Pleasanton, Calif.-based Polycom has released a new conferencing-collaboration system, which allows users to be part of a call whether participating via phone, video or the Web.
"As the economy and workplace begin to change, there will be different mediums used, but there will still be a need to get together," says Ned Semonite, vice president of product marketing. He says Polycom, which began as a pure audio-conference company, has been acquiring a number of companies to enable it to offer video conferencing, as well as technology and networks to mix different mediums together.
The company allows clients to pick and choose from what it calls "the Polycom Office" to come up with a solution that best fits their situation, notes Semonite.
Video-conferencing technology and other tools that allow employees to meet with people without traveling are becoming more important as a result of the increasingly global marketplace, Sept. 11, and the economic climate, which is forcing everyone to cut costs. The new integration system allows a customer to use the audio or video on the fly - There is no longer a need to make sure everyone's systems match before the call takes place.
The acquisition of a company called Accord enabled Polycom to create this most recent offering. Polycom's internal software developers then made the systems compatible by taking various protocols and converting or transcoding them so that all the different elements were compatible.
The company is also launching a next-generation audio phone called VPX 10000. This phone has double the frequency of its other phones (3.5 mghtz) and only works between other VPX 1000 phones at the moment.
The prime benefit, according to Semonite, is that, "It's much easier to understand people, especially when you have a lot of people in a conference room on a call." He notes that it has enhanced pick up and noise suppression. "The goal is to make these calls as natural as if you were there together in the room."