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Polycom Unveils Innovative Around-the-Table Video Collaboration Experience with Full HD, 360-Degree Panoramic Video Solutions Built for Microsoft Lync
Posted on Monday, July 8, 2013
Polycom Unveils Innovative Around-the-Table Video Collaboration Experience with Full HD, 360-Degree Panoramic Video Solutions Built for Microsoft Lync
  • The new Polycom® CX5500 and CX5100 Unified Conference Stations are the industry’s first solutions to deliver 1080p HD video and a 360-degree panoramic view of all meeting participants in the conference room with Polycom’s legendary HD Voice
  • Polycom further extends industry-leading interoperability with Lync by achieving Lync 2013 qualification on a broad selection of phone and conferencing solutions; Polycom on track to achieve full Lync 2013 interoperability across its full portfolio this year
MICROSOFT 2013 WORLDWIDE PARTNER CONFERENCE, HOUSTON - Jul 08, 2013: Polycom, Inc. (Nasdaq: PLCM), the global leader in open, standards-based unified communications and collaboration (UC&C), today unveiled the industry’s first 360-degree, panoramic 1080p HD video collaboration solutions custom-built for Microsoft® Lync® 2013. The new Polycom® CX5500 and CX5100 Unified Conference Stations are designed to deliver a groundbreaking around-the-table experience for all participants, whether they’re in the room or thousands of miles away.  
At the Microsoft 2013 Worldwide Partner Conference, Polycom also announced that it has received Lync 2013 qualification for its full portfolio of Polycom® VVX® Business Media Phones. These announcements further the extensive partnership between the two companies, building on Polycom’s industry-leading portfolio of 40 video, voice and content sharing solutions that are interoperable or optimized to work with Lync today.
“The strategic alliance we’ve built with Microsoft over the past several years continues to deliver innovative collaboration solutions that provide Polycom and Lync customers with an unrivaled experience,” said A.E. Natarajan, Senior Vice President, Worldwide Engineering, Polycom. “Our custom-built for Lync solutions such as the new panoramic video collaboration experience, and our leading portfolio of Lync interoperable offerings, enable Polycom and Microsoft to win business from organizations seeking UC&C solutions that empower people to collaborate however, wherever and whenever they want.”
“In the pervasive video era, it is all about the user experience. The new center-of-table, panoramic video solutions from Polycom will provide Lync customers with a richer, more interactive collaboration experience,” said Jim Lundy, CEO of Aragon Research.
The new Polycom® CX5500 delivers enterprise-grade video and audio collaboration capabilities in an easy-to-use system that can be plugged into a USB port on a laptop, and it also doubles as a SIP audio conference phone providing the industry’s best audio quality. The Polycom® CX5100 provides the same HD panoramic USB video experience for customers who don’t require standalone conference phone connectivity.
The new additions to Polycom’s CX series of Lync-optimized solutions are successors to the Polycom® CX5000 HD Unified Conference Station. The solution retains the unique around-the-table, 360-degree, panoramic experience and delivers more than twice the HD video image quality, double the frame rate for life-like motion handling, and Polycom’s HD Voice for the highest quality audio while adding a new interface and design and a privacy cap.  
For organizations with Microsoft Lync- environments, the new Polycom CX5500 and CX5100 Unified Conference Stations enhance communications and collaboration by providing:
  • More productive and efficient meetings. Since the Polycom CX5500 or CX5100 is placed in the center of a meeting room table, it enables a natural conversation that addresses the need to collaborate and engage simultaneously with those in the room (around the table) and other participants who are remote. Both systems deliver 1080p active speaker video that automatically tracks the flow of conversations at a fluid 30 frames per second, while offering a 360-degree panoramic view of the room. Conversations remain crystal clear with high-fidelity Polycom HD Voice.
  • User-friendly design. An all-new user interface and system design makes it easy to launch or join a call directly from the Lync user environment – users simply connect the CX5500 and CX5100 via USB to a computer that is running Lync. The CX5500 and CX5100 systems can also be used in combination with the recently announced Lync Room System, bringing together center-of-table 360-degree cameras with a built-for-Lync video room system that includes touchscreen monitors and a tabletop touch controller. 
  • Lower cost of ownership. The Polycom CX5500 functions as both an HD video collaboration environment and a fully featured SIP conference phone, which reduces capital costs for organizations needing both. Also, because it’s easy to use, provision and configure, companies can save on training and IT costs.
The introduction of new solutions custom built for Lync, and the continued expansion of Polycom’s Lync-interoperable portfolio, reflect the strength of the Polycom and Microsoft alliance. 
Polycom and Microsoft: Better Together
Polycom also announced it earned Lync 2013 qualification for Polycom® VVX® 300, VVX 310, VVX 400 and VVX 410 Business Media Phones. Software updates for Polycom VVX Business Media Phones (Polycom UC Software v 5.0) in Lync environments has new features including improved call management such as call park or call transfer; and the ability to search address book contacts. As announced in March, Polycom plans to deliver a software extension to the Polycom® RealPresence® Platform later in 2013 that will enable interoperability between Lync 2013 and the full portfolio of Polycom standards-based video collaboration and content sharing solutions.  
The new solutions join the more than 40 Polycom offerings that work with Microsoft Lync 2010 or 2013, including: Polycom® RealPresence® Content Sharing Suite, which is a software application for the Polycom® RealPresence® Platform that allows Lync users to share content back and forth with standards-based video collaboration devices; Polycom® RealPresence® Collaboration Server, part of the Polycom RealPresence Platform,  which includes software for multiparty video and voice collaboration; Polycom® RealPresence® room and executive desktop video systems; audio solutions such as Polycom® SoundPoint® IP conference phone, Polycom® SoundStation® conference phone, and Polycom® SoundStructure®; Polycom® CX phones and video solutions; and Polycom VVX Business Media Phones.
Polycom and Lync Solutions Deliver Significant Benefits for Customers Worldwide, Including Global Engineering Consultancy Buro Happold
Together, Polycom RealPresence video and voice solutions and Microsoft Lync unify communications across work environments. For global engineering consultancy Buro Happold, video and voice collaboration solutions helped the company reduce travel costs, amounting up to £3 million annually. The company also gained 3,000 hours a month in productivity by working smarter, and improved the work/life balance for employees, 90 percent of whom are now video-enabled. Virtually every desk has its own high-tech camera and speaker system, directly connected with Lync through open standards.
“The combination of Microsoft Lync and Polycom video solutions h