The companies plan to expand the reach of Skype for Business meetings so Polycom customers of all sizes will be able to leverage their existing video investments as they move to Microsoft Office 365 and Skype for Business environments. In addition, Microsoft customers new to video collaboration will have the option to use Polycom’s proven technologies in their new deployments. Customers will also be able to collaborate with other existing video platforms using a new cloud video interoperability service built by Polycom and Microsoft.
“Uniting Skype for Business in Office 365 with Polycom’s high-quality audio and video solutions gives customers the most complete collaboration toolkit for the modern workplace,” says Zig Serafin, Corporate Vice President for Skype for Business.
Polycom’s RealPresence Group Series in-room video conferencing solutions will be qualified on Skype for Business Server and supported on Office 365. A familiar Skype for Business-like user-interface on the Polycom RealPresence Touch device will make it even easier for Skype for Business users to integrate video conferencing into current workflows. RealPresence Group Series solutions are used for meetings of all kinds, from huddle rooms to immersive telepresence rooms, which will enable Skype for Business to extend into conference rooms, boardrooms, and meeting rooms of all sizes.
“The Polycom Group Series will be qualified on Skype for Business on premises and on Skype for Business online in Office 365,” says Amy Barzdukas, VP of Global Solutions Marketing at Polycom, “And that is great news for customers. People will be able to continue to leverage their Group Series investments and bring in new Group Series end points as they move to Office 365.”
In addition, as part of Microsoft’s newly announced Project Rigel, Polycom will deliver a new line of room solutions purpose built for Skype for Business that will offer plug-and-play simplicity in a variety of configurations to meet the needs of any sized business and any sized room. Additionally, Polycom’s leading voice and video technologies, such as Polycom CX5100 and Polycom RealPresence Trio, will be certified for Project Rigel solutions.
“We will participate in Microsoft’s newly announced Project Rigel, and we will continue partnering with them in building purpose-built room systems for Office 365 and Skype for business,” says Barzdukas. “It’s really exciting for us to be able to work with them and extend video into more and more environments.”
The two companies also announced that Polycom will deliver an industry-first, cloud-based video interoperability service, hosted in the Microsoft Cloud, for Office 365 customers. This enables Office 365 customers to leverage their existing video investments and unite with those of other vendors, including Polycom, Microsoft and Cisco, as they move to the cloud. The service will also offer the capabilities of Polycom RealConnect technology which provides users of Skype for Business and non-Microsoft endpoints with the same Skype for Business collaboration experience.
“The new cloud interop service will run on Azure and will be for Office 365 subscribers. It will allow them to have Cisco, Polycom, and other end points interoperate with Office 365,” says Barzdukas. “It will be a service that a customer who has Office 365 can add to their subscription, and it will operate very much like out RealConnect solution does today.”
The announcement signifies the next step in the close relationship between the two companies and adds to Polycom’s portfolio of voice solutions certified for Office 365 and Skype for Business.
“Over the course of our 12-year partnership, Polycom and Microsoft have worked in tandem to deliver industry-leading collaboration solutions designed to promote enhanced productivity and workflows, while providing an unmatched user experience,” says Peter Leav, Chief Executive Officer of Polycom. “Our customers have told us that they rely on our combined solutions to reach the highest level of productivity and efficiency. Together, we equip our customers of all sizes with cloud-ready solutions that will help them realize the powerful benefits of collaboration in the workplace of the future.”
The software update to Polycom’s Group Series is planes for mid-to-late 2016, while the new video solution portfolio and cloud video interoperability service are due at the end of 2016.