Polycom Intros HD Voice Endpoint

Polycom Inc. (PLCM) has increased the number of HD Voice phones in its portfolio to five with the introduction of its newest HD Voice model, the SoundPoint IP 450 desktop phone.

The SoundPoint IP 450 is a mid-range, standards-based SIP phone featuring three lines, Polycom HD Voice and a high-resolution graphical backlit display that supports multiple languages and Asian characters. The 450 is applications-ready with Polycom’s open API and XHTML microbrowser to enable productivity-enhancing applications and business processes. It is designed to bring advanced telephony features and applications to cubicle/office workers handling a moderate volume of calls.

Polycom expects the debut of this mid-range phone to ignite the uptake of HD voice with SMBs. “A significant number of our phones are used by SMBs either through a service provider or an open-source PBX,” said Chalan Aras, vice president of marketing for Polycom’s Voice Communications Solutions Group, explaining that the price point was now more accessible for SMBs. The Power over Ethernet (PoE) version of the Polycom SoundPoint IP 450 is available through Polycom certified channel partners for $309.

In related news, Polycom announced it is delivering the Polycom Converged Management Application (CMA), a video network management solution that simplifies the provisioning and management of desktop, group and telepresence deployments across organizations. A key component of the solution is CMA Desktop, a desktop video application capable of scaling to thousands of users and supporting HD video, voice and content. Polycom CMA, which includes seat licenses that can be used for endpoints, infrastructure and CMA Desktop, is now available starting at $21,000 through certified Polycom channel partners. The solution was launched in July, and Polycom already has shipped more than 100 systems with nearly 45,000 licenses since shipping began a week ago.

Additionally, Polycom announced availability of its first phase of visual communication integration with Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007. The solution provides end-to-end interoperability between Polycom personal, room and immersive telepresence solutions and the Polycom RMX 2000 conferencing optimized media servers and Office Communications Server 2007, Microsoft Office Communicator 2007, and Polycom’s CX Series of phones optimized for Office Communicator 2007.

Joan Vandermate, vice president of marketing for Polycom’s Video Solutions Group, explained the first phase will allow Polycom room systems and infrastructure products to be presence-enabled so that users can see Polycom room systems in their buddy lists from their OC desktop client. Users can see the presence status of others users in the Office Communications Server 2007 domain on their Polycom solutions and can launch video calls by clicking on contacts.

The Polycom phase one video integration for Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 is planned for controlled availability this month through software releases for HDX and RMX 2000 solutions. The software will be made available at no additional cost to Polycom HDX and RMX 2000 customers under standard maintenance contracts.

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