- Polycom will qualify the Group Series portfolio of products for Microsoft’s Office 365 solution and introduce new benefits such as a Skype for Business UI for a native look and feel.
- Polycom will partner with Microsoft and co-develop several purpose-built Skype-for-Business video solutions (Project Rigel). Polycom will certify our RealPresence Trio and CX5100 to work with Project Rigel video solutions to enhance the Skype for Business experience.
- Polycom and Microsoft will introduce a cloud-based video-interoperability service similar to Polycom’s RealConnect, but hosted on Microsoft’s Azure cloud and available to any Office 365 customer. This service offering will bring RealConnect-like workflows and experiences into the Office 365 Cloud and will be available in the US late in the year (other countries will follow in 2017).
First, the Polycom Group Series family of endpoints have always been natively integrated with Skype for Business and thousands of these devices have already been deployed into meeting rooms by Microsoft customers all around the world. Up until now, these endpoints could registers natively to an on-premise Skype for Business Server and appear as a contact for presence and click-to-call functionality. However, it could not register directly into the Office365 Skype for Business infrastructure in the cloud.. This means that customers who want to move their on-premise deployment of Skype for Business to Office365 still had to maintain a small instance of Skype for Business in their data centre in order to continue using the Group Series. With the latest announcement, this will no longer be the case moving forward. With a firmware update in H2 2016, Skype for Business customers can move completely to Office365 and the Group Series will be able to directly register with the cloud servers, allowing for presence, click-to-call and Exchange Online calendar integration out of the box. In addition, the firmware update in H2 Group Series will provide a native Skype for Business UI, first on the RP Touch and then later on the Group Series display itself. This will certainly help drive user adoption and provide a consistent look and feel of Skype for Business across all meeting space devices and create seamless users experiences.
Secondly, a whole new generation of collaborative endpoints will be co-developed by Polycom and Microsoft to meet the entire spectrum of meeting room requirements ranging from huddle spaces to boardrooms. Code named Project Rigel, this brings together the best of technologies from both Polycom and Microsoft to deliver new and industry leading room solutions. Although exact details are not available at this time, these new solutions are designed to take advantage of the innovative Skype Meeting interface of Microsoft’s Surface Hub and combine them with the industry leading technologies offered on Polycom meeting room devices such as the Polycom Trio8800 and the CX5100. Although Polycom will not be the only partner offering Project Rigel solutions, no other vendor will have a more complete portfolio of Skype for Business solutions that encompass endpoints and infrastructure.