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Nortel Teams with Polycom for Telepresence Solution


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May 10, 2007

Nortel Teams with Polycom for Telepresence Solution

By Erik Linask
Group Managing Editor

One of the biggest benefits of today’s IP Communications solutions is the tremendous flexibility users have with regards to conferencing capabilities. The ability to easily set up and participate in conference calls, not to mention enhanced video conferencing and document sharing features — presents a significantly enhanced conferencing environment than what most of us are used to. With these new systems, users no longer require a third party to set up a conference bridge and communicate passcodes call-in numbers. In fact, with today’s advanced IP-based systems, video conference calls can be initiated at the touch of a single button. The most advanced of these video conferencing solutions belong to an IP Communications family of services called Telepresence. 

Telepresence, as its name suggests, is a teleconferencing solution that, through advanced technologies, gives the appearance of all participants being present in the same room. It typically includes large, high quality monitors to provide life-size images, high quality audio facilities on both ends of the call, and network connectivity to enable document and screen sharing during the call. The idea behind telepresence is the same as all new IP Communications solutions: to create a natural, comfortable, collaborative communications experience.
Two of the solutions vendors that are entrenched in the IP Communications space have now come together to market such a next generation telepresence solution to a larger customer base than has ever had access to it in previously. Under a new agreement, Nortel will resell Polycom’s immersive telepresence solution as part of Nortel’s Multimedia Services portfolio. From Nortel’s perspective, its video conferencing services, featuring Polycom’s (News - Alert) solution, will drive a new level of efficiency and productivity in its enterprise customers. For Polycom, this is a new channel for bringing its immersive telepresence experience to market.
The Polycom immersive experience uniquely makes geographically dispersed meeting participants feel as though they are sitting around the same conference table. With two locations using the Polycom solution, the high definition audio and video capabilities, the similar furnishings, the collaboration facilities all truly give the appearance of being in the same room with someone in Seattle, even if you’re in Talahassee, Florida or Frankfurt, Germany.
“These solutions can seamlessly connect multiple locations in a virtual meeting experience so real participants will almost believe they’re in the same room,” said Dietmar Wendt, president, Global Services, Nortel (News - Alert).
While this agreement between Nortel and Polycom is a non-exclusive deal, it covers the entire line of Polycom’s conferencing solutions — which includes its telepresence solutions, conference room and desktop video solutions and products. The line is part of Polycom’s UltimateHD architecture, which not only offers the latest audio and video technology, but also provides upward scalability as well as backwards compatibility with older devices and software, providing customers maximum return on past investments.
Through this agreement, Nortel will further expand on its goal to drive increased efficiencies into business communications networks, in this case, adding comprehensive video conferencing solutions to an already robust solution set.
“Using instantaneous collaboration tools to meet and share content enables faster decisions, raises productivity, enhances relationships, and improves knowledge access and transfer,” said chairman and CEO at Polycom. “We are teaming with Nortel to drive increased adoption of these technologies among customers around the world.”
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Erik Linask is Associate Editor of INTERNET TELEPHONY, IMS Magazine, and SIP Magazine. Prior to joining TMC (News - Alert), he was Managing Editor at Global Custodian, an international securities services publication. To see more of his articles, please visit Erik Linask’s columnist page.


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