Polycom Cloud Strategy Drives Video-as-a-Service

By Chris Talbot  |  Print this article Print

Polycom is rolling out RealPresence Cloud, a wholesale video-as-a-service offering designed to enable service providers to enter the VaaS business without building out their own hosted solution.

Polycom is looking to drive video-as-a-service (VaaS) offerings through its service provider partners with the launch of a new cloud strategy under its RealPresence platform umbrella.

The vendor is rolling out RealPresence Cloud as a wholesale offering designed to provide a quick, easy and cost-efficient way for service providers to enter the VaaS business without having to build their own hosted solution. Designed to be sold exclusively through service providers so as to avoid any conflicts with its own channel, RealPresence Cloud was built for service providers who don’t have the capital or operational budgets to build their own clouds but are interested in building a cloud-based business.

"First and foremost, our critical strategy around all things cloud is that we’re an enabler of cloud, so our core infrastructure and architecture and the products that we sell into the core are an enablement technology to make video pervasive through a cloud," said Gary Testa, vice president of cloud and service providers at Polycom.

Testa added that the VaaS offering was developed to accelerate the time to market for smaller service providers and carriers. For smaller service providers, in particular, they run into time to market and time to revenue problems when building their own cloud-based VaaS solutions. Many also lack the expertise and capital available to build the infrastructure required for VaaS. Built within the RealPresence global fibre optic network, RealPresence Cloud was designed to provide an easy on-ramp into VaaS, he said.

"The difficulty with video is it requires an infrastructure in the core to do it and it requires expertise to put around it," Testa said.

The VaaS offering provides a managed multipoint video service that supports a variety of endpoints, including standards-based telepresence rooms, mobile devices, PCs, web-based endpoints, as well as platforms such as Microsoft Lynch 2010, IBM Sametime and endpoints that support the non-standard TIP protocol.

According to Testa, RealPresence Cloud is intended to be a gateway for VaaS for small service providers and carriers, and it’s expected that many will eventually branch off to build their own VaaS offerings once they build their business to a sufficient size. When they hit a break point, they may feel the need to bring it in-house, but Testa said it’s likely some partners will continue using the service instead of constructing their own infrastructure.

Demand for cloud-based video is mostly being driven from SMB customers, he said. One reason for that is because of the transformation of small business into dispersed businesses and the changes in how knowledge workers operate and communicate with each other. That’s the opposite end of the spectrum from the executive suite, which has taken to deploying telepresence systems to reduce travel costs and drive personal collaboration and communication.

Testa said he expects business use of video communication to climb quickly for the foreseeable future. The proliferation of tablets equipped with high-definition displays and cameras is driving adoption of video, and businesses of all sizes now see the benefits they can get from deploying video communication and collaboration technologies.