The solutions by HP, Polycom and Microsoft at Enterprise Connect are in contrast to Cisco’s belief in integrated single-vendor offerings.
and Polycom are combining their respective networking and video conferencing
technologies with Microsofts Lync to create solutions officials said would
offer higher-performing, lower-cost unified communications capabilities than
announced two new solutions March 26 at the Enterprise Connect show in Orlando,
Fla. The goal is to offer businesses best-of-breed video UC and collaboration
solutions that are based on open standards and are interoperable, reducing the
cost and time needed to launch and run enterprise-level UC deployments,
according to officials with Polycom and HP.
This will be
increasingly important as video increasingly becomes central to how enterprises
communicate with their employees, partners and customers, and how workers
collaborate among themselves, according to Sue Hayden, executive vice president
of strategic alliances for Polycom. That demand increases the need for such a
best-of-breed offering, she said.
As we start
seeing more and more video conferencing becoming a reality, we recognize that
video as an application puts pressure on the network, Hayden said in an
interview with eWEEK
The HP and
Polycom Rich Media Communications solution brings together Polycoms
RealPresence video offerings built on its RealPresence platform and HPs FlexNetwork networking architecture
the company introduced a year ago. The solution will enable high-quality video
conferencing throughout an enterprise, officials said. Interoperability with
Lync, Microsofts UC platform, is offered through Polycoms CX product line.
solution, the HP AppSystem for Microsoft Lync with Polycom RealPresence Video,
is aimed at businesses whose UC environments are based on Lync. The solution
leverages HPs converged data center infrastructurewhich includes HPs
networking, storage, server and servicesfor a UC solution that offers
everything from instant messaging and presence to voice and video conferencing.
Polycomes RealPresence video technologies can be incorporated as a preintegrated
platform, the companies said.
solutions from HP, Polycom and Microsoft highlight the debate over the value of
an integrated offering from a single vendor versus similar platforms from
multiple vendors. Cisco Systems executives have argued that a tightly
integrated package from a single vendor offers greater interoperability among
the components than something like what was announced at the Enterprise Connect
show. Cisco offers a range of networking, UC and video collaboration
Polycom and Michael Nielson, director of HP Solutions, said their companies'
offerings are pre-certified and tested for interoperability, and are based on
such open standards as H.264 for video conferencing. The open standards ensure
greater interoperability, and make it easier for businesses to run the
solutions on existing infrastructures and migrate to the Polycom-HP-Microsoft
solutions come less than a year after Polycom bought HPs video conferencing business
including its Halo telepresence products, and announced that it was expanding
its partnership with Microsoft in the UC space. The solutions are the result of
those announcements, in which Polycom executives said they wanted to leverage
their own products and expanding partnerships to challenge Ciscos
single-vendor approach. Analysts applauded the move.
clearly has Cisco in mind as it builds its video strategy, Forrester Research
analyst Henry Dewing wrote in a blog post at the time. It plans to compete
with Cisco by offering a broad, more open set of capabilities that even
encompass interoperability with Ciscos own Telepresence Interoperability
Protocol (TIP). With HP, Juniper, Microsoft and others as partners, Polycom has
aligned a remarkable cross-section of vendors to deliver open, cost-effective
video (and broader unified communications) solutions that enable multivendor,
cross-carrier, intercompany communications. Going toe-to-toe with Cisco is a
daunting challenge, but Polycom is ready to take it up.
Polycom, the HP AppSystem for Microsoft Lync will be available in certain
countries in May. The HP Rich Media Communications solution is available now
from HP and its channel partners.
The video conferencing
space continues to grow. According to analysts at IDC
, revenues in the space hit $2.7
billion in 2011a 20.6 percent jump over 2010and are expected to rise to $3.2
billion (about 18.7 percent) this year. According to IDC analyst Rich Costello,
cultural barriers to video collaboration are lessening in businesses, and the
solutions offered by HP, Polycom and Microsoft feed into a greater trend the
market research firm expects to grow.
expect to see increasing integrations of video and telepresence with unified
communications and collaboration [UC&C] applications driving the market
during the forecast period" between 2012 and 2016, Costello said in a
statement earlier this month.