A key challenge for many enterprises in getting Unified Communications solutions operational is actually unifying all the different communications tools.
That's the problem set that Polycom aimed to tackle when it first announced its CloudAXIS technology in October 2012. Now, after six months of customer trials and beta testing, Polycom is making CloudAXIS generally available.
Since the initial CloudAXIS announcement, there haven't been any major fixes or bug issues, Manny Kostas, group vice president of worldwide product management organization at Polycom, told Enterprise Networking Planet.
"The general-availability feature set matches what we set out to do: make it easy for anyone with a web browser to connect into a secure video collaboration session," Kostas said.
The CloudAXIS Suite includes an integration platform that enables Skype, Facebook and GoogleTalk conversations. As part of the solution, a user interface lets users drag and drop participants from across the different technologies into a single unified collaboration session.
Kostas noted that companies around the world, in industries ranging from healthcare to education to system integration, were active participants in the CloudAXIS Beta. Many companies see it as an entry point for enterprises to get video-enabled.
"Where they may have held back in the past, this is a simple, easy-to-use solution for video collaboration," Kostas said. "Some customers we’ve spoken with have expressed enthusiasm because CloudAXIS can help drive more video adoption internally so that they can begin investing in more room systems for huddle and conference rooms."
Though the CloudAXIS technology itself has not changed since October, Polycom is providing new packaging options, including the Video SmartStart offering.
"The Video SmartStart offering includes all of the Polycom components necessary for a customer to get a RealPresence CloudAXIS Suite solution up and running," Kostas said.
There are two offerings for greenfield customers and a Video SmartStart Upgrade offering for existing Polycom customers. Kostas explained that in each case, the offering includes the RealPresence Platform components, the RealPresence CloudAXIS Suite software, and implementation and maintenance services. All the customer provides is the server and VMware environment for the CloudAXIS Suite.
Moving forward, Polycom intends to continue to develop the CloudAXIS solution set.
"The agile nature of our software development process allows us to be responsive and proactive in addressing business opportunities," Kostas said. "While we can’t share details on unannounced features or solutions, we can say that CloudAXIS will continue to evolve, and our conversations with customers have given us a lot of great ideas. "