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Polycom and Avaya today announced they have joined to develop IP-based solutions to make desktop and group video communications as simple as a phone call

  • 09 December, 2003 15:21

<p>Good afternoon,</p>
<p>Polycom and Avaya today announced they have joined to develop IP-based solutions to make desktop and group video communications as simple as a phone call.</p>
<p>For more information or to arrange an interview with Polycom and/or Avaya please contact:</p>
<p>Michelle Zahra
Porter Novelli Australia
Tel: 02 9463 7600 | Mobile: 0412 375 101</p>
<p>Avaya and Polycom to Develop IP-Based Solutions
that Make Desktop and Group Video Communication as Simple as a Phone Call</p>
<p>· Joint development efforts on converged networks will help businesses to collaborate more efficiently, reduce costs and simplify network management
· Avaya to sell and service Polycom products globally through broadened reseller agreement</p>
<p>For Immediate Release: December 9, 2003 - Avaya Inc. (NYSE: AV) and Polycom, Inc. (NASDAQ: PLCM) today announced that the companies will collaborate to jointly develop and market new Internet protocol (IP)-telephony-enabled video solutions that will make desktop and group video communication as simple as a phone call. The result is intended to help businesses communicate more efficiently, reduce costs, simplify network management and make real-time video a significant component of enterprise communications. The companies also said Avaya plans to sell and service Polycom products globally - significantly expanding the companies’ existing strategic reseller relationship in North America that includes more than 10,000 video implementations.</p>
<p>The joint development initiative between the two companies will combine Polycom’s market leadership in IP video communications worldwide and Avaya’s global leadership in communications networks and services for businesses, including the rapidly growing market for IP telephony. The companies said the open, standards-based solutions would enable them to respond to the growing market for video communications.</p>
<p>According to a recent survey of chief information officers conducted by Gartner Inc, desktop video conferencing was cited first among a list of emerging technologies based on their future potential1. Avaya and Polycom said they intend to market their jointly developed IP video communications solutions to the 360 million business PCs (Frost &amp; Sullivan) and 55 million conference rooms (Wainhouse Research) currently in use around the world.</p>
<p>"Enterprises are beginning to prepare their networks for convergence, so that they can take advantage of new collaborative applications that combine voice, data and video,” said Lawrence Orans, principal analyst, Gartner Research. "We are seeing an upswing in IP telephony adoption and a strong related desire to bring desktop and group video to the converged communications network, enabling faster collaborative decision-making."</p>
<p>Through joint development initiatives, Avaya and Polycom plan to provide businesses with the ability to adopt a single IP infrastructure that integrates voice, data and video applications. New, easy-to-use collaboration capabilities will be accessible at the desktop, in conference rooms and at off-site locations via mobile devices. These capabilities will combine voice calls and conferencing, instant messaging, speech access and mobile communications for broader, real-time communication among workers in increasingly dispersed global enterprises. As a result, companies can be more nimble - making faster decisions and improving productivity and responsiveness to customers.</p>
<p>The jointly developed solutions from Avaya and Polycom will be designed to make voice and video easier to manage across an enterprise. The companies plan a single network management system for voice and video that includes common signalling, a standardized dial plan, common directories, and common authentication and authorization procedures. Avaya-Polycom solutions will be built on open, standards-based protocols that allow businesses to incorporate new video capabilities into existing multivendor network infrastructures to preserve capital investments.</p>
<p>The joint development work between Avaya and Polycom is planned to incorporate the Avaya MultiVantage™ Communications Applications Suite, including the company’s flagship Avaya Communication Manager IP telephony software, with leading video communication capabilities from Polycom. These include Polycom’s ViaVideo® desktop solutions, group video systems, MGC family of unified conferencing bridges, and voice terminals.</p>
<p>Scheduled for delivery in mid-2004, the first jointly developed products from Avaya and Polycom will integrate Polycom video into Avaya’s Softphone application, allowing users to make both phone and video calls through a simple interface on their PC or laptop computer. Their joint development roadmap also includes the video enabling of Avaya desktop IP telephones to facilitate video communication to a phone call with the click of a mouse or touch of a button and to use telephony features such as hold, forward and transfer while on a video call.</p>
<p>“Integrating video into converged voice and data networks enables businesses to take advantage of face-to-face communication with the click of a button, across a corporate campus and around the globe,” said Mike Thurk, group vice president for Avaya’s enterprise communications group. “These open, standards-based solutions offer significant productivity gains and operational efficiencies using IP networking. Through our joint development efforts with Polycom, Avaya is accelerating delivery of these advanced collaboration applications to the global marketplace.”</p>
<p>Avaya and Polycom plan similar innovations to meet the rigorous quality demands of today’s enterprise. Digital signal processing capabilities are built into the Polycom ViaVideo camera to ensure superior audio and video performance at the desktop, and the companies will be developing real-time capabilities that will allow businesses to monitor network performance and ensure optimal allocation of bandwidth. As a result of this relationship, Avaya will be able to offer businesses a single source for the design, implementation and management of both converged network infrastructures and multimedia communication applications.</p>
<p>“Video communication and collaboration technologies have the power to revolutionize workplace productivity in the same way voice mail, email and Internet commerce have done,” said Bob Hagerty, president and CEO, Polycom. “By working with the innovative Avaya Communication Manager software platform for IP telephony and using standard protocols such as H.323 and SIP, we have the opportunity to create more powerful, cost-effective linkages among the many types of communication that drive business success.“</p>
<p>Barclays Global Investors Uses Video Conferencing and IP Telephony for Strategic Communication</p>
<p>A business that expects to benefit from the IP telephony-enabled video products is the investment management firm Barclays Global Investors. The company currently uses video conferencing from Avaya and Polycom to cost effectively promote face-to-face communication between employees in their many international locations in the US, Asia and Europe. “Video is a strategic communication medium for Barclays,” says Pat Green, telecommunications manager.</p>
<p>“Since we have already seen the benefits of implementing Avaya IP voice and networking solutions, we are excited about the prospect of bringing the new IP telephony-based solutions from Avaya and Polycom into our conference rooms and to desktops throughout our business. This will enable us to provide the tools that support our business critical communications, while we continue to drive down the costs.”</p>
<p>Avaya-Polycom Expand Strategic Reseller Agreement Globally</p>
<p>The reseller portion of the Avaya-Polycom relationship will expand beyond existing sales of Polycom solutions in North America to address the demand for video communication and converged solutions globally. Now Polycom solutions, as well as the joint converged solutions developed by Polycom and Avaya, will be represented by Avaya’s direct sales force. The companies also plan to offer their products through dual, authorized Avaya-Polycom business partners who will have access to market development funds, training and certification programs.</p>
<p>Worldwide service and support for Polycom products and for those jointly developed with Avaya will be provided by Avaya Global Services, the largest and most experienced services business in the industry and an established leader in converged networks. The Avaya Global Services Multimedia Collaboration Centre - a centre of excellence for video - has extensive video integration expertise and has implemented more than 10,000 enterprise video communication solutions to date. Additional Avaya Services competencies include the design, building and management of IP networks, network consulting services using a unique suite of ExpertNetSM VoIP assessment tools, security and continuity services, implementation services, and comprehensive maintenance and management services for multivendor communications networks worldwide.</p>
<p>About Polycom
Polycom, Inc. is the world’s technology leader of high-quality, easy-to-use video, voice, data and web conferencing and collaboration solutions. The Polycom Office™ is our continued commitment to make distance communications as natural and interactive as being there by providing best-in-class conferencing solutions that are interoperable, integrated and intuitive to the user. For additional information, call 1-800-355-355 or (02) 9978-8000, or visit the Polycom web site at www.polycom.com.au</p>
<p>About Avaya
Avaya Inc. designs, builds and manages communications networks for more than 1 million businesses worldwide, including 90 percent of the FORTUNE 500®. Focused on businesses large to small, Avaya is a world leader in secure and reliable Internet Protocol (IP) telephony systems and communications software applications and services.
Driving the convergence of voice and data communications with business applications - and distinguished by comprehensive worldwide services -Avaya helps customers leverage existing and new networks to achieve superior business results. For more information visit the Avaya website: <http:>.
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Polycom, the Polycom logo, and ViaVideo are registered trademarks and The Polycom Office is a trademark of Polycom in the U.S. and various countries. ©2003, Polycom, Inc. All rights reserved.</http:></p>
<p>1Tactical Guidelines, TG-18-6377, “Technology Adoption and Value,” by J. Fenn, R. Ball, Dec. 18, 2002.</p>

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