Often we see customers in a state of transition. They're moving from one UC platform to another. They ask, if I make a decision now, what impact will that have on my future plans? Fortunately, that's one of the strongest benefits of Polycom's native integration into our strategic partners. We don't use proprietary gateways!
From a telephony side, your Cisco, Avaya, Siemens, Broadsoft, or other IP PBX will typically connect into Polycom's Virtualization Manager--DMA 7000 via a trunk to the PBX. We set up dial rules on the DMA 7000 and PBX to pass calls between the environments.
On the Microsoft or IBM side, there can be multiple points of interconnection. Calendar integration would typically integrate integrate with the mail server (e.g. Exchange or Notes). IM/Chat/Presence and actual voice/video call integration will come from that environment and integrate with DMA and/or the RMX depending on specific requirements. There's no additional licensing. There's no additional hardware. It's just configuration in the core of your voice and video environment.
Transitions from one environment to another are simple (and likely the two environments can co-exist well with each other so there's no need for a hard cut-over).
Are there differences in how Microsoft and IBM integrate with Polycom? Absolutely! Primarily because Polycom has worked hard to integrate into each environment the way our partner's environment is designed to work. Because Microsoft and IBM have different visions, Microsoft Lync is a PBX. IBM Sametime is not. We work natively leveraging the specific environment's workflow.