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Polycom RealPresence video platforms, cloud updates unveiled

Polycom has introduced its first WebRTC-based videoconferencing platform. The company has also updated its video library and cloud-based video conferencing platform.

Polycom introduced its first video conferencing product based on Web Real-Time Communications, an open standard used by Cisco and other rivals for embedding voice, text and video capabilities in a browser.

Polycom unveiled the RealPresence Web Suite this week at InfoComm 2015. The technology lets people enter an online meeting by clicking on a link, instead of downloading a browser plugin. 

Polycom rivals like LifeSize, Blue Jeans and Cisco have similar products based on Web Real-Time Communications (WebRTC). "[Polycom] has been somewhat late to WebRTC video, but no one has run away with that market yet either," said ZK Research analyst Zeus Kerravala.

RealPresence Web Suite will replace Polycom CloudAxis. The new product lets meeting attendees upload up to six pieces of content at a time and has a virtual whiteboard for brainstorming and saving ideas, said Sam Kennedy, director of worldwide consulting engineering for Polycom.

Polycom also introduced at InfoComm RealPresence Media Suite, a YouTube-like video library that lets users record and stream videos and webcasts. Media Suite is a redesign of RealPresence Capture Server.

Recording and streaming video presents a different set of challenges than live videoconferencing. Video recording technology can be difficult to operate and users are often not sure where their recorded videos end up, Kennedy said.

Polycom tackles the problem by having users log into the Media Suite portal using their active directory credentials. Recorded videos appear under the user's personal archive.

Video creators control who views their videos, which can be shared during meetings on Web suite. Media Suite can be scaled to stream 50 live events, and can record up to 100 concurrent webcasts.

Polycom also just released an updated version of RealPresence Cloud. The second iteration of the cloud platform has been tweaked to give users a better video experience. Video resolution, for example, is automatically adjusted to match viewers' devices and available bandwidth.

"These features will improve overall video utilization," Kerravala said.

Media Suite is available globally today. Web Suite and RealPresence Cloud will be available later this summer.  

Let us know what you think about the story; email: Gina Narcisi, senior news writer and follow @GeeNarcisi on Twitter.

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