Polycom Cloud Strategy Drives Video-as-a-Service

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.

 

 

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