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New Polycom Videoconference System Comes With Microsoft Lync

Videoconference system vendor Polycom has introduced a new room video telepresence system that comes with the Microsoft Lync unified communications platform built right in. Because the Polycom CX7000 Unified Collaboration System features tight integration with Lync, participants in video meetings will experience the same user interface (UI) they are familiar with when using Lync on their desktop computers, as well as the familiar Polycom UI.

Because Microsoft Lync is such a widely used platform, other videoconference system vendors have to find some way to integrate it into their offerings, too, and there are a couple of different ways to do it, said Scott Morrison, an analyst with Gartner.

One is to perform transcoding to convert Microsoft coding to videoconferencing industry standards through a multipoint control unit, Morrison said. However, there could be some problems with video quality and latency and that transcoding can be expensive and not easily scalable as enterprises expand their use of videoconferencing. Cisco Systems TelePresence offering does transcoding.

Another approach is to run a separate software client that re-creates the look and feel of the Lync UI, he said. Videoconference technology vendors such as LifeSize, Radvision and Vidyo use this method. The downside is that the client has to be installed on every end point device that will use the system and there could be compatibility problems with Lync software updates.

Running Lync natively on Polycom "allows the enterprise to invest in no more infrastructure than they need to for their Lync deployment," said Morrison. "They are only adding the cost of physical endpoints to the mix."

Gartner forecasts a compound annual growth rate of 15.2 percent in the video endpoint systems market in which Polycom competes, through 2015. Polycom withheld pricing information on the CX7000 until the system is released later this year.

See more on this topic by subscribing to Network Computing Pro Reports Collaboration Imperative (subscription required).

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