Khristina Atwal
Polycom Employee

Red Cross Children’s Hospital, Cape Town, South Africa is building a hospital of the future with Polycom video, voice and content sharing solutions and with the support of our partner Kathea.


Still_05.pngWe recently shared the Red Cross Children’s Hospital CATHCHAT story, and how the hospital is making a difference from their base in Cape Town, South Africa.  We’ve been working really closely with our partner Kathea and the hospital to deploy solutions that will serve the hospital for the future and support their journey in building a brighter future for their patients.


The hospital receives around 260,000 patient visits each year, the majority of which are from exceptionally poor and marginalized communities and one third of the patients are younger than a year old.


The hospital faced a growing need for cardiac procedures in young patients, but had limited resources and access to highly experienced pediatric cardiologists. In an effort to broaden their ability to serve patients and to expand their local physician’s education, the hospital chose to implement Polycom video collaboration solutions in their pediatric interventional cardiac catheterization lab.


Still_04.pngAs a result of installing Polycom collaboration infrastructure, including Polycom® RealPresence® Web Suite and Polycom® RealPresence® Media Suite with the support of our partner, Kathea, the hospital professionals, are now equipped to learn from highly experienced cardiologists from across Africa and beyond to learn and teach paediatric interventional cardiac catheterisation live and in real time.


This open channel of learning will enable the hospital to connect with experts in remote locations whilst in theatre and during CATHCHAT sessions for guidance during complex procedures. The approach of the hospital is changing with an intention to build an efficient process for the future with the support of Polycom video collaborations.  Ultimately, the hospital has an objective to decrease patient waiting time and enable their cardiologists to treat even more patients than before.


Still_01.pngPolycom has been lucky enough to join the Red Cross Children’s Hospital during their CATHCHAT session which took place March 2016, more here if you missed the details. We capture some great footage which shows the complex procedures taking place in theatre while remote, experienced pediatric cardiologists are joining via video to support and advise where required.  Additionally, we were able to joining learning and teaching sessions where doctors and experts from the hospital are able to share their knowledge and experience.  To better understand the journey the hospital is taking with the support of Polycom and Kathea, please watch this short video clip or read the full case study here


Kathea_Final Logo_RGB-04.jpgThe CATHCHAT weeks have been very successful. With Polycom and Kathea, the Red Cross Children’s Hospital is building its concept to secure a bigger and better future for the people of Western Cape.




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Note - CATHCHAT is an invitation only session designed for medical professionals involved in paediatric cardiology, but interested partners and the general public can follow the conversation on Twitter with hashtag #CATHCHAT

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.

Polycom Employee

I have probably already spoken to most of you since returning from Monte Rosa, the second highest mountain in the Alps, so you know that Team Polycom conquered yet another mountain range. This time our team of climbers, including myself, Neil Lombardo, Ibrahim Aoun and Murtuza Viramgamwala completed 4 Peaks in 3 days.IMG_0173.jpg


This climb was tough - as the heat, altitude, snow, nausea took its toll on several of our group this time. Day one was a 4.30am start, kit was all prepped the night before along with the sampling of the local reds so sleep was limited.


Unlike the Kili trip, we had to carry our own kit, so we had to be economical with what was taken this time, but even then our guides told us that we’d carried too much kit. After starting at 1,200m, the flag was raised on the Breithorn at 4,100m by midday but lots of us suffered.


Day two was a 5am start, it was a long way up, lots of stamina required and we reached the second peak, Castor at 4,200m at 9am. This was particularly challenging as we walked down a ridge about a meter wide with unbelievable drops either side, then the last 100 metres to the top was very steep and was essentially ice!
























We were on our knees hanging on for dear life, but we kept pushing through to the top, adrenaline kicking in. Reaching the top left me with an overwhelming sense of achievement, which in many ways is the same feeling and buzz I get when we meet our business targets.


That afternoon and after a well-earned rest, and I caught up with the Polycom executive team on RealPresence Mobile to discuss the recent developments within the company. It is a particularly exciting time for us at Polycom – we have accepted Siris Capital’s offer. We have a bright future in front of us and I am already in the process of sharing this great news with the customers and partners.




















Once business was complete, the next peak to conquer was Lyksams Nose another 4,200m which we did the following day before breakfast!


 And before lunch, on our final day of the tour, we climbed the last peak Le Pyramide.IMG_0244.jpg


As you may have already gathered by now, I like climbing and setting myself tough challenges every few months. For me, it isn't just the physical kind of challenge that gives me the buzz, its also true in a business sense. There is nothing better than setting up a team, reaching a goal and then enjoying that success. I am a firm believer, if you put enough blood sweat and tears behind it, you can conquer anything, be it a mountain or reaching your business goals!


So I can now add Monte Rosa, Kilimanjaro, Mont Blanc & Mount Elbrus to the list. I am not done yet – next up is Aconcagua, Argentina in 2017!




Polycom Employee

We've always known video solutions were a window into the future, and Samsung's taken that vision literally.


Late last week Samsung introduced a video innovation to aid defensive driving called the Safety Truck. It’s a prototype that features a quartet of view screens hitched to the exterior of a semi-truck so drivers can easily see oncoming vehicles to change lanes, or view preceding cars to anticipate traffic lags.




Samsung explained the potential product layout on their website:


The Safety Truck consists of a wireless camera attached to the front of the truck, which is connected to a video wall made out of four exterior monitors located on the back of the truck. The monitors give drivers behind the truck a view of what is going on ahead, even in the dark of night.


The goal, the company elaborated, is to let drivers have an encompassing view of their surroundings to make the critical, instant choices you’re inclined to on the highway.

Video Solutions are imperative to first-class decisions in all realms, especially in the fast-lane that is business. Just like it’s lifesaving to see approaching traffic rather than to hear it—especially as we share the road with noiseless electric vehicles—it’s better to see who you’re collaborating with rather than to hear them. Gestures, and nuanced facial expressions are generally noiseless too, and missing out on those very human features while you’re on the phone, or emailing, can leave you an impaired driver on a dark road: unable anticipate responses, and subsequently unable to use your best judgement.


In an age where video can enhance your knowledge and understanding, seeing is not just believing. It’s knowing.


Find out more about how Polycom video solutions can enhance your business by contacting us now, or scheduling a demonstration today.

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

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