For many small-to-medium-sized businesses (SMBs), an obstacle to videoconferencing buy-in has been the capital expense and operating expense of premises-based infrastructures and bridging. But with more and more companies—e.g., Vidyo and Blue Jeans Network—offering enterprise-grade cloud-based solutions, those hurdles aren't quite as tall. Vidyo's VidyoWay goes even further as it offers a free interconnectivity service that supports multi-vendor, enterprise-quality videoconferencing for multi-party or point-to-point meetings.
So where does Polycom fit into the mix? Analysts warn of a rocky few years as Polycom transitions from selling the expensive hardware that gave them cache to a cloud-based portfolio. Likewise, AV pros will have to figure out—as always—how to deliver reliable systems today while balancing the trending systems of tomorrow. As for tech managers, it is important to navigate user expectations and misconceptions that come with such transitions.
Read this recent report by Reuters' Sayantani Ghosh that analyzes Polycom, not just as an individual company, but in wider context of videoconferencing and unified communications; it lays out the competitive landscape quite coherently.
Margot Douaihy is the editor of AV Technology magazine. She has covered the AV systems integration industry for 13 years and has taught at Marywood University in Pennsylvania.