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November 08, 2010

Polycom Takes on Cisco with Videoconferencing Applications

By Ed Silverstein, TMCnet Contributor

Polycom, Inc., is reaching beyond its traditional enterprise market as it reaches into the consumer market with its videoconferencing applications on smartphones and tablets and plans of a telepresence system for the home, Reuters (News - Alert) reported.

Polycom's videoconferencing app for Samsung Electronics' Galaxy mobile platform is expected to be released this quarter.

It is the company’s answer to rival Cisco (News - Alert) Systems' move to expand its consumer presence through its home video conferencing system, according to Reuters.

The Galaxy platform runs on Google's Android (News - Alert).

Polycom predicts the videoconferencing app to positively impact sales through the first half of 2011, Chief Technology Officer Joe Burton told Reuters.

Polycom has similar apps lined up for BlackBerry, Windows Mobile 7, Apple (News - Alert) and other Android-based devices, and is hoping to launch these through 2011.

Polycom said it is also talking to consumer-electronics makers to add low-latency video to home devices and is working with at least one major carrier on a home telepresence system, according to Reuters.

"Polycom's differentiated strategy is to deliver innovative UC solutions on partners' mobile platforms, as opposed to creating proprietary systems," said Sudhakar Ramakrishna, Polycom's general manager of UC products and chief development officer. "Unlike other mobile video applications, we believe the Polycom application will drive a network effect for users and businesses by enabling the Samsung Galaxy Tab to connect with each other, as well as other standards-based telepresence and video conferencing systems and applications."

Polycom's approach enables mobile (3G and 4G) access to UC applications for consumers and enterprise users. The Polycom solutions include mobile clients integrated with standards-based and interoperable network solutions, and enable users to participate both in point-to-point and group conversations while enjoying HD quality and functionality, the company said. Polycom's UC Intelligent Core infrastructure is suited for placement in service provider networks to enable cloud-based UC delivery to consumers and enterprises, the company said.

Another competitor, privately held Skype, also has deals with LG Electronics (News - Alert) and Panasonic to provide its Internet video service on home TVs, according to Reuters.

Ed Silverstein is a TMCnet contributor. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Tammy Wolf

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