Polycom makes video conferencing and telepresence easier

* Polycom announces two new products designed to make video conferencing and telepresence easier

Polycom Monday announced two new products designed to make video conferencing and telepresence easier for the enterprise and SMBs. When we spoke with Laura Shay, Director for Product Marketing at Polycom, she said that from the big picture view, "video conferencing is exciting but implementation can sometimes be difficult." With the announcements, Polycom's strategy of "VC2" is to make using a video call as easy as dialing a phone for the end user and as easy to administer and manage as an e-mail account for the IT staff, according to Shay. The two new products announced are the first wave of products designed to make the Polycom vision a reality.

The first Polycom announcement is the Polycom Converged Management Application (CMA) designed to “simplify the deployment and management of enterprise video networks and the use of desktop, group and telepresence solutions for users,” according to the company. 

CMA upgrades the management of conferences, devices and systems and provides gatekeeping, scheduling and directory management. New features compared to the existing Polycom SE200 platform include support for Windows Server 2003, standards-based profile provisioning, standards-based presence, support for up to 5,000 registered users and 1,500 concurrent calls and directory service support that includes LDAP/H.350 directory services, multiple directory support, and tiered directory support. A key component is CMA Desktop, a desktop video application capable of supporting high definition (HD) video, voice and content. The desktop version is included for free with the CMA site license, and the company has a promotional program for existing customers who want to upgrade from the current SE200 platform.

In the second announcement, Polycom introduced the RMX 1000, a scaled down-version of the company’s RMX 2000 multipoint visual communications conference platform with a lower price point and features designed specifically for the SMB and branch office. The notable feature differences for the 1000 series include support for a lower data rate and total users per platform vs. the 2000 series. Pricing for the 1000 model begins at $21,000 while the 2000 series starts at $45,000.

Both the CMA and RMX product lines provide support for standard definition video conferencing, HD, and telepresence systems so, for example, a remote desktop user can join in with a room-based telepresence conference.

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