Polycom’s RealPresence Platform has released a brand spankin’ new Application Programming Interfaces (APIs). And this isn’t just API’s for video chatting such as Skype and Google Hangouts. It’s an enterprise-level unified communications (UC) platform for video collaboration – all in HD and now armed with a set of interfaces for developers to get serious with. OoVoo does video chatting in HD but this is not video collaboration. Polycom has been putting together an open standards in unified communications for quite some time.
During the press junket, the company seemed to a have shed a bit of its corporate image by introducing examples of its APIs through skits. The scripted event had a “CIO” from a nearby company where he insisted that he’d get his answers for his pressing questions on how to integrate the RealPresence Platform. In the skit, Senior VP Jim Kruger showed off how the APIs could work on provisioning and scheduling meetings, provide directory services and include the ability to control the conference as either the host or the participant through an iPhone app.
With the release of the new set of APIs, Polycom plans to get its platform with the broadest range of business, mobile, and social applications and devices. One of the more impressive uses of its APIs included ProtonMedia’s video collaboration in a virtual 3D environment similar to Second Life or Playstation Home where 3D Avatars can sit in a virtual theater or museum to demonstrate 3D models or reports, chemicals and a variety of other subjects. “This is something that ProtonMedia has been wanting to do with video collaboration for quite sometime, and Polycom’s API will take ProtoSphere to new heights,” said ProtonMedia CEO Ron Burns. “We’re tightly integrated with [Microsoft] Linc and with this new API, the sky’s the limit.”
In addition, Polycom also announced new enhancements to its UC software platform including the new Polycom® RealPresence® Resource Manager and support for Acme Packet session border controllers that dramatically improve the scalability, manageability, and secure delivery of video collaboration across organizations.
With today’s announcement, Polycom is providing independent software vendors (ISVs), channel partners, customers, and service providers with open APIs and software development kits (SDKs) to test, create, and ultimately deliver new software applications and solutions that integrate with the RealPresence Platform and provide added value to a video collaboration environment. Aimed at making video collaboration easier to integrate into everyday business processes, the suite of APIs allows developers within enterprises and organizations to tailor applications to seamlessly integrate with Polycom RealPresence video solutions such as provisioning, scheduling, directory services, user management, conference control, authentication, and billing.
“At McAfee, we are extremely serious about our promise to keep our customers safe,” said David Piekarski, senior manager global telecommunications operations at McAfee. “We achieve this through proactive solutions that secure the digital world for our millions of customers. Through Polycom video collaboration solutions, we are able to engage multiple, globally distributed engineers to support our most critical cases. With the advent of the new software updates to the platform, especially the open APIs, we envision being able to far more easily and cleanly integrate the software we use to support our customers.”
APIs Extend the Value of Polycom Video Collaboration Solutions
Specific examples of applications leveraging Polycom APIs and extending the value of the Polycom platform include:
- myVRM, an ISV that specializes in Web-based multi-level scheduling solutions, developed a new application using Polycom APIs that makes it easier for customers to schedule videoconferencing meetings. The application allows meetings to be scheduled from one centralized calendar using a personal information manager interface, a Web interface, or through iOS or Android integration. “With the new Polycom open APIs, we were able to easily develop a video scheduling application that further extends the usage and benefits of video collaboration across any industry,” Larry Roher, CEO of myVRM. “Our application enables businesses to be more efficient when it comes to scheduling videoconferencing meetings, which helps to drive adoption and a higher ROI.”
- A leading Polycom education customer is currently integrating video network monitoring into their monitoring system to view everything on one console and to create a “bill back” application for the 10 colleges that use video collaboration services to create a pay-as-you-use video collaboration model.
- Polycom customers have expressed interest in creating a custom virtual meeting room application for their employees, as well as a directory application that connects multiple directory platforms.
- Vertical market segments – including healthcare, education, government, manufacturing, and finance – can benefit from new custom applications that integrate directly with Polycom’s UC platform. For example, in a hospital environment, a custom application could alert network administrators when a trauma video call is initiated, ensuring that on-demand, white-glove service support is available at the time needed most.
“Polycom has a dedicated focus on scaling video collaboration through a commitment to open standards, interoperability, new APIs, and a focus on a simple experience for end users and IT administrators,” said Zeus Kerravala, CEO of ZKResearch. “This latest release enables both service providers and enterprises to deliver secure, high-quality video collaboration within the office as well as to on-the-go mobile users. The increase in use of video endpoints will further the value of video investments that are already in place and add to the ‘network effect,’ helping to make video a mainstream collaboration tool.”
ISVs and enterprise customers can obtain the new APIs and SDKs at developer.polycom.com, where they can also create and/or test custom solutions in a “digital sandbox” and participate in various industry discussion forums with other developers. Polycom is also introducing new professional services to support this program, including consulting support for existing customer IT resources, API software development, and full custom API software development for a specific project.
“As more organizations realize the benefits of collaborating face-to-face by video from anywhere – benefits such as increased productivity, improved engagement, and reduced operational and travel costs – they want to fully incorporate video into their business processes and workflows to make usage as easy as possible,” said Sudhakar Ramakrishna, Polycom President of Products and Services. “Our new suite of APIs for the RealPresence Platform will provide this integration and give customers greater flexibility to innovate as they further build out their video collaboration networks to drive significant business value. At the same time, we’re delivering more scalability and manageability to IT administrators who are looking to video-enable their organizations.”
Increased Manageability and Scalability of Video Collaboration Networks
Another enhancement to the RealPresence Platform announced today is the new Polycom RealPresence Resource Manager, a new scheduling, management, and provisioning solution that significantly increases the scalability of the platform by 100 percent to allow a single RealPresence Resource Manager to support up to 10,000 devices including room and immersive systems, tablets, smartphones, laptops, and executive video desktops. The RealPresence Resource Manager also makes it easier for IT administrators to manage their organization’s video collaboration network, including provisioning new devices to the network and monitoring video collaboration usage across the organization to ensure a reliable high-quality experience for the end user. In addition, RealPresence Resource Manager also makes it easier to schedule and manage video collaboration calls.
Extending Secure Video Collaboration Beyond the Office
A growing number of employees are mobile and connecting to video collaboration networks via tablets or laptops – yet they require the same levels of security as employees working in the office. To meet this need, Polycom has achieved full interoperability with Acme Packet Net-Net session border controllers, which enables organizations to extend video collaboration to mobile devices and provide users with secure video services across network boundaries, without worrying about the complexities of firewall traversal or networking configurations. To learn more about how this solution can help businesses scale to support thousands of mobile workers, see the related Polycom RealPresence Mobile 1.3 press release.
About Polycom RealPresence Platform
The Polycom® RealPresence® Platform – the most comprehensive and interoperable UC infrastructure for universal video collaboration – provides robust provisioning, management, scalability, reliability, flexibility, and security. The unique open-standards approach of the Polycom RealPresence Platform ensures integration with hundreds of unified communications and social networking applications, and integrates with core networking and security infrastructure to deliver secure collaboration with any number of people across heterogeneous networks with up to 50 percent less bandwidth consumption than other solutions. Because of Polycom’s focus on interoperability, the RealPresence Platform transforms islands of employees and fragmented communications systems into a seamless video enterprise, which makes enterprise-grade video easily and securely accessible to all authorized personnel whether they’re mobile, remote, or on-site. The RealPresence Platform also provides the security, reliability, management, and massive scalability to support video as a cloud-based service, delivered by service providers to enterprises, SMBs, and consumers.
The documentation for the open APIs on developer.polycom.com and the interoperability with Acme Packer Net-Net session border controllers are available today. The Polycom Resource Manager with multi-tenancy support will be available August 2012.
Polycom is the global leader in open standards-based unified communications (UC) solutions for telepresence, video, and voice powered by the Polycom® RealPresence® Platform. The RealPresence Platform interoperates with the broadest range of business, mobile, and social applications and devices. More than 400,000 organizations trust Polycom solutions to collaborate and meet face to face from any location for more productive and effective engagement with colleagues, partners, customers, specialists, and prospects. Polycom, together with its broad partner ecosystem, provides customers with the best total cost of ownership, interoperability, scalability, and security for video collaboration, whether on-premises, hosted, or cloud delivered. Visit www.polycom.com or connect with Polycom on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.