Polycom is rolling out its RealPresence Mobile technology as an app on Apple's App Store for the iPad 2 and the Google Market for Android tablets.
Polycom is bringing its high-definition
video collaboration software to Apple's iPad 2 and Android-based tablets from
Motorola and Samsung, part of the vendor's larger software strategy that was
unveiled in late September.
The move also is a nod to the growing
importance of mobility in the enterprise, particularly the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) trend
employees increasingly are using their own mobile devices-particularly
smartphones and tablets-to access their corporate networks.
Enterprises "are all looking to
mobile-enable their workforce," Jim Kruger, vice president of product
solution marketing for Polycom, said in an interview with eWEEK
, adding that in the realm of video conferencing, tablets are
an ideal mobile device. "All of these tablets have cameras and are
Polycom on Oct. 11 unveiled Polycom
RealPresence Mobile, HD video software that initially will run on Apple's iPad
2 as well as Motorola's Xoom and Samsung's Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablets, and
eventually will include other devices from other OEMs. The technology will be
available via apps in the Apple App Store and Android Market.
Polycom President and CEO Andy Miller
will demonstrate the technology at the CTIA 2011 show in San Diego Oct. 12.
The application runs on Polycom's
RealPresence platform, which is the foundation for the vendor's conference room
video conferencing technology. The platform supports up to 75,000 devices and
25,000 concurrent sessions, and can be used as an on-premises solution or
accessed via the cloud. Through the app, mobile workers will be able to
participate in corporate HD video conferences through their tablets with
colleagues who are using everything from tablets to immersive video room
Users can connect with up to 16 people
at once through the app, which offers an intuitive user interface with touch
capabilities; supports virtual private networks (VPNs) for secure communications
through WiFi, 3G or 4G; and provides the ability to share documents.
For IT professionals, the app offers
provisioning and management capabilities, system interoperability, firewall
traversal and scalability, according to Polycom.
Polycom's move comes as the global
workforce becomes increasingly mobile and the tablet market is expected to
continue its explosive growth curve. In its announcement, Polycom noted that
there are more than 1 billion teleworkers, and cited the prediction by Gartner
that there will be 320 million tablets sold in 2015, and more than 900 million
in circulation by the end of that year. In addition, the number of people
participating in video chats by that year will grow to 140 million.
Kruger said RealPresence Mobile is "the
first proof-point of [Polycom's] software strategy," which was a formal
acknowledgment by the company of the trend in the video communication space
that, going forward, software will be the key technology in the market, not
hardware. The move is a natural progression for Polycom, he said, where "a
huge portion of our R&D is focused on software."
Over the next few months, Polycom
officials also see the combination of RealPresence Mobile and the RealPresence
Platform giving service providers that ability to offer video services via the
cloud, which they said will further expand the reach of mobile video
Other players in the increasingly
competitive video communications space also are extending their reach to mobile
devices. Rival Cisco Systems
has several mobile video
collaboration solutions, and most recently officials said they were making
their Show and Share solution for managing videos available to iPad and iPhone
users through a free app.
In addition, over the past week, ShoreTel, Vidyo and Radvision
plans to enable their video collaboration and unified communications software
to run on Apple and Android-based devices.