HP, Polycom, Yealink, More Showcase Hot New Telephony-UC Products

Plantronics Voyager 6200 UC

**Editor’s Note: Looking for more? When done, read our list of 20 top UCaaS providers offering products and services via channel partners.**

By Jeffrey Schwartz

Two weeks before Plantronics announced its agreement to acquire Polycom for $2 billion, there were signs that the two companies were itching to expand to take advantage of the growing business of communications and collaboration.

At last month’s annual Enterprise Connect gathering of communications and conferencing partners and professionals, Plantronics, a longtime Cisco Unified Communications (UC) partner, announced a new partnership with Microsoft. The pact calls for Plantronics to offer a headset (pictured above) optimized for its Teams chatbot-based tool that will become the communications and conferencing interface now offered in Skype for Business for Office 365.

The event showcased some of the hottest new telephony-UC products available. Scroll through our gallery below to learn about them.

Datapipe's Robb Allen
Polycom Trio with Microsoft Teams interface

Polycom, for its part, demonstrated its Trio conferencing controller, which already supports Skype for Business, with the Teams interface at Enterprise Connect.

Polycom has the broadest portfolio of Skype for Business solutions and is a longtime partner that has supported its predecessors, Lync and Office Communications Server. However, as a provider of interoperability services, the company showcased its partnerships with BlueJeans, RingCentral and Zoom. Polycom also added a new partner to the mix, Amazon Web Services (AWS), and plans to support its Alexa Voice Services (AVS) voice interface.
Telarus' Phillip Brekke
Polycom’s Microsoft Skype for Business Room System

While Polycom showcased its Microsoft Skype Room System, which requires the Microsoft Surface as the controller, the company said an update will allow pinch-and-zoom remote control with its EagleEye IV USB camera.
365 Data Centers' Jeff Slapp
BlueJeans Now Sports a Slicker UI

Channel Partners visited the Polycom and Plantronics booths — as well as eight others who were showcasing their communications solutions at Enterprise Connect. Here’s an alphabetical roundup of hardware and service providers and what they announced at the show.

BlueJeans: The SaaS-based provider of video meeting services showcased its new user interface and announced interoperability with Amazon’s AVS, Microsoft Teams and Polycom, among others. Building on its effort to grow its ecosystem, the company just released its APIs to provide applications support and extended interoperability. Among those supporting the API are learning management systems (LMS) provider CirQlive; meeting scheduling supplier FreeBusy; whiteboard camera system maker Kaptivo; Voicera, which provides meeting note taking; and transcription and analytics provider Vyopta.
Avant's Rick Reed

One of the first three providers of Skype for Business support in its room systems, Crestron added new software capabilities to its Crestron Mercury conference room system and the Crestron SR for meeting hubs, notably the ability to conduct meetings with Microsoft Teams.

Crestron also showcased its XiO Cloud service, which is its provisioning platform that runs on Microsoft Azure. In addition to Skype for Business and Teams, the Crestron Mercury UC solution runs natively with Zoom Rooms, Cisco WebEx, BlueJeans, Slack and GoToMeeting.
Avant's Rick Reed

Providing superior audio experience with its noise reduction and digital signal processing IP, Dolby Laboratories hopes to become a staple in the conference room as well.

The new Dolby Voice Room includes a conference phone, voice camera and hub. Dolby said it provides dynamic leveling between speakers and cancels external noise from HVAC, high dynamic range (HDR) to adjust video with lighting, automated scene framing and is optimized for whiteboard viewing. Set for release later this spring, it will initially link to BlueJeans and Highfive services.
ADRF's Jim Lilienfeld

Looking to extend its foray into conferencing, HP launched a new meeting-room solution that supports the Skype Room System, addition to the platform with planned integration with Microsoft Teams, meeting-room management, the company’s own noise cancellation, and support for a planned whiteboard solution.

HP said it will be available this month starting at $1,799. A model designed for the Intel Unite conferencing platform is coming this month with a starting price of $1,299. The company also announced the new HP LD4312 4K Large Format Display. The 43-inch display is scheduled for release in June, priced at $599.
ADRF's Jim Lilienfeld

Although headset and portable speaker provider Jabra didn’t launch any new products at Enterprise Connect, the company announced a partnership with Unify Square, which provides Skype for Business and Teams management for large enterprises, to manage Jabra’s new line of UC headphones.

The company last year launched the Evolve 75 headphones, and earlier this year started shipping its new Evolve 75e earbuds. The latter are the company’s first professional earbuds designed for UC including Skype for Business and Teams. Both offer acoustic noise canceling (ANC) technology and users can simultaneously pair them with two devices, letting them switch between a mobile and office phone in the middle of a call, which many cloud PBX services now support.
Kenna Security's Rick Kramer

Among the first to provide hardware integrated with Skype for Business, Logitech launched a new peripheral for its SmartDock A/V console. The new SmartDock Flex is designed to offer more simplified cable management by integrating all of the various connector functions into the CAT6 cable interface.

SmartDock, which includes the Microsoft Surface Pro PC-tablet, only works with Skype meetings, but Logitech showcased a workaround for those who want to use BlueJeans, Cisco WebEx, Zoom, or any other service to bypass Skype for Business but still use the audio, camera and display by connecting and plugging in an HDMI cable from a separate PC.
ADRF's Jim Lilienfeld

Business desk-phone provider Yealink demonstrated its enterprise grade T56A personal and T58A executive phones, which both have 7-inch multimedia displays with the Microsoft Teams interface natively available. The company also demonstrated its CP960 conference room phone for Teams.
Attivo's Tony Cole

One of the fastest growing providers of online videoconferencing and meeting room services, Zoom, saw usage grow last year from 6.9 billion minutes to 20 billion. Looking to keep up the growth, the company launched a combination of technology partnerships and go-to-market efforts through its new integrator program.

Among the notable pacts were with IBM, which will embed Zoom into the IBM Watson Workspace offering, upon release of an SDK; and Dell, which includes Zoom Rooms with its OptiPlex 7050 Micro and the OptiPlex 7450 All-In-One PC. Zoom’s new ecosystem program includes partnerships with AVer, Avocor, Crestron, DTEN, Heckler Design, Huddly, i3-Technologies, Logitech, MXL Microphones, PanaCast (Altia Systems), Polycom, Revolabs (Yamaha UC), Sharp and Suirui.

Zoom also launched its new Zoom Certified Integrator program with partners, which includes Audiovisual Projects, BTC Direct, CCS Presentation Systems, Colortone Audio Visual, CoitCom, Connect NZ, Connect4Video, Cowbell Technologies, David Carroll Associates, DGI Technologies, Genesis Integration, Global Interactive Solutions, HB Communications, Immedia Integrated Technologies, IVCi, S&S IP SAS, TechSonic, VC Systems,, Whitlock and more.

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