Polycom, the global leader in open standards-based unified communications (UC), today unveiled significant enhancements to the Polycom RealPresence Platform that will enable service providers to more easily and cost-effectively deliver Video-as-a-Service (Vaas) offerings at scale to businesses of all sizes. With new features such as multi-tenancy support and a rich suite of open APIs that enable service providers to get to market faster with custom and plug-in applications, Polycom is driving down the cost and complexity of building and managing a public or private video cloud. In addition, Polycom also announced new enhancements to the RealPresence Platform that improve the scalability, manageability, and secure delivery of video collaboration to organisations across every industry sector.
The new service provider features of the Polycom RealPresence Platform are designed to meet a surging market demand for differentiated, cloud-delivered video and UC services that can scale to serve tens of thousands of concurrent customers. Increasingly, video collaboration is being delivered through the cloud, enabling even more organisations to reap the benefits of face-to-face video collaboration – including increased productivity and engagement, business continuity, improved training, and even industry-specific uses such as distance learning and telemedicine. More than a dozen service providers, including Airtel, BT, China Unicom, 8x8, and Vietnam Post and Telecommunications are already using the RealPresence Platform infrastructure to power their VaaS offerings.
With today’s announcement, Polycom is enabling services providers, independent software vendors (ISVs), and customers to leverage Polycom open APIs and software development kits (SDKs) to test, create, and ultimately deliver new compelling software applications and solutions that integrate with the RealPresence Platform – the most comprehensive and interoperable software infrastructure for universal video collaboration – to provide even more value to customers. The new APIs will help service providers speed the delivery of new services by simplifying the task of integrating the Polycom 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.
Driving Innovation and Customisation for Service Providers through APIs
Specific examples of software applications leveraging Polycom APIs include:
ISV VQ Communications leveraged Polycom’s open APIs to develop billing and scheduling applications for a leading service provider in the Asia Pacific region so they could get to market faster with their VaaS offering. “Polycom’s new developer program and suite of APIs, is enabling us to deliver value-added billing and video collaboration scheduling applications for service provider customers that are looking to get to market quickly with cloud-delivered video collaboration solutions powered by Polycom,” said Giles Adams, CEO, VQ Communications. “The new Polycom APIs create business opportunities for our company, as well as more value for service providers and the entire ecosystem.”
myVRM, an ISV that specialises in Web-based multi-level scheduling solutions, developed a new application using Polycom APIs that makes it easier for customers to schedule videoconferencing meetings. The application allows meetings to be scheduled from one centralised calendar using a personal information manager interface, a Web interface, or through iOS or Android integration.
Polycom service provider customers have expressed interest in creating a custom virtual meeting room application for VaaS offerings, as well as directory applications that connect multiple directory platforms.
A large international service provider with an existing multi-vendor infrastructure can use the APIs to integrate the different components of their video conferencing service, enabling more efficient allocation of network resources.
With multi-tenancy and use of Polycom’s open APIs, service providers delivering hosted VaaS can securely deliver advanced conference control features - such as conference start and stop, mute, and record - to their customers.
Service providers and ISVs can find the new APIs and SDKs at developer.polycom.com, where they can also test and create custom solutions in a “digital sandbox” and participate in various industry discussion forums with other developers. Polycom is also introducing new custom application development services to support this program, including consulting support for existing customer IT resources, complete API software development in house, and full custom API software development for a specific project.
“Video collaboration is the language of business and many small- to medium-sized businesses are increasingly looking to have video collaboration delivered as a service, moving it from a cap-ex to op-ex model,” said Sudhakar Ramakrishna, Polycom President of Products and Services. “Service providers are in a unique position to capitalize on this opportunity to increase their revenues and market presence in UC collaboration. Polycom’s platform, solutions, and APIs meet the specific needs of service providers and provide them the flexibility to accelerate time to market with unique, customised applications and services for customers across vertical industries. In addition, we’ve also upgraded our RealPresence Platform to provide the scale and manageability required for service providers to deliver robust, carrier-class VaaS offerings. Polycom’s vision is to make video collaboration ubiquitous, and we believe we’re delivering on that vision with software-led innovations that brings video collaboration to new platforms such as cloud, mobile, and social platforms.”
Multi-Tenancy for Increased Manageability of Video Collaboration Networks
The 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. The multi-tenant user interface includes features such as a fully segmented and consolidated view of all conferences, schedules, devices, configuration, and profiles for all tenants; a per-tenant view of schedules and devices; the ability for tenant admins to enter device and user information (without access to other tenant information); and a directory for each customer with sublevels for distinct user communities.
Extending Video Collaboration Beyond the Office Across Mobile Devices
Today, there are more than 1 billion mobile workers around the world,1 a third of the global workforce. Service providers can keep up with this growing base of mobile workers who collaborate over video by delivering cloud-based UC services securely and reliably across platforms and networks. Service providers using the RealPresence Platform can now extend UC capabilities to mobile devices and across their networks by implementing session border controllers from Acme Packet. Polycom’s new interoperability with Acme Packet Net-Net session border controllers allows service providers to provide secure connectivity across boundaries. Users can collaborate without worrying about the complexities of firewall traversal or networking configurations. Polycom today also unveiled additional enhancements to the Edison Award winning RealPresence Mobile application.
“Polycom has a dedicated focus on scaling video collaboration through a commitment to open standards, interoperability, new APIs, and a focus on a simple experience for end users and IT administrators,” said Zeus Kerravala, CEO of ZKResearch. “This latest release enables both service providers and enterprises to deliver secure, high quality video collaboration within the office as well as to on-the-go mobile users through on-premise or cloud delivery. These new enhancements will drive increased in usage of video collaboration and will further the value of video investments that are already in place and add to the ‘network effect,’ helping to make video a mainstream collaboration tool.”
RealPresence Platform Providers Carrier-Grade Scalability and Reliability for Cloud Delivery
The Polycom RealPresence Platform – the most comprehensive and interoperable UC infrastructure for universal video collaboration – provides the carrier-grade video infrastructure required for cloud-delivered services that can scale to tens of thousands of businesses with the necessary security, reliability, and manageability. To meet the unique needs of service providers, the RealPresence Platform also keeps operating costs low by interoperating with existing systems via native integrations and open standards, leveraging video and voice call management platforms, and creating opportunities for hybrid UC environments that fuse the existing investments of on-premises components with pay-as-you-use cloud-based services. Because of Polycom's focus on interoperability, the RealPresence Platform transforms islands of employees and fragmented communications systems into a seamless video enterprise, which makes enterprise-grade video easily and securely accessible to all authorised personnel whether they're mobile, remote, or on-site.