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Polycom, BroadSoft Team On Hosted UC

Joining forces on an integrated communications platform, media phone and videoconferencing vendor Polycom (PLCM) has partnered with VoIP applications provider BroadSoft to provide a hosted unified communications system. Known as V2Connect, the new platform will unify voice and video on BroadSoft’s BroadWorks application platform, using Polycom’s Open Collaboration Network architecture and Polycom hardware.

“V2Connect provides one common feature set for voice and video terminals, along with a single numbering plan accessible via private dialing,” the companies said in a statement. “With V2Connect, a user can take a call from his/her mobile device, transfer it to a video call and then escalate it to a multi-party conference call.”

As disparate functions including voice, video, and e-mail converge into a single unified communications system, vendors and service providers are seeking ways to combine products and applications from various suppliers into integrated solutions. Those trends have been accelerated by the move toward cloud-based and hosted communications. The acquisition of videoconferencing specialist TANDBERG by Cisco Inc. (CSCO), the largest provider of enterprise networking gear, has also sent rivals scurrying to find new partners and create new synergies.

Earlier this week, Polycom said it will partner with Juniper Networks Inc. (JNPR), one of Cisco’s chief rivals, to deliver an integrated videoconferencing solution. The alliance will combine network infrastructure systems from Juniper with telepresence and video conferencing systems from Polycom.

BroadSoft last year announced a similar partnership with TANDBERG to provide a hosted UC system that included TANDBERG’s videoconferencing capabilities. The fate of that union, after the Cisco purchase, is unclear. BroadSoft also acquired PacketIsland, which offers hosted quality-of-service assessment and monitoring tools for advanced IP communications services.

Polycom and BroadSoft said they have also developed a new joint marketing strategy that will enable VARs and systems integrators to repackage and host V2Connect for medium-sized and large businesses.


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