Telepresence, video and voice communications vendor Polycom has expanded its
Polycom Arena channel partner ecosystem program to include applications from ISV
partners that have been tested and certified by Polycom.

Separately, Polycom announced an updated set of telepresence products available
for sale through the channel.

Polycom says the expansion of the channel program will enable channel partners
to tap into an estimated $10 billion unified communications market. The Arena
program, which includes voice, video, wireless and applications partners, now
offers four partnership tiers: Gold, Silver, Platinum and Associate.

Polycom also announced support across its HDX, RPX and TPX telepresence product
lines for the 1080p resolution, with initial product shipments coming in
December. By mid-2009 the 1080p resolution at 30 fps (frames per second) will
be available across the entire telepresence line, says Joan Vandermate, vice
president of marketing for Polycom’s video solutions group.

Polycom will also offer 720p at 60 fps available across the product line in the
updated versions.

"The 1080p may be relegated for factory quality assurance or
telemedicine," says Vandermate. "The 720p at 60 frames per second is
what you are seeing when you look at HDTV.
The 720p at 60 frames per second is better for motion."

The solutions take up about 1MB of bandwidth, according to Vandermate.

Polycom is also releasing a new version of its software for the HDX
telepresence series of products for everything from executive desktop
appliances to HDX telepresence room systems. The updated software helps in the
remote management of multiple endpoints. It manages user profiles and pushes
them from a central server.

For users the new software will make HDX easier to use, says Vandermate. For
example, users will see a window much like an instant messaging buddy list. The
new software also trades the fat client for a thin client, making it less
resource-intensive at the client device. It works with PCs, but not yet with
Apple platforms. Apple support is still a couple builds away, says Vandermate.

The software’s smallest configuration is for 200 licenses for $20,000.