Video and voice conferencing stalwart Polycom has partnered with Web security veteran McAfee to jointly develop and market videoconferencing and telepresence systems with integrated security. Polycom is plunging deeper into the unified communications (UC) market, or at least several key components like HD audio/video, with this new global strategic alliance” for what the company calls Secure Unified Communications and Collaboration.
The new solutions will integrate McAfees functionality across all of Polycoms videoconferencing products, and possibly other product lines, to better secure distributed endpoints against an increasingly vast array of security threats, while better enabling compliance with privacy and confidentiality mandates.
This collaborative strategy has three main thrusts: joint research and development; sales and market alignment; and working toward promoting innovation and standardization of secure UC systems.
Breaking that down, initial development will center on integrating McAfees threat protection capabilities, as well as its McAfee ePolicy Orchestrator console, into Polycoms UC endpoints and Intelligent Core to improve security and management; revamping McAfees monitoring and provisioning tools to support more robust secure device configuration and compliance; and extending these and other enhancements throughout Polycoms UC line.
On the marketing side, the two companies plan to establish a co-selling agreement that covers sales and technical training in addition to post-sales support and service offerings; aligning and enabling their united channel partner base; and setting up joint marketing efforts, such as collateral, promotional events, Webinars and user conferences.
The alliance also makes McAfee one of Polycoms technology partners in its Polycom Open Collaboration Network, which brings together a wide range of leading vendors developing standards-based any-to-any collaboration over any enterprise platform. Other network partners include heavy-hitters such as Cisco, HP, IBM, Juniper, Microsoft, Avaya and Broadsoft.
Polycom followed a similar joint development route with Avaya last March, when it announced plans to integrate Polycoms full line of voice and video systems with Avaya Auras UC platform, supporting both SIP and the Open Collaboration Network initiative. The difference between the two team-ups lies in which vendors system acts as the application platform. Today, Polycom is integrating McAfee code into its videoconferencing equipment; in the case of Avaya, it’s Polycoms technology that is incorporated into the enterprise networking giants Aura platform.
Polycom has also established key reseller agreements with HP for select products and Siemens Enterprise Communications, which also integrates Polycoms video collaboration functionality into its OpenScape UC system.