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Polycom and Skype team to deliver mini, high-fidelity PC speakerphone for hands-free, wideband Skype calling

  • 02 May, 2006 12:55

<p>Polycom Communicator unveiled at NASDAQ event celebrating Polycom’s Tenth Anniversary as publicly traded company and two millionth conference phone shipment</p>
<p>Polycom, Inc. [NASDAQ: PLCM], the world’s leading provider of unified collaborative communications solutions, and Skype™, the global Internet communications company, today announced an agreement to deliver integrated, high-quality communications solutions for businesses who use Skype. Skype estimates that business customers make up 30 percent of its more than 100 million registered users.</p>
<p>The first joint product from this alliance is the Polycom Communicator™, a Skype Certified, co-branded USB speakerphone that leverages Polycom’s renowned Acoustic Clarity Technology™ to deliver hands-free, natural, two-way voice communication for Skype voice and video conversations, without echoes or feedback.</p>
<p>The Polycom Communicator complements the new Skype for Business offering, providing an affordable and portable personal speakerphone solution that delivers business-quality, high-fidelity wideband voice communications for individuals or small groups. It delivers a best-in-class user experience with outstanding voice quality, integration with Skype software, and portability. In addition to the core speakerphone capabilities, the Polycom Communicator also offers high-quality audio output for playing music, games, etc. from a laptop or desktop PC.</p>
<p>“The partnership between Polycom and Skype is a natural fit,” said Will Stofega, research manager of VoIP services at IDC. “Skype is making inroads into business environments which require business-quality solutions. The Polycom Communicator delivers the full range of wideband voice quality for the Skype application and the experience is excellent. The hands-free design and tight integration makes the Polycom Communicator easy to set up and use.”</p>
<p>“Teaming with Polycom, we can offer Skype business customers high-quality, portable communications solutions, based on proven technology, that can help them extend Skype more broadly into their everyday work environment,” said Henry Gomez, Skype’s general manager for North America.</p>
<p>Polycom Communicator was introduced in conjunction with the NASDAQ market opening by Polycom CEO Robert Hagerty, who was accompanied by Polycom CFO Mike Kourey and SVP of Voice Products Sunil Bhalla. The company is celebrating its tenth anniversary as a publicly traded company and the shipment of the two-millionth SoundStation conference phone -- the award-winning, triangular-shaped conference phone line that has become an icon for voice conferencing quality in businesses around the globe.</p>
<p>“Personal and group collaboration is a critical communications need in this world of distributed workgroups. Skype’s unique offering, broad global user base, and growing adoption within business environments is a natural fit for Polycom’s leading communications and collaboration solutions,” said Hagerty.</p>
<p>“We are pleased to launch our first Skype Certified hands-free, wideband USB speakerphone, which leverages our expertise in real-time voice communications and is a logical extension of our award-winning voice communications product line. The Polycom Communicator’s deep integration with Skype provides customers with unrivalled quality and performance in a personal PC speakerphone,” added Hagerty.</p>
<p>The Polycom Communicator delivers:
· Exceptional voice quality - The device features high-quality, full-duplex (two-way), hands-free voice communications; high-fidelity wideband audio quality capabilities and Polycom’s renowned Acoustic Clarity Technology that eliminates echoes and feedback. The device also supports Skype’s full wideband voice capabilities.
· Multi-functional capabilities - In addition to the Skype phone capabilities, the Polycom USB Communicator can also be used as a high-fidelity speaker (up to 22 kHz) for other PC applications, including audio presentations, music, games, etc. It also has a built-in stereo headset port for private conversations.
· Freedom from a headset - Users can hold high quality Skype calls without the hassle of a being connected via a headset cable or having a device against or in their ear.
· Convenient call function buttons - With deep integration to the Skype application, the Polycom Communicator features convenient buttons enabling users to easily launch Skype on their computer and control volume, mute, and pick-up and hang-up calls.
· Portable, compact design - About the size of a PDA, the speakerphone connects to a computer via an integrated USB cable which also provides power; no batteries or additional power sources are required The USB cable conveniently stores within the device. The small size and carrying case makes the Polycom Communicator easy to transport between home, office and on the road.</p>
<p>Polycom also offers a Computer Calling Kit option for its SoundStation2™ and SoundStation2W™ conference phones, enabling those phones to work with Skype. For more information about Polycom Communicator, visit the Polycom website at www.polycom.com/communicator <http:> or go to http://www.podtech.net/?p=552 to listen to a podcast from Jim Kruger, vice president of marketing, Polycom voice communications.</http:></p>
<p>Skype for Business, available now at <http:>, makes it easy for companies to use Skype and find valuable resources to easily manage communications, reduce costs, maximize security and improve productivity. Skype for Business includes the Skype for Business Web site, a resource dedicated to business support, and the Skype for Business Control Panel (formerly named Skype Groups) to simplify management of grouped users and pre-paid services. Skype for Business is especially effective for companies with fewer than 10 employees, a market represented by more than 50 percent of businesses already using Skype.</http:></p>
<p>Pricing and Availability
The Polycom Communicator will be available worldwide within 60 days through Polycom certified channel partners and through the online Skype store at www.skype.com/store <http:> for a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of AU$199.00.</http:></p>
<p>Polycom reserves the right to modify future product plans at any time. Products and/or related specifications referenced in this press release are not guaranteed, and will be delivered on a when and if available basis.</p>
<p>About Skype
Skype is the world’s fastest-growing Internet communication offering, allowing people everywhere to make unlimited voice and video communication for free between the users of Skype software. Skype is available in 27 languages and is used in almost every country around the world. Skype generates revenue through its premium offerings such as making and receiving calls to and from landline and mobile phones, as well as voicemail and call forwarding. Skype also has relationships with a growing network of hardware and software providers. Skype is an eBay company (NASDAQ: EBAY). To learn more visit www.skype.com <http:></http:></p>
<p>Skype is not a replacement for your ordinary telephone and cannot be used for emergency calling.</p>
<p>About Polycom
Polycom, Inc. is the worldwide leader in unified collaborative communications (UCC) that maximise the efficiency and productivity of people and organisations by integrating the broadest array of video, voice, data and Web solutions to deliver the ultimate communications experience. Polycom's high quality, standards-based conferencing and collaboration solutions are easy to deploy and manage, as well as intuitive to use. Supported by an open architecture, they integrate seamlessly with leading telephony and presence-based networks. With its market driving technologies, best-in-class products, alliance partnerships, and world-class service, Polycom is the smart choice for organisations seeking proven solutions and a competitive advantage in real-time communications and collaboration. The NASDAQ-listed company is based in Pleasanton, California, USA, and has Asia-Pacific offices in Beijing, Hong Kong, New Delhi, Seoul, Shanghai, Singapore, Sydney and Tokyo. For additional information, visit the Polycom site at www.polycomasia.com or call 1800 355 355.</p>
<p>Polycom, the Polycom and SoundStation are registered trademarks and SoundStation2, SoundStation2W, Acoustic Clarity Technology and Polycom Communicator are trademarks of Polycom in the U.S. and various countries. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. ©2006, Polycom, Inc. All rights reserved.</p>

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