Polycom Inc will unveil small-room and desktop versions of its high-definition videoconferencing bridge in the third quarter of this year, according to CEO Bob Hagarty.
The Pleasanton, California-based conferencing infrastructure and SIP handset vendor launched the HDX 9000 in October last year at the top of its product range for standard conferencing rooms, below only its purpose-built telepresence room offering, called RealPresence Experience.
As such, said Hagarty, it has high-end features such as multiple camera inputs and costs $14,000-$20,000, making it suitable for downsizing for smaller conferencing rooms and the desktop. He said the HD offer, with 720p resolution and 30 frames per second broadcast capability, makes Polycom the only major videoconferencing vendor with a standards-based HD video codec.
Competitor Tandberg is not at HD quality yet, while Sony does HD, but with a proprietary, and so non-interoperable, codec. Cisco does HD, of course, but again with a proprietary codec and, in any case, it is only in the telepresence segment, not the mainstream videoconferencing market where the HDX plays.
Hagarty also argued that Polycom has the most complete portfolio in the conferencing infrastructure world, from desktops through conference phones, small and large room bridges and up to the telepresence offering. RPX was launched in May last year and competes in the immersive conferencing experience market with HP (with its Halo room), Cisco (TelePresence) and Teliris (VirtuaLive).
Initially RPX was the result of a partnership with specialist telepresence vendor Destiny Conferencing Corp, a company Polycom acquired for $47.6m in January of this year. Like HP and Teliris, Destiny had an arm that provided telepresence as a managed service, said Hagarty, but Polycom wanted to stay out of telepresence as a service and so spun that unit out as an MSP called Informata.
Polycom posted revenue of $682m for 2006, of which about 70% came from videoconferencing, with the remainder coming from voice technologies, which include voice conferencing and desktop IP phones, which are the result of its 2000 acquisition of Canadian SIP developer Circa Communications.
Its SIP phones are OEMed to companies like BroadSoft, Sylantro, Asterix and Vonexus, who sell them in conjunction with their call control technology. It also OEMs its conference phones to these companies, as well as bigger vendors like Cisco, Avaya, Nortel and Alcatel, though in their case it has to load a proprietary protocol stack instead of the SIP stack, Hagarty went on.
The voice segment of Polycom looks set to increase shortly, provided its proposed $220m acquisition of WiFi and DECT phone vendor SpectraLink goes through. If that takes happens, our overall voice business will probably go up to around 40% of total revenue, said Hagarty.