Polycom Brings Video Streaming to Apple, Google Devices

Enhancements to its RealPresence video content management platform enable Polycom users to bring live-stream and recorded video to smartphones and tablets.

Polycom is updating its RealPresence video content management technology to enable the streaming of live and recorded video to Google Android and Apple iOS mobile devices, the latest efforts by the unified communications vendor to deliver video to any device at any time.

The updates, announced May 15, include new features for Polycom€™s RSS 4000 Recording and Streaming Server and RealPresence Media Manager. Polycom is leveraging the video content management capabilities it acquired a year ago when it bought Accordent Technologies for $50 million.

The goal of the updates is to make it easier for businesses to capture, manage and distribute video content, and to ensure that organizations are not locked into a proprietary platform from a single vendor, according to Steve Pattison, vice president of video content management strategy at Polycom.

€œIt€™s very much in keeping with our overall strategy of interoperability,€ Pattison told eWEEK.

The enhanced RealPresence solution, which will be available in July, will include HTML5-based applications for iOS and Android devices€”including smartphones and tablets€”that device users will be able to access through a Web portal for live-streaming video and recorded material. By rewriting the platform for HTML5, Polycom wanted to create a single uniform approach that was good for all devices, he said.

Polycom has been pushing in this direction for a while. At the Mobile World Congress show in February, Polycom and HTC officials announced a deal to enable RealPresence Mobile on select HTC smartphones and tablets by the middle of this year.

Polycom officials have said businesses are not only finding such collaboration capabilities as tools for reducing travel expenses, but also as ways to improve productivity and offer such features as training videos, live-stream lectures in educational settings and improve patient care in the health care industry.

New features for the RSS 4000 server product also will offer a Web-based user interface and integration with a company€™s existing infrastructure to leverage other servers that store and distribute digital media content, making the offering more attractive to enterprises that want to improve their distribution of live video but might be hesitant to rip out the systems they currently have in place.

Polycom also has enhanced its integration with Microsoft€™s SharePoint 2010 platform, and has added modules for IBM€™s Sametime and Microsoft€™s Lync tools that will let businesses grab and view content from those conferencing offerings.

Polycom€™s Pattison said the company€™s focus on interoperabilty and its ability to partner with not only IBM and Microsoft, but other vendors€”including the likes of Hewlett-Packard, Riverbed Technology and BT€”puts it in an enviable position. He said Cisco Systems is looking to provide all the capabilities itself, while smaller rivals don€™t have the size or financial strength to offer the kinds of solutions that Polycom can. Polycom€™s strategy enables it to expand its reach to address the needs of businesses that aren€™t looking for a solution from a single vendor, he said.