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Microsoft, Polycom Team On Unified Communications

Polycom continued to make strategic agreements for its videoconferencing solutions Monday as it announced a partnership with Microsoft to supply standards-based unified communications (UC) solutions covering a wide range of customers, big and small. Partnership will integrate voice, instant messaging, and videoconferencing for large enterprise, government, and SMB customers.

The multi-year strategic global agreement calls for Polycom to develop and market UC solutions for Microsoft's enterprise, government, and small and midsize business customers. Polycom, which supplies open standards telepresence, video, voice, and infrastructure solutions, becomes a member of Microsoft's key strategic global alliance through the agreement.

"Microsoft and Polycom are committed to a roadmap that will deliver interoperable UC solutions with choice and innovation in videoconferencing and customer devices that will help transform enterprise communications," said Gurdeep Singh Pall, corporate VP of UC at Microsoft, in a statement, noting that the partnership will enable the two firms to integrate video, voice, instant messaging, and conferencing solutions for customers.

The agreement calls for Polycom to develop and optimize its CX series for Microsoft Communications server 14 and beyond. Polycom will develop room-based video systems for direct integration with Microsoft UC products. The two firms will also collaborate in developing channel partners. Active demos of the new partnership solutions will be available in Microsoft Technology Centers around the globe and active demos are already available in Atlanta, Chicago, New York, London, and Paris.

Polycom has been signing contracts with major IT and enterprise customers, including Hewlett-Packard and Avaya, as it gears up to do battle with Cisco, which has a large presence in UC and videoconferencing.