everything in life is about having the ability to choose. Buying collaboration equipment is no different. For customers of any size, adding on to existing infrastructure is far more fiscally practical.

 

Click here to read part 1 of my Interoperability blog series: “Pervasive” Is The Standard We Should ...

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