Polycom is expanding its UC Intelligent Core platform, including support for the Telepresence Interoperability Protocol developed by rival Cisco.
Polycom officials a year ago dismissed rival Cisco Systems' newly introduced
immersive video conferencing interoperability protocol as a tool for the larger
company to dominate the crucial issue of making telepresence systems work
Polycom officials are ready to embrace TIP (Telepresence Interoperability
Protocol), saying in an announcement that adoption of the protocol in their
products is part of their larger UCEverywhere strategy. The initiative is
designed to let consumers and businesses of all sizes that use Polycom
technology collaborate with others regardless of the platforms they use.
in Polycom's UC Intelligent Core platform also make it easier for service
providers to offer cloud-based, open UC (unified communications) telepresence
services, according to the company. In announcing the company's support for
Cisco's TIP Feb. 9, Polycom CEO Andrew
Miller said the move not only will help Polycom users, but also customers of
his larger rival.
customers have told us for years that they've been imprisoned by a closed
telepresence platform that builds a wall around their UC environment and keeps
out non-Cisco users. Today, all that changes," Miller said in a statement.
"With its unparalleled support of open standards, the Polycom UC
Intelligent Core solution liberates these customers and gives them more options
for collaborating and expanding their UC environments than ever before, without
having to sacrifice their existing systems. Breakthroughs like this are
fundamental to our vision of UCEverywhere."
products will support TIP starting in the second quarter, the company said.
introduced TIP, which company officials have said is designed to enable multiscreen
telepresence interoperability, in January 2010, and at the time said that
several vendors, including LifeSize Communications and Radvision, had signed
on. In addition, Cisco last year began putting TIP support into products gained
through its acquisition
of telepresence vendor Tandberg
Polycom officials said they
had little interest in TIP
, arguing that they were wary of any protocol
push being promoted by such a dominant vendor. They also noted that there had
been other standards, such as H.264 and H.239, that had been created though
independent bodies for single-display video conferencing, and said the same
third-party approach could be used for multidisplay telepresence systems.
officials said when introducing TIP that their intent was to move the proposed
standard to a third-party body, and in April 2010, the company turned it over
to the IMTC (International Multimedia Teleconferencing Consortium), which will
manage it as an industry standard.
Polycom join the fold is important, given that together, Cisco and Polycom
control more than 80 percent of the worldwide telepresence market. Cisco
officials applauded the decision. They stressed that TIP is an open protocol,
not a proprietary standard managed by Cisco.
are pleased to hear that Polycom is joining other companies in adopting the
Telepresence Interoperability Protocol [TIP]," David Hsieh, vice president
of emerging technologies for Cisco, said in a statement. "We believe that
there is market transition to the pervasive adoption of video, and customers want
interoperability without compromise. The value for customers is to enable
any-to-any multiscreen interoperability so that there are more people to talk