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Polycom delivers industry’s most secure video communications platform with software upgrade to flagship VSX line

  • 23 May, 2006 15:57

<p>Polycom only vendor with pending FIPS 140-2 compliance and comprehensive security mode, standards-based Firewall/NAT traversal technology on VSX and V2IU simplifies video calling between organizations</p>
<p>Polycom, Inc. [NASDAQ: PLCM], the world’s leading provider of unified collaborative communications solutions, has announced enhancements to its industry-leading line of video communications solutions that give customers the most secure platform in the industry for high-quality video communications within and between organisations.</p>
<p>VSX™ Release 8.5 introduces the addition of H.460 support for standards-based firewall and network addressing traversal, as well as comprehensive Security Mode, based on FIPS 140-2, for locking down systems. Polycom systems are the only video conferencing line with pending FIPS 140-2 compliance for U.S. and Canadian government agencies.</p>
<p>“Secure communications is an increasingly important requirement for our government and enterprise customers,” said Ed Ellett, senior vice president and general manager of video communications at Polycom. “With pending FIPS 140-2 compliance and new security features for our network systems and video calls, no other vendor offers a more secure platform for video communications than Polycom.”</p>
<p>The Polycom VSX solutions are undergoing rigorous Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) 140-2 validation in order to provide customers with an added level of security assurance. The FIPS 140-2 standard is a joint effort by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in the U.S. and the Communications Security Establishment (CSE) under the Canadian government.</p>
<p>The standard provides third-party assurance of security claims on any product containing cryptographic modules, which may be purchased by a government agency. The FIPS standard, which is mandated by law in the U.S. and very strictly enforced in Canada, is also currently being reviewed by ISO to become an international standard. Polycom VSX customers will be able to add FIPS-compliant capabilities to their systems through a software upgrade.</p>
<p>“FIPS 140-2 is gaining worldwide recognition as an important benchmark for third party validations of encryption products of all kinds,” said John Morris, president of Corsec Security, a consulting firm working with Polycom to expedite the FIPS 14-2 validation process. “The planned FIPS 140-2 validation of Polycom VSX products provides customers with a high level of integrated assurance, security, and reliability. This illustrates Polycom’s dedication to provide businesses what they require -- the best videoconferencing products with the peace of mind of third-party security validation.”</p>
<p>The new Polycom VSX Release 8.5 delivers the following capabilities:</p>
<p>Simplified, Secure Calling Between Organizations through VSX and V2IU
Polycom video conferencing solutions now support H.460, a standards-based technology that enables video callers to securely connect through firewalls. Support for H.460 on VSX systems works in conjunction with NAT/firewall traversal devices like Polycom’s Voice Video Interface Unit (V2IU™) to give customers a scalable way to support communications between organizations and across the Internet without circumventing established network security.</p>
<p>With H.460 support on VSX endpoints, remote workers, satellite offices, customers and partners can communicate securely with other companies without needing a V2IU deployed in those smaller, remote and customer/partner locations. H.460 support on V2IU is available in Release 6.5 for V2IU.</p>
<p>V2IU is unique in providing optimized bandwidth utilization with prioritized delivery of voice and video as well as shortest path routing of media directly between two endpoints rather than through a centralised server. Unlike tunnelling techniques, used by session border controllers that hide traffic from network perimeter security solutions, V2IU is a voice and video aware firewall and NAT that actually enhances the existing security perimeter. The only H.323 standards-based solution, V2IU works alone or with existing firewall/NAT traversal solutions increasing their performance for rich media applications within a secure network.</p>
<p>Security Mode Delivers Most Secure Video Conferencing Platform in the Industry
Customers wanting to “lock down” their video systems can do so through a new Security Mode enabled through Polycom VSX Release 8.5. The new features, which are available for VSX endpoints with at least 128M of memory, enable web browsers to securely connect to a VSX system via HTTPS. VSX systems also now support secure Telnet and FTP access through SSH for secure system administration and application connectivity. The combination of the capabilities is unique to Polycom VSX systems.</p>
<p>Standards-Based Siren14 Wideband Audio Now Supported
Combined with existing support on Polycom’s MGC™ unified conferencing bridges, customers now experience the highest audio quality in the industry, end to end with standards-based wideband audio in Polycom environments. G.722.1 Annex C, the new international standard-based on Polycom’s Siren14™ super wideband (14 kHz) audio technology provides near-CD quality audio for better clarity and less listening fatigue for those in a video call.</p>
<p>Additionally, G.722.1 Annex C requires dramatically less computing power and bandwidth than alternative wideband audio technologies like MPEG4 AAC-LD, eACC+ and AMR-WB+.</p>
<p>Enhanced Microsoft LCS Integration
VSX Release 8.5 extends Polycom’s SIP integration with Microsoft environments, enabling VSX systems to be seen in buddy lists and show presence information (online, offline, busy, etc.) when registered to the Microsoft Live Communication Server.</p>
<p>Enhanced IP Optimization Minimizes Packet Overhead and Network Congestion
VSX Release 8.5 also now delivers video calls with lower “packet overhead”, which allows IT administrators to accurately determine the amount of bandwidth needed for their video network. Packet size, or MTU size, can now be adjusted by network administrators, giving them more control over the video traffic on their network</p>
<p>Pricing and Availability
Polycom VSX Release 8.5 is now available with no additional charge for VSX customers on a standard Polycom maintenance agreement. Otherwise, Polycom VSX Release 8.5 is available through qualified Polycom channel partners for a MSRP of US$1,995 for VSX systems and US$495 for V500 systems. Asia Pacific pricing may vary.</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 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 or call 1800 355 355.</p>
<p>Polycom and the Polycom logo are registered trademarks and V2IU, MGC, VSX and Siren14 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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