Polycom, Glowpoint Team Up to Deliver Quality Video Conferencing

By Lawrence Walsh  |  Print this article Print


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Telepresence and video conferencing suffer from poor quality because carriers cannot guarantee service across peering points. Glowpoint and Polycom are teaming up to deliver quality service delivery to enable better user experience.

Ever wonder why your expensive telepresence and video conferencing system sometimes doesn’t have sharp, high-definition video quality or audio latency issues? Polycom says blame the telecommunications carriers.

Polycom says the major obstacle to quality video conferencing adoption resides in the carrier networks. The carriers, Polycom says, do not ensure quality of service across their peering points. As telepresence and video conferencing traverse carriers such as AT&T, Verizon and BT, the lack of bandwidth allocation results in lower quality video and audio that lowers the utility of the technology.

"A lot of people do use video conferencing, but there’s no guarantee of quality of service. With telepresence, you need to guarantee the quality of service," says John Bartlett, a consultant in Polycom Service Division.

Polycom is partnering with regional telecommunications carrier Glowpoint to provide an intermediate solution to the multicarrier video quality-of-service problem. Until carriers resolve the business model and technology issues of guaranteeing high-bandwidth, high-quality video transmissions, Glowpoint will act as the aggregation point between disparate video carriers. In essence, Glowpoint will create virtual peering points between carriers to ensure quality video reaches the user endpoints.

"The acceptance of video conferencing as a business tool is the same as the telephone and e-mail. It will happen in time, but you have to have the interconnectivity because it’s not useful if it’s only within a single enterprise’s network," Bartlett says.

Glowpoint’s Telepresence interExchange Network (TEN) enables subscribers to make secure video calls and telepresence connections across the public Internet and ISDN endpoints. TEN gives users ease of use, quality and security required for business-class video conferencing without incurring the cost of high bandwidth services or dedicated networks, says Howard Reingold, director of product management at Glowpoint.

Polycom is not bundling the Glowpoint service with its products or providing incentives to solution providers for selling TEN subscriptions. The value to solution providers, says Bartlett, is the ability to provide customers with a service that has quality.

Polycom user experience with a high quality, less expensive video conferencing service will lead to expanded use of video conferencing. And that, Bartlett says, will spur increased sales of Polycom equipment and services through solution providers.

Lawrence Walsh Lawrence Walsh is editor of Baseline magazine, overseeing print and online editorial content and the strategic direction of the publication. He is also a regular columnist for Ziff Davis Enterprise's Channel Insider. Mr. Walsh is well versed in IT technology and issues, and he is an expert in IT security technologies and policies, managed services, business intelligence software and IT reseller channels. An award-winning journalist, Mr. Walsh has served as editor of CMP Technology's VARBusiness and GovernmentVAR magazines, and TechTarget's Information Security magazine. He has written hundreds of articles, analyses and commentaries on the development of reseller businesses, the IT marketplace and managed services, as well as information security policy, strategy and technology. Prior to his magazine career, Mr. Walsh was a newspaper editor and reporter, having held editorial positions at the Boston Globe, MetroWest Daily News, Brockton Enterprise and Community Newspaper Company.

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