PLEASANTON, Calif., - May 22, 2006 - Polycom, Inc. [NASDAQ: PLCM], the world's leading provider of unified collaborative communications solutions, today announced the fourth phase of its strategic alliance with Microsoft Corporation involving federation of its market-leading Polycom VSX video systems, SoundStation and SoundPoint IP phones, and V2IU network address and firewall traversal solution with Microsoft Office Live Communications Server and Microsoft Office Communicator.160 An industry first, phase four integration enables presence and buddy lists on Polycom VSX video systems and SoundStation and SoundPoint phones to simplify rich media calling for end-users, making it as easy to connect a call from your phone or video system as it is using Communicator160 on your PC. Since the V2IU is also federated with Live Communications Server, network administrators now also benefit from a single directory, set of IT policies, and common user privileges for managing voice, video, and data on a single call.
The latest integration is enabled by the release of VSX 8.5, SIP 2.0, and V2IU 6.5 software upgrades also announced today (see releases entitled, "Polycom Delivers Industry's Most Secure Video Communications Platform with Software Upgrade to Flagship VSX Line" and "Polycom Expands Award-Winning VOIP Product Line with Full-Featured, Two-Line Desktop Phone and Broader SIP Capabilities"). This release enhances the existing integration of all Polycom VSX video endpoints and Unified Conferencing capabilities of the MGC bridges with Live Communications Server and Communicator.
Prior to this latest phase, Communicator users could see the status of VSX video system users but VSX users were unable to do the reverse. With the latest integration between the two partners, Polycom VSX desktop and conference room video systems and/or Polycom IP phone users can establish buddy lists and their presence status as they can on their PCs. With the new VSX software, users are able to see the availability of their buddies before calling. Users then simply click to initiate a call. By integrating with Microsoft's federation policies the Polycom V2IU, a unique standards-based voice and video session border controller for managing firewall and network addressing traversal, IT can now establish one set of policies for instant messaging (IM), voice, and video communications to customers, suppliers and partners using the same servers, same permissions, same directory and same security.
The federation phase of Polycom/Microsoft integration is being demoed this week at Polycom's annual Global Partner Conference in Phoenix. Ed Wadbrook, Sr. Director, Industry Initiatives for the Unified Communications Group at Microsoft is speaking at the conference on the opportunities for the channel surrounding unified communications.
"This represents a significant step forward in enabling customers to easily integrate their communications systems and increase productivity," said Ed Wadbrook. "Having a familiar interface with Polycom's VSX video systems and IP Phones, and Communicator ensures a seamless and high quality experience for end-users.160160 The strategic alliance between Polycom and Microsoft provides another example of the vibrant partner ecosystem that is developing rich communications solutions on the Microsoft unified communications platform."
"With this announcement Polycom is enhancing the simplicity of using the world's leading video platform by adding buddy lists and presence, as well as enabling seamless cross-enterprise calling with V2IU," said Mark Roberts, Vice President, Strategy at Polycom. "Both represent industry firsts."