AT&T Adds Polycom to Business Exchange Platform

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Companies running AT&T's Business Exchange telepresence platform soon will be able to use Polycom endpoints and software, in addition to Cisco products.

AT&T and Polycom on Tuesday announced their new partnership, which adds Polycom equipment to the Business Exchange back-end infrastructure. AT&T has been relying on Cisco for that but as federation grows more popular in the video world, adding Polycom proves a smart choice. That's because Polycom and Cisco interoperate, and also work differently with other vendors' gear and software. For example, Polycom integrates with Microsoft Lync, giving AT&T Business Exchange users more reach.

"AT&T and Polycom's announcement is a big win for customer choice and interoperability, and it will help accelerate video collaboration as businesses increasingly look to cloud-delivered options," Zeus Kerravala, principal analyst of ZKResearch, in a prepared statement. "In addition, this agreement opens new revenue streams and business opportunities for AT&T, and demonstrates the momentum Polycom is having with service providers and in the video cloud market."

The deal means AT&T telepresence customers will get access to Polycom's RealPresence video services, such as immersive and multipurpose rooms, in 40 countries. There also will be managed services bundles that reduce capex by instead charging a monthly opex fee.

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