Sonal Bisht
Polycom Employee


As we approach the festive period, we start looking forward to eating too much, drinking too much and being with our families. But instead of being glued to the Telly-Box or playing board games 1980’s style, the kids will be playing Minecraft on the latest iPads, the teenagers will be Snapchatting with their buddies, cousin Emma will be checking her FaceBook and even mum will decide to get her phone out to Skype granny! Whether we like it or not, technology has become a part of our lives and here are a few tips to help you get through the holiday period without being ‘trude’. 


Don’t be ‘Trude’ - Give up your WiFi password in 5

So, unless you have been living under a rock, you would have noticed that everyone has something digital with them. Internet of things (IoT) has made us all interconnected and no one appreciates it when their mobile phones, smart watches and fitness devices stop working as soon as they enter your humble abode. Don’t be trude and remember to share your WiFi password as soon as possible. A smart host would have their wifi username and password printed out and up on a notice board somewhere to save them having to get up from that sofa trying to find it a few lemonades later (!). 


‘Snap’ Chat? Email what 4? 

I love gallivanting through my mailboxes, every single one of them – said no one ever! We are not only slowly moving away from emails, we are also moving towards Virtual Reality and Artificial Intelligence. When I am on emails I am either working or looking for delivery confirmation of that Amazon package. Discussions are taking place in real-time and lots of people are choosing to reach out to their folks via social networks and mobile apps. How about a cute video invitation to add a personal touch?


It’s a charm when it’s 3          

You only start hosting when you feel adult enough and believe it or not some of your guests will bring kids with them (unavoidable at this time of year I am afraid – of course I am being cute, I love kids!). Troublesome embarrassments abound when you mix kids with smart devices. They are so much more handy with technology and that interconnected IoT-type smart TV can easily by mistake let them broadcast that photo or video that you were hoping would never even touch the outskirts of the internet. Get smarter than your smart devices and build in security passwords before that party of three arrives.


Then there will be 2

Sure you have invited 50 people to your fairly average sized flat for this bash. Now is the time to think about keeping them entertained, and not run out of food, drinks and patience. You and your partner in crime can maintain your dignity by using mobile phones for one-to-one conversations and not let your guests get a whiff of the loss of the plan A dish in the oven and the discreet hatching of a secret plan B dish. You will be surprised how clearly voices travel through those walls. Let’s keep our devices charged and keep them in our pockets.


Every 1

Don't forget to think about everyone. Your co-workers will be busy with their own family and friends soon and one short team meet-up before you all head your separate ways for holidays is a good thing to consider. If you are working in a similar setup as me, you will have your team scattered across the world. At Polycom, we drink our own champagne and sync up on video at least once a week to battle the time zones and make decisions about the next steps for our global team projects. We use this hour as a forum to exchange best wishes as well and I am sure no one will mind if you had a glass of fizz while doing so provided none of the meeting participants feel left out as some could be joining from remote locations and mobile devices. I even know a team who once opened their Secret Santa presents during a video meeting. 


It's a wrap….

One final thing, have your chargers and power banks on standby; this prevents a whole host of potential scenarios for guests attending your party, especially when they wake up next day with a low battery. If you can help them with keeping their phone fuelled up, that’s one less thing you get the blame for.


The event this year is being held 26th – 30th September, Atlanta GA and Polycom will be there as a Gold Sponsor at Booth #1624 - and we are going to be very busy!


Ignite is the coming together of up to 20,000 Global IT Professionals, IT Decision Makers and Enterprise Developers from around the world.


As well as a packed agenda there will be an EXPO and Polycom will be there showing all the latest roadmap developments that creative productivity solutions built on Office 365 for voice, video and video interoperability.


Please use this invitation to visit our booth where you will see how:

  • You can have complete Office 365 collaboration with Polycom
  • Polycom is the only solution provider to complete Office 365 collaboration end-to-end
  • Our breadth of our portfolio is second to none for Office 365
  • How our native integration of Polycom devices into O365 drives rapid adoption
  • And how our deep expertise and global reach helps rollout our rapid deployment of solutions.

Want to learn more? Sign up for a boot tour here.


…and it doesn’t just stop there. Throughout Microsoft Ignite 2016, Polycom will be presenting a number of speaking sessions too! More details below…


Session 1: Complete Collaboration with Polycom and Office 365: a Partnership Overview

Monday, September 26 – 2.00 - 2.45pm

For over a decade Polycom and Microsoft have been working together to create the next generation workplace. In this session, Ashan Willy, Senior Vice President at Polycom, will give an overview of the Polycom and Microsoft alliance and how Polycom’s solutions for Skype for Business and Office 365 enable employees to truly collaborate from anywhere.


Session 2: Best practices in Building a Collaboration Strategy: a Conversation with Polycom and Microsoft

Tuesday, September 27 – 9.00 - 9.45am (Breakfast Session)

Skype for Business and Polycom are changing the way organizations communicate and collaborate. During this session, Microsoft and Polycom experts will address best practices around getting the most out of your Skype for Business and Polycom deployments. From finding the right partner to help with your journey to driving end-user adoption, Polycom and Microsoft will share their experiences from the field.


Session 3 & 4: Technology Deep Dive into Polycom Voice and Video for Office 365

Tuesday, September 27 – 4.00pm

Wednesday, September 28 – 10.00am

Do you have technical questions around deployment of Skype for Business or Office 365 and Polycom products? Our Solution Architects and Microsoft MVP’s will present Polycom’s collaborations solutions and how they integrate with Skype for Business and Office 365. They will be available to answer any technical questions you might have around deployment, product updates, and voice and video endpoints. 


Session 5: How to Prepare for the Cultural Evolution of Video: Strategies for Success from a Microsoft and Polycom customer

Thursday, September 29 – 10.00 - 10.45am

Video is transforming the way employees communicate and collaborate. Preparing for video requires an organization to think beyond the technology and evolve people and culture.  Hear best practices from Polycom’s VP of Global Solutions Marketing, Amy Barzdukas and first-hand experience from Chris Bryant, Sr. Vice President, Enterprise Applications & Technology at Operation Smile


Expo Hall Theatre 4 Session: Complete Collaboration with Polycom Voice and Video for Office 365

Thursday, September 29 – 2.10pm

Trying to determine a device strategy for Skype for Business and Office 365? Working through interoperability challenges between Skype for Business and your other voice and video endpoints?  Polycom helps global organizations with these questions every day.  Discover why 70% of customers choose Polycom when choosing the right partner for Skype for Business collaboration.


See how Polycom and Microsoft joint solutions can transform collaboration across your organization.  We can’t wait to see you there!

If the second half of 2016 is going to be anything like the first half then we are in for an amazing year! In March at Enterprise Connect, Microsoft announced expanding the reach of Skype for Business meetings so customers of all sizes will be able to leverage their existing video investments, and there’s a recap of it available here.  Also announced was the news of certifying our industry-leading RealPresence® Group Series, as well as the Polycom line-up of room solutions purpose built for Skype for Business to support Project Rigel.


We’ve talked about cloud interoperability previously and just this last week Project Rigel and Video Interoperability appeared on SkypePreview.com. The momentum with Microsoft continues and customers can now see these solutions as part of a preview, and as mentioned within our previous announcements, Polycom is fully aligned with Microsoft to support this.  For further insight on Cloud Video Interoperability Service, Meeting Room Devices (Project Rigel) and PSTN Calling, visit SkypePreview.com or of course talk to me or your Polycom rep.


Project Rigel Customers who are looking at Project Rigel can expect to augment with Polycom solutions, in particular, those that are going to be certified as we are to bring the video room continuum together.


What does this mean to our customers?

This is about ease of use, and it’s about adoption. As part of the workplace of the future, we talk about user experience, workspace and workflow.  Everything we are doing around Polycom RealPresence Group Series, Project Rigel and Polycom® RealConnect™ in the cloud drives this ethos and strategy for customer success.


  • User Experience – it’s about ease of use. We’re creating a common look and feel across all devices with Skype for Business.
  • Workspace – we have a choice for customers to achieve their room strategy with Project Rigel and RealPresence Group Series.
  • Workflow – Polycom RealConnect. And soon it will be in Office 365. We really have a model that meets the customer requirements around Office 365, with includes the newest feature - Polycom® RealConnect™ one click connection and 360 degree Roster View.


You’d think the summer period would mean things are a little quieter on the business front as many of you are away enjoying well earned breaks, but at Polycom we have been steaming at full tilt!  


In July we attended Microsoft’s Worldwide Partner Conference.  This is the coming together of thousands of Microsoft partners to hear about Microsoft’s FY17 strategy.  What an amazing event! It’s all about cloud, but also about helping customers drive transformational change. 


In September we gear up for Microsoft Ignite in Atlanta which is Microsoft’s major customer event. Polycom will be there showing customers the widest portfolio for Microsoft Skype for Business and Office 365.  Come back soon to hear more on this!


As I look back at the last six months and look forward to the next six, I am so excited because never before has such a platform with Microsoft been so aligned to Polycom’s portfolio.


For further insight on Polycom’s solutions with Microsoft Skype for Business, visit Polycom’s website.


Follow @CharlieOJames on twitter.

We have a very exciting and busy time coming up as Polycom will be joining Microsoft at their annual Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC), July 10-14 in Toronto, Canada. This is a great opportunity for those attending, and particularly for our Microsoft partners who will be looking for new revenue streams with our Polycom voice and video solutions. 


Partners can visit our booth #643 to learn more about Polycom’s strong partnership and interoperability with Microsoft, Office 365 and Skype for Business. The Polycom Partner team will be onsite to discuss and demonstrate how our products complete the end-to-end collaboration story and drive new revenue streams for our partners.


It’s simple…our certified solutions for Skype for Business and Office 365 easily light up our customers licenses so that they achieve rapid adoption and utilization, which assures that return on investment and higher levels of productivity that our customers seek. In turn, Microsoft partners are able to engage with customers deploying their own valuable skills and services that they have gained through their Microsoft competencies. 


We want to illustrate how Microsoft partners can engage with Polycom to be part of this huge go to market that we have with Microsoft. The breadth and depth of solutions for Office 365 and Skype for Business that we at Polycom have results in this relationship.  As a result, we create a long term, valued partnership with our customer and so can our partners. 


As I say it’s simple……. what’s not to like?


At our booth, the solutions demonstrations will include:rp-trio-09.jpg

  • The world’s first business media conferencing solution for Office 365 – Polycom® RealPresence Trio™ 
  • Polycom and Microsoft extend video collaboration to Office 365 – Polycom® Group Series
  • The first business media phones for the new Office 365 services – Polycom® VVX® phones
  • Simple and powerful collaboration software that drives Skype for Business video interoperability – Polycom® RealConnect

So how can partners engage at WPC 2016?


You can join Polycom for a booth tour at booth 643 and be entered for a chance to win a Polycom® RealPresence Trio ™.


Check out the WPC page on Polycom’s website >>


Sign up for a booth tour >>


Meet one-on-one with a member of our Polycom Partner team to explore partnership opportunities partner executive one to one

Khristina Atwal
Polycom Employee

Guest Blog: Charlie James, EMEA Microsoft Alliance Director


Charlie James.jpgWe’ve had a busy first half of 2016, and during this period we made some exciting strategic announcements with Microsoft, such as our plans to certify the Polycom® CX5100 and Polycom® RealPresence Trio™ and we discussed how this enhances the Polycom® RealConnect™ offering, in addition to its newest feature – the one click connection and 360 degree Roster View.


Customers are increasingly coming to us with the age-old dilemma of making different multiple video systems work together – seamlessly and simply. Polycom has cracked it with Polycom RealConnect.  Adopting Polycom RealConnect means simplifying communication by leveraging native Microsoft Outlook calendaring and bringing everything and everyone together through click to join across devices. 


There are several benefits as a result of implementing Polycom RealConnect for Skype for Business, such as improved engagement, driving adoption, information sharing, cross collaborating and greater interoperability. Want to understand how? Read on…



Customers simply want communication technologies to work together seamlessly and cost effectively. Until Polycom RealConnect was introduced Skype for Business video conferencing users could not meet or share content with participants using other video platforms, proving to be a difficult process for end users. To improve the user experience for our customers, Polycom RealConnect eliminates this barrier which ensures everything works together and provides each end user with the familiar communication experience they’ve grown accustomed to. There is no need to learn complex dialling codes or new platform behaviours, resulting in efficient use of business time and less on learning a new service. Additionally, the new enhanced Roster View enables every participant to be able to see who is in the room, on your screen so you share content as you would in a traditional meeting environment to ensure everyone is on board, productive and engaged throughout each meeting.



If you’ve recently added voice or video to your organisation as a collaboration solution, or you’ve had video for a while and you want to expand your deployment, you should work on a plan to make sure your employees use and embrace Polycom RealConnect. Depending on where you are in your adoption journey, you may require multiple steps to get from where you are today to where you want to be. Identifying technology champions within your organisation, optimising the workplace and training employees is just the start to creating your workplace of the future.


Skype for Business has become one of the most widely-used communication tools in business today. Polycom RealConnect allows Skype for Business users to connect seamlessly with users on other video solutions using a single workflow that makes the experience familiar for all users, regardless of what device they are using and it matters because adoption is reflective of ROI and it could be greatest way to achieving that ROI. Polycom RealConnect drives adoption.


Information Sharing

The information sharing ability ensures a higher level of engagement in real time, providing an opportunity to enable bi-directional content sharing (desktop, program share) across Skype for Business clients and legacy video endpoints, shown as high quality content stream in real time with all participants. Polycom RealConnect enhances the Skype for Business client user experience by enabling employees to better engage with the workplace without breaking the workflow, having to join a virtual meeting room or co-space



Cross border collaboration ensures there is inclusion of all meeting participants and everyone feels as though they are working together within a collective workforce, this improves levels of productivity and efficiency as well as reducing meeting times, a valuable tool for time management. Additionally, the ‘One click to call’ enables participants to join a Microsoft Skype for Business meeting from any device, in any location and with the newly added feature, Roster view, meeting participants are visible regardless of what technology they are using and another fantastic new feature is the panoramic, wide-shot to include those sitting in dedicated immersive rooms.



In partnership with Microsoft, Polycom offers the broadest portfolio of interoperable voice and video solutions designed for Skype for Business and Skype for Business online in Office 365. Polycom RealConnect technology can be enabled through Microsoft-qualified video interop solutions including the Polycom® RealPresence® Platform and the Polycom® RealPresence ClaritiTM collaboration infrastructure solution.


For further insight on Polycom’s solutions with Microsoft Skype for Business, visit Polycom’s website.


Follow the author @CharlieOJames

Sonal Bisht
Polycom Employee

Microsoft and Polycom are jointly organising a #PolycomChat session on business productivity that will be hosted by the @PolycomEurope Twitter account on Thursday 14 April at 11:30 BST. Questions should be posted on the day on Twitter using the hashtag #PolycomChat or submitted in advance of the event here https://bit.ly/1XekIbj. In addition, the attendees of the Polycom-Microsoft webinar are also invited to join this chat session to ask any follow-up questions with #PolycomChat taking place straight after the webinar. To learn more about the unified communications solutions created specifically to leverage the Skype for Business environment, visit Polycom stand J920 at the UC Expo exhibition taking place in London on 19-20 April. Enter the #ShowMeTrio competition at the Polycom stand to have a chance to win a brand new Polycom® RealPresence Trio™; share @PolycomEurope’s #ShowMeTrio post along with the #ShowMeTrio hashtag on your social networks to have a chance to win.    


The Twitter chat: #PolycomChat

14 April, 11:30 BST, https://bit.ly/1XekIbj

 20160414_PolycomChat_Plcm-Msft flashcard.jpg

To stay ahead in the highly competitive world of today, businesses need to find the right mix of technology for their workforce so they can achieve their daily business objectives efficiently. Productivity is improved significantly by customising the unified communications solutions for the business outcomes. It could be further leveraged if collaboration technology could work seamlessly with the existing Microsoft Skype for Business and Office 365 environment to provide intuitive workflows and collaboration experiences.


Join #PolycomChat to discuss business productivity with our expert panellists – @CharlieOJames, EMEA Director of Microsoft Alliance at Polycom, and @IanWoolner, Senior Product Marketing Manager (UK) at Microsoft Skype for Business.


The webinar: Polycom and Microsoft

14 April, 11:00 BST, http://bit.ly/1pH8eOg


Whether you are looking to extend video to the cloud as part of your move to Microsoft Office 365 and Skype for Business or you want to leverage your existing video investment within your chosen Microsoft environment, the recent announcements made by Polycom and Microsoft ensure that you will be able to seamlessly integrate video conferencing into all current workflows.


Register to attend the webinar to learn to ‘Expand the reach of Office 365 and Skype for Business’ first-hand from both Charlie James at Polycom and Ian Woolner at Microsoft Skype for Business. Straight after the webinar, you are invited to join the #PolycomChat session (details above) where you could ask any follow-up questions.


The exhibition: UC Expo 2016

19-20 April, London, http://bit.ly/1XkQwLRUC-Expo-2016-Flashcard-v1.jpg


On 9 March, Polycom and Microsoft jointly announced an overarching strategy to uniquely unite the worlds of productivity and video collaboration. Join our experts at UC Expo 2016 to learn more about the Polycom-Microsoft roadmap for Office 365 and how it could help you extend the productivity of Skype for Business.


You could also win a brand new Polycom® RealPresence Trio™ by ShowMeTrio-Flashcard-UC Expo.JPGentering the #ShowMeTrio competition at the Polycom stand J920. For a chance to win, share the image on the right along with hashtag #ShowMeTrio on the social network of your choice; remember to tag @PolycomEurope too. T&Cs apply.  


Khristina Atwal
Polycom Employee

Guest Blog: Charlie James, EMEA Microsoft Alliance Director


Charlie James.jpgWe’ve had a busy few weeks following the highly-anticipated Microsoft announcement at Enterprise Connect 2016. If you missed it, the news included Microsoft certifying the Polycom® CX5100 and Polycom® RealPresence Trio™ as part of Project Rigel, and we discussed how this evolves the Polycom® RealConnect™ offering.


Our joint, strategic product development roadmap with Microsoft continues to grow and as part of that alliance, we recognise the forever evolving workplace of the future and what that looks like. Recent findings have indicated that 30% of American workers today are Millennials, and the way they work is changing the nature of the workforce. More efficient, round table style, collaborative teaming sessions preferred by the Millennials are replacing the formal, moderated meetings of Generation X.  Whilst there is a need to develop and cater to the workplace of the future, we also recognise that we must have in place trusted, reliable products, such as the Polycom® RealConnect™. We also understand the fundamental needs of our customers, which means further developing our product line-up with the launch of an industry-first cloud-based video interoperability service and our portfolio of Polycom room solutions purpose built for Skype for Business – also an announcement made at Enterprise Connect.


Polycom® RealConnect™ enables us to bring together numerous customers in one meeting to create their own experience. Delivering numerous key features, Polycom® RealConnect™ enables a single scheduling and dialing workflow that leverages Microsoft Outlook and includes a simple Click-to-join feature, for both Skype for Business clients and Polycom video endpoints, as well an enabling standards based endpoints for calendaring and click-to-join experience.  


Simplifying the process, the amalgamation of Polycom® RealConnect™ and Microsoft’s Skype for Business enables intuitive one-touch dialing which forms a connecting experience, and a native multipoint video and content sharing experience to preserve familiar user experience, which aids our customer’s through adoption.


Creating a seamless experience for our customers, Polycom® RealConnect™ has the capability of bi-directional content sharing, including Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) which is sent to Skype for Business users for native content experience, and of course conferences are hosted on both the Skype for Business Server AVMCU and Polycom® RealPresence Clariti collaboration infrastructure, for efficient resource optimisation.


To learn more about Polycom® RealConnect™ and the Polycom, Skype for Business product solutions for the workplace, join myself and Microsoft’s Ian Woolner, Senior Product Marketing Manager, UK at Skype for Business on the 14th April 2016, 10:30BST for a live Polycom-Microsoft webinar. Sign up here to secure your place on the webinar http://bit.ly/1pH8eOg


For further insight on Polycom’s solutions with Microsoft Skype for Business (SfB), visit Polycom’s website.



Follow the author @CharlieOJames

Khristina Atwal
Polycom Employee

Guest Blog: Charlie James, EMEA Microsoft Alliance Director


_PCX1123.jpgIt’s been a huge week at Enterprise Connect so far and Charlie James, EMEA Microsoft Alliance Director, gives the low down on exactly what the recent announcements, including certifying the Polycom® CX5100 and Polycom® RealPresence TrioTM  for Project Rigel, launching an industry-first cloud-based video interoperability service and our new line of room solutions purpose built for Skype for Business means for Polycom partners and customers.


We have been really looking forward to making these announcements which is a result of the incredibly close alliance we have with Microsoft founded on our joint strategic product development roadmap. We’ve worked closely with Microsoft for many years, and during this time, Polycom and Microsoft have worked in tandem to deliver industry-leading collaboration solutions so it felt like the right time, as part of Microsoft’s newly announced Project Rigel, for us to share the good news that we will be delivering a new line of room solutions purpose built for Skype for Business. This new line will offer plug-and-play simplicity in a variety of configurations to meet the needs of any sized business and room. The new meeting room platform is an evolution from Lync Room System and is based on a new Windows 10-based platform that centres on a “Rigel” console that sits in the centre of a room. To support this launch, we have also worked meticulously and are pleased to confirm that Polycom’s leading voice and video technologies, such as Polycom® CX5100 and Polycom® RealPresence TrioTM, will be certified for Project Rigel solutions. In addition we will be extending the Surface Hub with a choice of certified products.


Certification is at the bedrock of everything we do with Microsoft and we always recommended to our customers that they invest in solutions that are certified.


Microsoft also announced their plans to expand the reach of Skype for Business environments, for our customers and partners of small, large and those in-between sizes, it means we leverage the existing video investments they have made with Polycom as they move to Microsoft Office 365 and Skype for Business environments. The collaboration with other existing video platforms using a new cloud video interoperability service built by Polycom and Microsoft, our industry-leading Polycom® RealPresence® Group Series in-room video conferencing solutions will be exclusively qualified on Skype for Business Server and supported on Office 365. This enables Office 365 customers to confidently leverage their existing video investments and unite with those of other vendors, including Polycom, Microsoft and Cisco, as they move to the cloud. Our customers will be looking to bridge these solution environments as they move to Office 365 and this news will change and enhance the user experience for our partners and customers as we use our proven technologies in these new deployments. When customers are making big strategic decisions around interoperability it’s good to know that Polycom is part of a strategic roadmap with Microsoft and this announcement underpins this.


A familiar Skype for Business-like user-interface on the Polycom® RealPresence TouchTM device will make it even easier for Skype for Business users to integrate video conferencing into current workflows. RealPresence Group Series solutions are used for meetings of all kinds, from huddle rooms to immersive telepresence rooms and this will enable Skype for Business to extend into conference rooms, boardrooms, and meeting rooms which will help our customers to continue to build the workplace of the future.


For the official press release, please visit the Polycom press room: http://www.polycom.co.uk/company/news/press-release-filter.html

The on-demand webcast about Polycom's new breakthrough solutions is available for replay. Watch it now.

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