Polycom, BT UC Solutions Leverage Microsoft Communications Server '14'

Polycom and BT are unveiling enhancements to their communications solutions to take advantage of Microsoft's Communications Server "14" offering.

Polycom and BT are bulking up their communications offerings to leverage Microsoft's plans for its Office Communications Server technologies.

The two companies made their announcements during the first two days of Microsoft's Worldwide Partner Conference in Washington, D.C.

Polycom introduced additions to its line of CX IP phones that offer native integration with Microsoft Communications Server "14." In addition, BT officials unveiled reference architectures designed to ensure that customers know that Microsoft and Polycom UC technologies will operate holistically on BT's networked IT, voice and professional services offerings.

"Delivering unified communications services and solutions to large enterprise customers is demanding and complex, and the key is to give users a set of simple and convenient tools," Neil Sutton, vice president of global portfolio for BT Global Services, said in a statement.

The new Polycom phones, through their native integration with Communications Server 14, offer businesses a strong UC experience, according to company officials.

Polycom's offerings include the CX500 and CX600 network-based phones, as well as the CX300, which officials say is the only IP conference phone designed for Communications Server 14. The phones include such features as Polycom HD Voice sound quality and an ease-of-use design.

At the Microsoft partner show, Polycom showed off other UC solutions that take advantage of Communications Server 14, including the CX700 IP phone and CX5000 Unified Conference Station, and the company's HDX personal and room-based HD telepresence products.

"Customers are looking for effective ways to communicate across their global enterprises, and they want communication to be as flexible, seamless and user-friendly as possible," Garry Reichert, vice president of strategic partners for Polycom, said in a statement. "BT and Polycom combine to offer a unique end-to-end voice and video solution that is standards-based and natively integrates with Microsoft's UC platform."

Enterprises are looking to reduce complexity, increase productivity and save money by converging their voice, video and other communications onto a single standards-based network. They also are looking for greater integration among the various solutions.

"Large enterprise customers need to approach UC solutions from a wide vantage point which includes network, endpoint devices, professional services, security and other important pivots," Yancey Smith, Microsoft's director of product management of Communications Server, said in a statement.