Kathea announces enhancements to Polycom RealPresence Platform

3X HD Video Capacity via Open Standards-Based SVC, and First Multi-Protocol, Integrated Software MCU for Industry-Standard Servers

Kathea, a distributor of visual communications solutions has announced significant enhancements to the Polycom RealPresence Platform, making it an even more comprehensive and flexible software infrastructure for delivering video collaboration from private, public, and hybrid clouds.

These enhancements include:

  • Powerful Polycom RealPresence Platform enhancements include industry’s first open standards-based SVC (Scalable Video Coding), with 3X HD multipoint video call capacity for greater scalability, dramatically lower Total Cost of Ownership (TCO), superior performance, and backwards- and forwards-compatibility to protect customer investments – all available through a software update
  • Polycom RealPresence Collaboration Server 800s, Virtual Edition, is industry’s first multi-protocol, integrated software MCU that runs on industry-standard servers
  • Polycom extends firewall traversal and security options with Polycom RealPresence Access Director, vastly improving capacity and supported protocols for improved B2B and B2C connectivity
  • Building on earlier Polycom RealPresence Platform enhancements, including multi-tenancy support and open APIs, service providers can expand VaaS offerings more efficiently at scale
  • Polycom RealPresence CloudAXIS Suite, an extension of Polycom RealPresence Platform, lets customers extend enterprise-grade video collaboration to users of Skype, Facebook, Google Talk, and business video applications via a browser, for B2B and B2C video conferencing with the highest quality, reliability and security.

“These enhancements enable us to deliver solutions with functionality that delivers additional value to our resellers and their customers. Polycom is a leader in its field and its perpetual technology developments provides the latest and most up to date feature-rich solutions. Furthermore, these developments further cements Polycom’s commits to its markets and delivers value to its customer’s investment in the brand,” says Divesh Nathoo, pre-sales manager at Kathea.

The new enhancements make the RealPresence Platform more universally accessible by ensuring multi-vendor interoperability, eliminating barriers to access, and bringing down the cost for enterprises to video-enable their organisations and for service providers to extend from Video-as-a-Service (VaaS) to expanded Video Collaboration-as-a-Service (VCaaS) offerings delivered from Polycom-powered clouds.

Polycom introduced the industry’s first open standards-based Scalable Video Coding (SVC) protocol, delivering 3X the previous capacity for HD multipoint video calls for greater scalability, dramatically lower TCO, superior performance, and backwards- and forwards-compatibility to protect customer investments. Polycom also introduced Polycom RealPresence Collaboration Server 800s, Virtual Edition, the industry’s first multi-protocol, integrated software MCU that runs on industry-standard servers.

“At Polycom, we continue to bolster our RealPresence Platform software infrastructure with interoperability enhancements designed to ensure customers are future-proofed and able to quickly leverage trends such as BYOD, mobile computing, and social networking that offer new opportunities to extend enterprise-grade video conferencing to the masses. Polycom is laser-focused on open standards-based interoperability for two key reasons: first, to protect our customers’ investments and ensure backwards- and forwards-compatibility; second, to remove all impediments that limit the ubiquitous adoption of video collaboration,” said Sudhakar Ramakrishna, president of Products and Services, Polycom.

“With these announcements, Polycom is delivering several industry firsts, such as the first open standards-based SVC implementation, which boosts multipoint capacity by 3X and works with other popular standards so that customers don’t need to rip and replace their current investments or buy expensive gateways required by competitive SVC offerings. In addition, Polycom is offering the industry’s first multi-protocol, integrated software MCU, RealPresence Collaboration Server 800s, Virtual Edition, which runs on industry-standard servers for greater flexibility and cost savings.”

Polycom recently announced support for open standards-based SVC, an extension to AVC (Advanced Video Coding H.264), the standard coding protocol used by most of today’s video conferencing devices.

The open standards-based SVC algorithm provides a multi-layered data structure that allows systems to adapt to networks to enhance the resolution, frame rate, and quality of video streams, and increase error resiliency, all without requiring excessive bandwidth or administrative intervention. This includes SVC enabling a video stream to be reduced in size automatically if there is a reduction in throughput (e.g. a connectivity bottleneck), allowing the viewer of a video meeting to keep the connection at a slightly lower resolution instead of getting a pause or a video freeze.

Polycom took a rigorous, open standards-based approach to SVC, whereas other SVC implementations have experienced very limited success because they create closed environments that do not work with other vendors’ systems. This requires customers to either purchase expensive gateways or rip and replace their video investments. By providing native interoperability between the new SVC protocol and standards-based protocols such as AVC, the RealPresence Platform bridges “video islands” caused by earlier, closed implementations of SVC. This interoperability protects customer investments through backwards-compatibility with AVC and other protocols and forwards-compatibility with SVC and future open standards-based protocols that may emerge.

Polycom’s standards-based SVC implementation is built on a framework developed by the Unified Communications Interoperability Forum (UCI Forum), a non-profit network of technology vendors with a shared vision of UC interoperability, and Polycom is licensing its SVC implementation free of charge to the UCI Forum and others to ensure adoption and industry-wide interoperability.

Polycom’s SVC implementation provides significant customer benefits, including 3X HD multi-point video capacity for greater scalability, dramatically lower TCO, and superior performance. Scalability is important to customers as they bring video collaboration to more employees and onto more devices, such as PCs and tablets.

“Delivering open standards-based SVC is a bold move for Polycom, and critical for the industry,” said Jim Lundy, CEO and lead analyst at Aragon Research. “While SVC provides significant cost, performance, and scalability benefits to customers, until now it has seen limited success because other SVC protocols are proprietary, creating ‘video islands’ and running up implementation costs for customers.”

SVC support is available through software updates to components of the RealPresence Platform, including RealPresence Collaboration Server 7.8 and 8.1 (RMX), RealPresence Resource Manager 7.1, and RealPresence Virtualization Manager 5.1 (DMA). These software updates also include support for Polycom’s next-generation video endpoints.

RealPresence Collaboration Server 800s, Virtual Edition, Software MCU that Runs on Industry-Standard Servers, First in New Software Delivery Model for Flexible, Lower-Cost Video.
Polycom RealPresence Collaboration Server 800s, Virtual Edition, is the industry’s first multi-protocol, integrated software MCU that runs on industry-standard servers, connecting video systems using the open standards-based SVC protocol with video systems using other protocols, such as AVC, to the same meeting without expensive gateways, extra licenses, or hidden costs. RealPresence Collaboration Server 800s, Virtual Edition, also delivers open standards-based SVC that results in 3X HD multipoint video capacity for greater scalability, dramatically lower TCO, and superior performance, and is ideal for mid-sized enterprises such as professional service firms, private healthcare institutions, and investment firms, as well as for larger organisations with branch offices.

RealPresence Collaboration Server 800s, Virtual Edition, represents a significant step forward in delivering virtualised video collaboration from the data centre for even greater flexibility and lower cost. Polycom plans to deliver additional software MCUs for industry-standard servers in the future.

Polycom Extends Firewall Traversal Options with RealPresence Access Director for Improved B2B and B2C Secure Connectivity
Polycom has also expanded firewall traversal with the new Polycom RealPresence Access Director solution. RealPresence Access Director makes it easier for users, inside or outside the firewall, to video conference safely with anyone in the organisation, whether they are in a secure environment at the office or an unsecure environment at home or on the go in a hotel. Integrated with the RealPresence Platform virtualisation and resource management solutions, RealPresence Access Director brings cost-effective, highly scalable conferencing to applications such as B2B, B2C, and intra-company collaboration. The solution is optimised for multi-protocol networks/environments (H.323 and SIP).

Building on Enhancements to RealPresence Platform, Including Multi-Tenancy Support and Open APIs that Expand the Offerings Partners and Service Providers Can Deliver Efficiently at Scale
The new RealPresence Platform enhancements provide significant benefits to services providers, including massive scalability, interoperability, multi-device support, new firewall traversal and security options (RealPresence Access Director or Acme Packet interoperability), and manageability for delivering VaaS. Multi-tenancy capabilities enable service providers to optimise resource investments by leveraging a single physical Polycom RealPresence Resource Manager to support multiple customers in a secure and scalable manner, driving down operating costs.

New open APIs launched in July will help service providers speed the delivery of new services by simplifying the task of integrating the RealPresence Platform with their operations and billing support systems (OSS/BSS), as well as third-party management systems for scheduling, billing, and rating; video collaboration provisioning; resource reporting in-conference control; and system management. Many leading service providers, including Airtel, BT, China Unicom, Telstra, TIM Intelig and 8×8, are already using Polycom video collaboration solutions to power their video offerings.

Polycom’s APIs, which are available to ISVs, partners, and developers, also enable organisations to integrate business applications such as scheduling, directory, management, and monitoring with the RealPresence Platform, extending the value of RealPresence video solutions to new use cases and users.

Just over a year ago, Polycom introduced the Polycom RealPresence Platform, the most comprehensive and interoperable UC software infrastructure for universal video collaboration. The RealPresence Platform provides robust provisioning, management, scalability, reliability, flexibility, and security. These announcements benefit organisations of all sizes as well as service providers by providing greater scale, broader multi-vendor integration, and more refined manageability while bringing down the costs of delivering video services on premises or from the cloud.

Polycom RealPresence Virtualisation Manager 5.1 (DMA), RealPresence Resource Manager 7.1, RealPresence Access Director, RealPresence Collaboration Server 7.8 (RMX) will be available in November 2012; SVC support will be available via a software update at no charge for customers under a maintenance plan. The RealPresence Collaboration Server 8.1 (RMX) is planned to be available in 1H 2013 and will provide mixed AVC/SVC call capabilities. Polycom RealPresence Collaboration Server 800s, Virtual Edition, will be available in December 2012. Polycom plans to make available the Polycom RealPresence CloudAXIS Suite to enterprises in Q1 2013, and trials for service providers are also planned for Q1 2013. Products and solutions availability may vary by country. For more information, visit www.polycom.co.uk or contact one of our more than 6,500 channel partners worldwide.

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Kathea announces enhancements to Polycom RealPresence Platform