Guest Blog: Charlie James, EMEA Microsoft Alliance Director
It’s been a huge week at Enterprise Connect so far and Charlie James, EMEA Microsoft Alliance Director, gives the low down on exactly what the recent announcements, including certifying the Polycom® CX5100 and Polycom® RealPresence TrioTM for Project Rigel, launching an industry-first cloud-based video interoperability service and our new line of room solutions purpose built for Skype for Business means for Polycom partners and customers.
We have been really looking forward to making these announcements which is a result of the incredibly close alliance we have with Microsoft founded on our joint strategic product development roadmap. We’ve worked closely with Microsoft for many years, and during this time, Polycom and Microsoft have worked in tandem to deliver industry-leading collaboration solutions so it felt like the right time, as part of Microsoft’s newly announced Project Rigel, for us to share the good news that we will be delivering a new line of room solutions purpose built for Skype for Business. This new line will offer plug-and-play simplicity in a variety of configurations to meet the needs of any sized business and room. The new meeting room platform is an evolution from Lync Room System and is based on a new Windows 10-based platform that centres on a “Rigel” console that sits in the centre of a room. To support this launch, we have also worked meticulously and are pleased to confirm that Polycom’s leading voice and video technologies, such as Polycom® CX5100 and Polycom® RealPresence TrioTM, will be certified for Project Rigel solutions. In addition we will be extending the Surface Hub with a choice of certified products.
Certification is at the bedrock of everything we do with Microsoft and we always recommended to our customers that they invest in solutions that are certified.
Microsoft also announced their plans to expand the reach of Skype for Business environments, for our customers and partners of small, large and those in-between sizes, it means we leverage the existing video investments they have made with Polycom as they move to Microsoft Office 365 and Skype for Business environments. The collaboration with other existing video platforms using a new cloud video interoperability service built by Polycom and Microsoft, our industry-leading Polycom® RealPresence® Group Series in-room video conferencing solutions will be exclusively qualified on Skype for Business Server and supported on Office 365. This enables Office 365 customers to confidently leverage their existing video investments and unite with those of other vendors, including Polycom, Microsoft and Cisco, as they move to the cloud. Our customers will be looking to bridge these solution environments as they move to Office 365 and this news will change and enhance the user experience for our partners and customers as we use our proven technologies in these new deployments. When customers are making big strategic decisions around interoperability it’s good to know that Polycom is part of a strategic roadmap with Microsoft and this announcement underpins this.
A familiar Skype for Business-like user-interface on the Polycom® RealPresence TouchTM device will make it even easier for Skype for Business users to integrate video conferencing into current workflows. RealPresence Group Series solutions are used for meetings of all kinds, from huddle rooms to immersive telepresence rooms and this will enable Skype for Business to extend into conference rooms, boardrooms, and meeting rooms which will help our customers to continue to build the workplace of the future.