The question I’m most frequently asked about Polycom conference phones is not about our world-class technology our ultra-reliable performance or our wide range of price points. It’s simply, “with all the choices available, which conference phone is right for me?” I guess it goes to show that sometimes we take our products a bit too seriously and need to just help our customers find the right solution quickly. With that in mind, here are a couple of guideposts and questions to ask yourself to quickly find the right solution for you.
How big is your room? – A pretty simple question here and it is really about making sure that everyone in the room can hear (i.e., speaker size) and can be heard (microphone pickup). For the purpose of simplicity, think of your room size as a small room (personal office or huddle room), an “average” conference room (8-20 seats), or a large auditorium or boardroom (20+ seats).
Analog or IP? – Simple decision point here, if you are connecting to a traditional POTS (plain old telephone system) line (the one like you might have at home), then you need an analog conference phone like our SoundStation2. If you are connection to a new enterprise-grade system from Cisco, Microsoft, Avaya, Alcatel, Siemens (Unify), Shoretel, etc. then you need an IP conference phone like one of our SoundStation IP conference phones. For a complete list of manufacturers we support, you can click on our VoIP interoperability page.
Stationary or portable? For those that just want to buy one phone and move it around your office, or have modular furniture and don’t want to worry about wires, Polycom does offer our SoundStation2W wireless conference phone to provide flexibility throughout the room.
Connect to video? While today you may only have need for a conference phone for audio calls, if you think you may be adding a room video solution in the near future, then consider a conference phone that integrates microphones, speakers and a control system to operate your video system like the SoundStation IP7000 or the VTX1000.
So now that I have your head spinning about all the different choices, I’ll give you answer from the back of the book. To find the right conference phone, simply go to our select a conference phone webpage, answer these same questions and boom, you will know the right phone for your needs. Don’t want to take that much time? Then just order up a Polycom SoundStation Duo which is a great mid-range phone, supports both IP and analog connections and I’m sure you will be happy.