Unified communications, video collaboration and cloud computing were all key topics at the recently concluded three-day Enterprise Connect 2013 show in Orlando, Fla. Attendees heard from such keynote speakers as Kevin Kennedy, president and CEO of Avaya, who talked about how enterprises and end users can take advantage of the increasing connectedness in the business world, while Robert Lloyd, Cisco Systems' president of development and sales, showed off a retail collaboration platform designed to make the shopping experience easier for consumers and more lucrative for businesses.
Meanwhile, Derek Burney, corporate vice president of Microsoft Lync and Microsoft Office Data, touted the growing array of communication and collaboration offerings from the software giant.
Another topic making the rounds at the show was the new but fast-growing WebRTC, an open industry project designed to bring real-time communications capabilities—such as voice and video—to Web browsers, and to work across browsers and platforms. It's currently available in some versions of Google's Chrome and Mozilla's Firefox browsers.
There also was no lack of vendors announcing new and enhanced products and services, including Cisco, which unveiled a number of new software solutions designed to drive collaboration adoption in enterprises. Cisco's efforts come at a time when software is playing a greater role in bringing more collaboration capabilities to more devices. At the same time, Hewlett-Packard officials announced new networking gear aimed at creating a better infrastructure platform for unified communications (UC).
Along with Cisco and HP, there were a large number of vendors that made announcements at Enterprise Connection. Here are a few that made news at the show, which wrapped up March 20.
Polycom, second behind Cisco in the increasingly competitive video collaboration space, announced greater interoperability with Microsoft's Lync offering. Included in the rollout was a new software extension in Polycom's RealPresence platform that will bring greater integration between Lync 2013 and Polycom's video collaboration and content-sharing products.
The extensions will come through software updates to the RealPresence collaboration servers—RMX Series and Collaboration Server 800s—and Virtualization Manager. Lync 2013 interoperability will run through Polycom's portfolio of offerings, from RealPresence Group Series to desktop video systems to mobile video apps, according to Polycom officials.
"Polycom will deliver the broadest interoperability for Lync 2013 in our industry," Polycom President and CEO Andy Miller said in a statement. "The combination of Polycom and Microsoft software provides a seamless UC solution for video, voice, conferencing and collaboration, from anywhere, any time, and drives increased productivity across organizations."