Avaya/Polycom alliance targets solution providers

As part of its strategic partnership with Avaya, Polycom has integrated its Multipoint Control Unit (MCU) technology with Avaya’s Communication Manager (ACM) to create a video conferencing solution that spokespeople say brings added-value to end-users and the partner community.

The video telephony solution combines ACM with Polycom’s point-to-point and multi-point video calling capabilities to allow users to add video to a voice conference call.

Kevin Young, a spokesperson at Polycom, said the integrated solution is meant to make video telephony the communication solution of choice for all departments within an organization.

“The objective is to make video just as easy to use as a phone,” Young said. “Channel partners are able to deploy and manage it just as they would a telephone. The infrastructure is our MCU platform, also known as a bridge, which allows for unified voice and video conferences on the same meeting.”

The solution also provides real-time collaboration and utilizes a single IP network dial plan for establishing voice and video conferences, which helps lower the total cost of ownership by providing users with a simplified network system. Some of the benefits of using this video telephony solution include desktop video, where users can make a voice call using their Avaya IP Softphone and can also add in video and see the other person or group right on the user’s PC screen.

Jack Shemavon, vice-president at Polycom Canada, said in order to use the solution, users just need to dial in to and meet on the bridge using their telephony interfaces. Many companies are being driven by factors such as competition, going “green,” and dealing with dispersed work groups, he said adding that partners can further take advantage of these opportunities.

“Partners can add value to their customers by showing them how visual communication will affect them,” Shemavon said.

“The real value proposition is for organizations to use video as the next phase of their communication solutions. This presents the opportunity for partners to start talking to their customers at a high-level to understand business challenges and to then equate those challenges into video solutions,” he added.

Departments that can benefit from video conferencing, he adds, are ones such as human resources, IT, sales and marketing.

Amir Hameed, national director of applications sales at Avaya Canada, said video conferencing solutions also do extremely well in industry verticals that have a substantial number of information workers.

“These industries include financial services, engineering, consulting and manufacturing,” Hameed said. “Real-time collaboration among workers is an increasing priority for our customers who manage more dispersed operations.”

In addition to targeting these markets, partners, Shemavon says, can also improve their margins by adding services.

“A full needs assessment, including pre-sales and implementation and maintenance needs to be done the right way to make sure (the solution’s) successful,” Shemavon said.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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Maxine Cheung
Maxine Cheung
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