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Avaya, Polycom Partner On IP Videoconferencing

Avaya Inc. and Polycom Inc. on Monday said they have agreed to jointly develop and market Internet-based videoconferencing software that the companies claim will be as easy to use as a telephone.

The companies plan to enable users to launch videoconferencing by simply clicking on a desktop icon. Videoconference products today often require a set-up process too difficult for many people. Experts, however, say the technology holds promise because it can save businesses money by avoiding expensive travel for meetings.

The joint products, scheduled to ship in the middle of next year, will integrate videoconferencing software from Pleasanton, Calif.-based Polycom with Internet protocol-based phone software from Avaya, headquartered in Basking Ridge, N.J. The products will enable users to place both phone and video calls through a simple interface on their PCs or laptops, the companies said.