Unified Communications provider Polycom will work with telcos to bring video-as-a-service to market in New Zealand.
The organisation on January 20 rolled out its RealPresence Cloud solution and announced that its strategy in the region would partner with larger, Tier 1 companies, although a company spokesperons says it is looking at larger system integrators as well.
According to a statement released by Polycom, the solution is a “wholesale, carrier-ready offering to enable service providers to quickly bring to market VaaS offerings....to equip [providers] with the carrier-grade infrastructure, endpoints and services they need to offer businesses of all sizes subscription-based solutions for video collaboration.”
Polycom in the past has had what is described by a source as a “passive” relationship with telcos, but that will change with the vendor’s strategy for its RealPresence Cloud solution. The strategy is meant to take advantage of providers and larger partners the ability to invest in infrastructure. Polycom, however, anticipates opportunitity in future for smaller resellers to white-label the service.
“Our primary target at this point will be the telcos becuase they have the ability to invest and scale quickly,” says Michael Chetner, Polycom APAC vice president. “Over time, the way that we’re pitching this is this provides the channel all the tools to set up these services themselves and it is white label-able.”
The company states the cloud offering is for “qualified service providers and channel partners”. Polycom has 12 regular partners in New Zealand.
“When we talk about system integrators, we’re seeing a lot of migration to datacentres,” he adds. “I’ve heard from large and small system integrators that it makes sense to go down that path but it’s a matter of investment of financial and physical resources.”
RealPresence Cloud encompasses a “fully managed multipoint video service that supports a multitude of connectivity options between standards-based room, mobile, PC, and web-based endpoints” to make video collaboration “ubiquitous”.
The solution includes free downloadable appls to run RealPresence on iPads and smartphones.
“So the sheer size or scale or number of devices out there potentially running Polycom calls requires a platform like this,” Chetner says.
Chetner says Polycom’s strategy is to make it easier for service providers in New Zealand to tap into the SMB market without having to install infrastructure on premise without having to work on a “managed model”.
Industry observers predict Telcos will increasingly challenge traditional resellers in offering cloud services. Research organisation IDC last year predicted that by 2015, 20 percent of spending on enterprise applications would be via cloud offerings from non-traditional organisations, especially telcos because they own “the plumbing”.
Chetner says that UFB and rural broadband will be necessary to bring the cost of entry for SMB customers, particularly oustide urban areas where there currently are no broadband options. Smaller customers, Chetner says, will start to demand “equity of service” on par with enterprise customers.
“The exciting opportunity for New Zealand partners is to take that drive for innovation and early adoption in the technology sector and apply it to this type of thing. There’s an ability in New Zealand for telcos and integrators to get together and provide seamless service.”
Chetner says Polycom sees New Zealand as an important growth market, and is set to open an office in the Auckland CBD in the first quarter, with a showcase to demonstrate Polycom’s portfolio. The office is located in the Forsyth Barr building.