Collabity | New innovations from Polycom – Is it a game changer?
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New innovations from Polycom – Is it a game changer?

“If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading” – Lao Tzu

Despite of having a strong solution portfolio, Polycom, a leader in video collaboration market has been seemingly marginalized in the last few years. Why?

According to analysts, some key reasons are (among many) ; a) Entry of cloud centric and headline grabbing young Video Turks b) Continued low spending on video hardware c) Complex relationship with Microsoft d) A confusing desire to brand itself as a software company e) Defensive attitude against Cisco etcetera. It is no secret that people have started asking what the future looks like for Polycom.

I have worked closely with Polycom in the past and when I have seen some new ‘innovations’ announcement coming out of their global partner seminar (Team Polycom) recently, I have decided to review these innovative features from an end user perspective. It is obvious that new leadership at Polycom acknowledges the trend that now Video is largely being driven as part of ‘Unified Communication’, ‘collaboration’ and ‘experience’.

The very idea of a creating solutions which keep “experiences” at the center of product development is a common sense ‘go to market’ approach. Businesses are looking to keep pace with increasingly evolving workplace which is ‘connected’, ‘always on’ and accommodate mobile workers.

The Polycom EagleEye Producer is a latest industry-first camera innovation that helps in advancing facial recognition technology for creating a more production-like and natural experience. What’s amazing is that it dynamically finds everyone in the discussion and frames them automatically, even when new people leave or join the room.

When this technology is used with Polycom RealPresence Resource Manager Software and RealPresence Group Series, it reports useful data analytics to help administrators with the utilization planning.

NoiseBlock technology is an industry new and as part of RealPresence Group Series solutions eliminate extraneous noises automatically, such as crinkling food wrappers and paper shuffling.

For users on the go, the Acoustic Bubble technology, available in RealPresence Desktop software, removes all the unwanted noise from a call automatically, including all peripheral sounds, such as city street noises and background conversations, without the end users having to use the mute button.

Some other exciting stuffs which were highlighted recently include-

The better interoperability and full HD multipoint enhancements of Group Series with Microsoft Lync2013.

The Polycom VisualBoard technology takes the collaboration team one step ahead by allowing participants to create, share and update content using a Polycom UC Board system, touch screen or a computer.

I believe Polycom has made a strong statement with some of these ‘experience enhancing’ innovations in video collaboration space. It is too early to say if it is a game changer for them but it is definitely a step in the right direction.