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Objectworld is further simplifying the process it takes to build a unified communications environment by announcing plug-and-play support for the newest phones in Polycom’s product lines through its Objectworld Connect Interoperability Program.

The Canada-based company is now supporting Polycom’s VVX 1500 business media phone; SoundPoint IP450, 560, and 670 IP desktop phones; and SoundStation IP 6000 and 7000 conference phones in addition to other older models, according to the company.

“We now support everything Polycom makes so you … can buy anything from Polycom and you know it’s going to work with our UC Server,” said David Schenkel, CTO of Objectworld.

The Objectworld Connect Plus Interoperability Program pairs third-party vendors with Objectworld to certify their products are interoperable with UC Server. Connect Plus products are modified by Objectworld to ensure interoperability, including automatic configuration.

When Connect Plus products are plugged into the UC Server, the server detects the phone and ensures correct firmware gets into the phone to get the system up and running automatically, Schenkel said.

“Our goal has always been to build infrastructure into Objectworld UC server for plug and play support,” he said. “SIP has enabled us to do that.

Objectworld currently works with a number of communications vendors to enable plug-and-play support with its UC Server, including Astra, Dialogix, Grandstream and Snom, to name a few. All feature SIP-based communications platforms; SIP, which stands for session initiation protocol, is an open IP communications standard that has become the de facto technology standard for IP-based voice and video communications. Because it is an open standard, vendors have adopted SIP as an easy and cost-effective way to build interoperable communications solutions.

“That’s the beautiful part of [SIP] – you can mix and match all the phones no matter what vendor,” Schenkel said. “There are more than 50 phones from different manufacturers you can plug and play with UC Server.

“The beautiful part about open standards is they work,” he added. “When we first started working with SIP I’ll admi there were a variety of issues, but in the last 12 months or so we’ve found pretty well everything is working with UC Server pretty easily. The standards now are pretty solid.”

Osama Faris, CIO of FAR, an Objectworld partner based in Ottowa, said UC Server addresses a need by many small businesses to increase their productivity at a time when budgets are tight. Having more Polycom products certified as plug and play with UC Server is a big plus, he said.

“The beauty and power of the UC Server is we can take any phone in the Connect Plus program, plug it in and it works. That’s it. It’s done like dinner,” he said.

“I see a lot of vendors doing a lot of talking about the SME space, but UC Server really talks the talk and walks the walk,” Faris said. “I can walk into five-to-10-to-15-staff environment and sell them a UC System that not only puts a phone on a desk but also gives them a boost in productivity, at a price most business owners want to pay.

“Polycom has so many different models, and now with the new (VVX 1500) video phone – this meets the needs of companies that are starting to cut back on costs. [Having this phone with the UC Server] would save them a lot on the expenditure side,” Faris added.