Meetrix Augments IBM Sametime with Polycom

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Meetrix, a cloud communications integrator, makes a strategic alliance with Polycom, bringing Polycom's RealPresence backbone and cloud capabilities to the IBM Sametime as-a-service environment. The relationship is symbiotic, as it marks another effort for Polycom to promote a more open and interoperable cloud-based UC platform.

Polycom Inc. continues it's cloud campaign by inking a new alliance with Meetrix Inc., a cloud integrator that will now specialize in using Polycom's social-video collaboration technology to deliver a more flexible IBM Sametime communication platform. Meetrix's flagship solution, dubbed "Sametime-as-a-service" is no stranger to the cloud, but with Polycom RealPresence as the backbone, IBM Sametime can be deployed "almost instantly," pushing the offering deeper into the SMBs and enterprise space.

More technically, the new partnership takes Meetrix's UC service and integrates the IBM Sametime service with Polycom's video infrastructure software, which can then be deployed on-premise if not delivered via a cloud service provider. The meshing of Polycom's platform with "business-grade" video software should help provide a more reliable experience that can allow for continued interoperability of the platform, critical for Meetrix's "cloud-delivered social business app."

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In a prepared statement, Steve Pattison, vice president of business development at Polycom additionally commented that the alliance allows new customers to "...keep their upfront costs down, leverage their existing investments, and quickly realize a ROI." This also marks yet another collaboration between Polycom and IBM communication technology, deepening Polycom's efforts to link together interoperable communication standards, which is also a continuing goal of Polycom's spearheaded Open Visual Communications Consortium (OVCC) campaign.

Polycom's alliance with Meetrix shows the intense interest in the UC space to accelerate cloud-based communications. While moving to the cloud is hardly novel, UC in the cloud is becoming a more accepted solution, especially as SMBs and other smaller-scale organizations seek for a communication platform that does not require the installation of new hardware or infrastructure. Moreover, cloud-based UC is an ideal way for solution providers to enhance existing cloud portfolios with a valuable and powerful solution. In some ways, unified communications is the lynchpin of highly mobile environments.

Interested parties should check out Meetrix's partner program, as the company has a "high interest in partnering with other cloud-platform-as-a-service  or software-as-a-service integrators and aggregators."

Worth noting: Last week ShoreTel shored up its cloud capabilities with a new Call Flow dashboard for the ShoreTel Sky cloud environment -- another confirmation that cloud communication is rising channel trend, even as video conferencing declines in popularity.

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