Avaya, Polycom Dial in Videoconferencing

Avaya , a communications software, systems and services
company, has announced a new Internet Protocol-based video-conferencing
offering for businesses.

The Avaya Video Telephony Solution, Desktop Edition, stems from a
partnership
with conferencing technology specialist Polycom .

The offering integrates the Avaya IP Softphone, an application that
works as
an office phone on a computer, with the Polycom ViaVideo camera and
microphone. It also ties in instant messaging and presence features.

“There are a couple different verticals that are heavy users of
video-conferencing, including real estate and financial services.”
Greg
Brophy, an Avaya senior product manager, told internetnews.com.

IT companies are another attractive market for the video telephony
offering
because much of their work is collaborative and done by co-workers in
different offices, Brophy added.

Avaya and Polycom aimed for simplicity. Callers log on the business
network (via a broadband or wireless LAN connection) and make video
calls that can be muted, forwarded, transferred or placed on hold.

To initiate desktop video-conferences, a user only needs a colleague’s phone number, whereas many desktop video products also require IP addresses or a separate video calling number.

Because Polycom’s ViaVideo camera features an internal processor, video
can
be transmitted without overtaxing PC or laptop performance. This means
users
can have several applications working at once, an important feature for
business customers.

The video telephony offering is in testing with two companies: Charter
Steel, a supplier to the automotive industry; and The Seattle Times
Company,
a newspaper publisher. Both use IP-based applications from the Avaya
and are
evolving to video-over-IP.

Pricing for a package including the Softphone and VivaVideo camera will
be
$429. There will also be options for customers who are already using
one of
the products separately and want to add the other.

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