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UC briefs: Video conferencing room deployments vary widely

A Wainhouse Research study shows how enterprise size impacts the approach to video conferencing deployments, while Polycom unveils new collaboration products.

Video conferencing room deployments vary greatly between large and small companies, according to a recent Wainhouse Research LLC study of 168 enterprises.

The study found more than half of large enterprises, with more than 10,000 employees, have deployed more video conferencing rooms in the past 24 months compared to 27% of smaller enterprises, with fewer than 10,000 employees.

While dedicated hardware is still the preferred option for video conferencing services, BYOD is having a significant impact on smaller enterprises, according to the report. One-third of smaller enterprises reported having a BYOD strategy for their video conferencing rooms, while only 18% of large enterprises reported having a BYOD strategy for video conferencing.

Video as a service (VaaS) adoption is slow among large and small enterprises, the report found. Only 4% of large enterprises and 12% of small enterprises reported using VaaS as their primary video conferencing service infrastructure. Nearly half of respondents said they have no plans to adopt VaaS.

Managed video conferencing services are growing in popularity, as nearly one-quarter of large enterprises said they are turning to managed services to support their room systems. Looking ahead to next year, 41% of total respondents said they expect their use of managed services to grow.

New Polycom collaboration products unveiled

Polycom Inc. recently revealed its latest suite of collaboration products, which aim to change how people collaborate in the workplace.

Polycom's RealPresence Trio turns a conference phone into a content-sharing video system. It connects to a webcam to enable video calls. The device can be used with mobile devices and laptops, and integrates with unified communications (UC) platforms, such as Skype for Business. The RealPresence Trio will be available in November.

The RealPresence Centro is a video offering, with four touchscreen displays that create a 360-degree view of a meeting. The device integrates with personal and conference room calendars, and can connect wirelessly to devices to enable content sharing. The RealPresence Centro will be available in February 2016.

The RealPresence Debut is a video conferencing offering designed for smaller spaces and organizations with limited IT resources. It can connect to Polycom's cloud service to deploy without the need for in-house IT support. It will be available in January 2016.

The RealPresence Medialign is a collaboration product that can be deployed in a video conferencing room, without making changes to the room's setup. The offering is available with single or dual screens and integrates with UC platforms. The RealPresence Medialign will be available in December.

The Concierge service is software that connects personal devices to Polycom services, including the RealPresence Group Series, Medialign and Immersive Studio. The software offers a consistent user interface for content sharing and meeting controls. The service will be available in December.

Switch launches Office 365 phone system

Switch Communications Inc. announced the launch of its cloud-based phone system for Microsoft Office 365. The system integrates with LinkedIn and Outlook's mail and calendar features, as well as lets employees see their emails and appointments when on a call. It also offers corporate directory access. The Switch phone system also integrates with Google Apps.

The system is geared toward enterprises, as well as small and midsize businesses, and offers them the flexibility to control how and where they use their business phone lines. The system is available at $15 per person, per month.

"Work is a thing you do, not a place you go. We understand the value of mobility and giving people control over the tools they need to be productive," said Craig Walker, CEO of Switch Communications.

Wearable technology causing concern over security, support

Wearable technology is making its impact in the enterprise, according to a survey from network management software provider Ipswitch Inc. The survey of 288 IT professionals found that more than half of respondents have seen employees using wearable technology for work, and 15% of respondents said their organization provides employees with wearable technology.

The three most popular types of wearable technology in the workplace are smartwatches, such as the Apple Watch; fitness bands, such as Fitbit; and health-monitoring devices, such as QardioArm.

Wearable technology has sparked concerns about its impact on the enterprise. More than half of respondents said they were concerned about the potential of security breaches, 45% were concerned about the added work to support wearable technology and 36% were concerned about decreased network bandwidth.

But most organizations have not found ways to address these concerns. Two-thirds of respondents said their organization does not have policies in place to manage wearable technology.

"Wearable technology might be convenient for the user, but it's inconvenient for IT pros to secure and support," said Aaron Kelly, vice president of product management at Ipswitch. Kelly said certain monitoring software can help enterprises control wearable technology and ensure that devices don't impact network performance.

Next Steps

Comparing video conferencing service offerings

Mobile device management policies must include wearable technology

Polycom updates collaboration products with tighter Microsoft integration

Dig Deeper on Business Video Conferencing and Telepresence Technology