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Polycom has expanded its VoIP endpoint portfolio with the release of four new open SIP phones. The vendor also launched a new cloud-based device management service to help partners provision and troubleshoot Polycom devices.
The release builds upon the Polycom VVX series of IP desk phones. The more advanced models include color LCD displays and gigabit Ethernet ports, unlike any of the previous phones in the Polycom VVX series.
The VVX 150 is the most basic of the new devices. Designed for home offices or common areas, the VVX 150 supports two lines and does not have a USB port or a color display.
The VVX 250 is targeted at small and midsize businesses, with a 2.8-inch color LCD display, HD audio, one USB port and support for up to four lines.
The VVX 350 is for cubicle workers, call centers and small businesses. It has a 3.5-inch color LCD display, two USB ports and support for six lines.
The most advanced of the four new models, the VVX 450, can host 12 lines and comes with a 4.3-inch color LCD display. Polycom said the phones are meant for front-line staff in small and midsize businesses.
The new phones rely on the same unified communications software as the rest of the Polycom VVX series, which should simplify the certification process for service providers, Polycom said. 8x8, Nextiva and The Voice Factory were the first voice providers to certify the devices.
Unlike traditional propriety phones, open SIP phones can connect to the IP telephony services of a wide range of vendors. This simplifies interoperability for businesses that get UC services from multiple vendors.
Polycom embraces cloud to help sell hardware
Polycom has launched two new cloud services in an attempt to make its hardware more attractive to enterprises and service providers.
Polycom Device Management Service for Service Providers, released this week, gives partners a web-based application for managing Polycom devices. This should help service providers improve uptimes and enhance end-user control panels. Polycom launched a similar service for enterprises earlier this year.
Polycom's new cloud offering aligns well with the cloud management platform for headsets offered by Plantronics, which acquired Polycom in a $2 billion deal that closed last month. Polycom first announced the cloud services in May, prior to the acquisition being made final.
Eventually, Plantronics may look to combine its cloud management platform with Polycom's, allowing partners to control phones and headsets from the same application, said Irwin Lazar, analyst at Nemertes Research, based in Mokena, Ill. This would give Plantronics and Polycom an advantage over competitors such as Yealink and AudioCodes.
"The endpoint market is fairly competitive, so wrapping management capabilities around the devices is an attractive means to provide a differentiated offering," Lazar said.