Polycom, the global leader in standards-based unified communications (UC), today introduced the Polycom RealPresence Platform  – the most comprehensive software infrastructure for universal video collaboration. The Polycom RealPresence Platform (formerly referred to as the Polycom UC Intelligent Core) is the software infrastructure that powers Polycom’s market-leading HD telepresence and video solutions. The unique open-standards approach of the Polycom RealPresence Platform ensures integration with hundreds of unified communications and social networking applications, such as Microsoft  Lync 2010, IBM  Sametime, and Jive ’s social business platform. In addition, the RealPresence Platform integrates with core networking and security infrastructure to deliver secure collaboration with any number of people across heterogeneous networks with up to 50 percent less bandwidth consumption than other solutions. The Polycom RealPresence Platform also provides security, reliability, management, and massive scalability to support video as a cloud-based service to enterprises, SMBs, and consumers.
“Businesses and governments alike are seeking increased productivity and efficiency through the fast adoption of UC solutions that truly unify multi-vendor communications and collaboration environments. Polycom’s platform, through deep integration with our broad partner ecosystem, enables unified communications that span desktop, mobility, and group settings in a way that’s unmatched in the industry,” said Andy Miller, president and CEO, Polycom. “With our open standards-based platform, innovation-rich devices, broad service offerings, and native application interoperability, Polycom is playing an integral role in enabling what promises to be the network effect of video collaboration for hundreds of millions of individuals worldwide.”
“While many know Polycom for their popular end points, increasingly it’s Polycom’s software that is appealing to customers who need help ‘unifying’ all their UC tools – especially as video collaboration extends beyond their firewalls,” said Rich Costello, Senior Research Analyst at IDC. “Together, the Polycom RealPresence Platform and the broad partner ecosystem around it helps CIOs protect their existing investments in UC and prepare them for future technologies and solutions with a high level of assurance that everything will work together.”
Polycom RealPresence Platform Drives Adoption and ROI
Today’s RealPresence Platform announcement is a key component of Polycom’s software strategy to put the “unified” in unified communications (see today’s related release, “Polycom Unveils Software Strategy to Drive Global Adoption of HD Video Collaboration through Open Standards” ). Unified communications requires open standards-based software interfaces and integration so that applications, systems, networks, and video-enabled devices from different vendors can seamlessly interoperate. Ease-of-use enabled by interoperability drives adoption as users come to expect face-to-face collaboration for every conversation, training session, interview, product review, employee on-boarding, sales and partner engagement, company meeting, event, and more. Moreover, the increasing mobility of workers is also adding to the growing demand for more scalable video solutions. The Polycom RealPresence Platform delivers enterprise ease of use and carrier-grade reliability and scalability, already supporting up to 25,000 concurrent sessions and 75,000 device registrations – five times more than Polycom’s closest competitor.
"At TBS, Inc., we continually seek to drive innovation to remain ahead of other media outlets competing for the attention of our global audiences," said Dan Darling, CIO, Turner Broadcasting System, Inc . "As we move to the future, the Polycom RealPresence Platform will make it possible for us to deliver our mobility goals across devices and disciplines while meeting our interoperability requirements for the full extent of our media, and pre- and post-production systems."
The Polycom RealPresence Platform Components
The functional modules of the RealPresence Platform include:
Universal Video Collaboration – software for multipoint video, voice, and content collaboration that connects multiple protocols, enabling people and content to connect at the highest quality for the lowest cost.
Video Resource Management – software to centrally manage, monitor, and deliver video collaboration across an organization.
Virtualization – software for managing and distributing calls across collaboration networks with the scalability, redundancy, and resiliency – up to 25,000 concurrent sessions and 75,000 device registrations on up to 64 video servers – needed for global enterprises and cloud deployments.
Universal Access and Security – software that easily and securely connects video participants inside and outside the organization while optimizing for the best collaboration experience, whether delivered within the enterprise, business-to-business, or business-to-consumer.
Video Content Management – software for secure video capture (recording and playback) as well as content management, administration, and delivery of video content.
Integrating with Broad Partner Ecosystem to Deliver a Complete UC Solution
Integral to the completeness of the Polycom RealPresence Platform is integration with partner solutions  in the areas of instant messaging/presence, telephony, Web conferencing, video collaboration, mobile, social media, networking, and security. This gives customers the freedom to choose best-of-breed products and be assured they will interoperate. The platform acts as the central hub in a UC environment and works with communications and business applications from hundreds of vendors, including:
IM/Presence and Video Collaboration – Microsoft Lync and IBM Sametime interoperate with the RealPresence Platform so users can launch video collaboration easily and intuitively from within these popular tools. These solutions enable customers to consolidate video, voice, IM/presence, and other collaboration apps on an enterprise communications platform such as Lync or Sametime. Users can easily and seamlessly access all of their collaboration tools through desktop and mobile devices. In addition, with Polycom’s powerful call processing software, users can dial a common extension regardless of which PBX system or device they are calling from. Connectivity is automatically enabled regardless of protocol standard, device, network, or location, providing the IT manager with a breakthrough tool to meet user needs.
Call Control – Solutions from Avaya , BroadSoft , Cisco, IBM, Microsoft Corp., and Siemens , in addition to many other call control platforms, as well as Polycom’s HD voice solutions. The RealPresence Platform delivers seamless dial plan integration, a unique offering in the industry that provides a tremendous benefit to customer efficiency by connecting endpoints from multiple vendors and consolidating multiple dial-in codes into one.
Web conferencing – Solutions from Adobe, AT&T, Cisco WebEx, Citrix, IBM, Intercall and Microsoft.
Social – Polycom is integrating HD video solutions into popular social business platforms, and today announced a strategic relationship with Jive to integrate Polycom HD video solutions into Jive’s social business platform, enabling face to face video collaboration (see related announcement from today ). The joint solution will allow Jive customers to conduct live video chats, including group video calls, as well as record video meetings or messages for archiving, training and ongoing collaboration.
Partnering for Cloud-Based Delivery of “Video as a Service”
Polycom is also partnering with telecommunications providers to deliver video as a service from the cloud. In June 2011 , Polycom and 14 global service providers, including Airtel, AT&T, BCS Global, BT, Cable and Wireless Worldwide, Global Crossing, Glowpoint, iFormata Communications, Masergy, Orange Business Services, PCCW Global, Telefonica, Telstra, and Verizon, announced the Open Visual Cloud Consortium (OVCC)  organization. The broadest visual communications exchange of its kind, the OVCC’s mission is to provide high-quality connectivity across service provider networks to make on-demand video collaboration between any number of people, anywhere, using any network system or device, as simple and reliable as a mobile call or text. OVCC members will be the first to establish a global standards-based, multi-vendor, multi-network visual communication exchange, and members plan to support the full spectrum of video systems from mobile to desktop to room systems and immersive telepresence.