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.




Cathchat logo hi-res 06.png

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

Khristina Atwal
Polycom Employee

Here at Polycom we're dedicated to enabling the workplace of the future with the support of our voice and video solutions.  This year at GITEX Technology Week it is no different! We are going to be in attendance and showcasing the latest portfolio of video, voice and content sharing collaboration solutions that help businesses enable their workforce to work from anywhere. Yes, Anywhere!


Polycom will be on stands Z-H12 and Z-H35 in Zabeel Hall in partnership with FVC and Sitec, while Westcon will be hosting a networking event for partners from October 17 – 19 at the IBIS Hotel. 


Want to know what you can see whilst at the show? Read on, we have lots to share...


Gitex-2016-Flashcard v2.jpgGitex-2016-Flashcard Opt1.jpgGitex-2016-Flashcard Opt3.jpg


Key Polycom solutions on display by FVC, Sitec and Westcon at GITEX are:


  • Polycom® RealPresence Trio™ is a solution transforms the iconic three-point conference phone into a voice, content-sharing and video system that can fit into any team environment. Easy to deploy, RealPresence Trio technology has broad interoperability and deep integration across multiple UC platforms including Skype for Business and Microsoft Lync, BroadSoft and others.


  • Polycom® RealPresence Centro™ is the first solution purpose-built to put people into the centre of collaboration, will be available for demonstration during the show. The RealPresence Centro solution introduces a brand new paradigm for group conferencing that drives deep engagement and highly productive meetings by bringing people to the centre of collaboration.


  • Polycom® RealPresence® Debut brings enterprise grade video collaboration to the huddle room with a focus on simplicity and affordability. RealPresence Debut has an easy, elegant design that enables high quality visual collaboration for huddle and smaller room environments, as well as for small or medium sized businesses with limited IT resources.


  • Polycom® RealPresence® Media Suite is an enterprise recording, webcasting and portal solution that makes the creation and delivery of higher quality videos possible. A central management console enables simple workflows to manage media nodes remotely.


  • Polycom® RealPresence ClaritiTM is a collaboration infrastructure that delivers Polycom’s powerful HD voice, content, video and web collaboration to businesses of any size is also available for demonstrations during GITEX.


  • Polycom VVX 101 and VVX 201 Business Media Phones: The Polycom VVX 101 business media phone is a low cost solution for small and home offices, lobby areas and shared workspaces—anywhere people need access to a simple phone with a single line. On the other hand, the Polycom VVX 202 is designed for organisations of all sizes looking for a cost effective telephony solution and features two line support and a wide-range of enterprise telephony features. Both offer life-like conversations with Polycom’s industry-leading HD voice, Polycom Acoustic Clarity and Polycom Acoustic Fence technology to deliver excellent sound quality and noise-free, echo-free conversations.

Want to meet the Polycom team and see how solutions in action?  Sign up here, and we'll see you at the show!


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!

Khristina Atwal
Polycom Employee

Ole -1.jpgBrugerfladen og brugeroplevelsen er en essentiel del af enhver IT-baseret løsning og nogle af de største teknologi-virksomheder som eksempelvis Appel har bygget hele deres succes op omkring en velfungerende en af slagsen.  Kvaliteten af brugerfladen er i høj grad med til at bestemme hvor tryg brugeren er ved en given løsning, men trygheden og læringskurve afhænger desuden af om det er tale om et personligt device eller en gruppeløsning.


På personlige enheder ser man en meget høj tilpasningsrate fordi folk har det fint med at begå fejl. Folk føler sig trygge ved deres egen smartphone, tablet eller laptop, hvor de typisk er alene og bare finder ud af tingene hen af vejen.


Når det derimod drejer sig om gruppeløsninger som eksempelvis videomødeløsninger, hvad enten det er til de små møderum eller de store konferencelokaler, er presset på brugerens ”tekniske formåen” langt større.  Kollegaer og chefer kigger en over skulderen i det øjeblik, man melder på/ringer op og stressfaktoren er i top da, der sjældent er tid til fejl eller til at prøve sig frem.  


En af de bedste måder at komme denne modvilje/utryghed til livs er at rydde unødige hindringer af vejen ved at skabe ensartede brugerflader. Brugerne skal kunne gå fra den personlige løsning til gruppeløsningen uden at mærke forskel og dermed føle sig sikre. De skal kunne bruge de samme ikoner og følge den samme proces, når de foretager opkald og deler indhold.  Alle løsninger skal se ud og føles på samme måde. Uanset hvor nyt eller gammelt et system er.


Undersøgelser viser, at fortrolighed med et system giver en større tilpasning, som i sidste ende skaber den bedste interaktion mellem brugere. Løsningsudbyderne bør ikke tvinge brugerne til at forlade en brugerflade og gå ind i en anden for at kunne planlægge og administrere et møde.


Inden for videomødeindustrien taler vi om ”en halv meters” versus ”en tre meters” brugerflade, og det skyldes størrelsen på de traditionelle videokonferencerum. De var tidligere ligesom bowlingbaner, hvor du stod mange meter fra skærmen i et stort konferencelokale.


De nye løsninger har taget livet af den gamle metode. De førende virksomheder på området har valgt at sige, at ”den bedste brugerflade er ingen brugerflade”, og de har undersøgt, hvordan mennesker samarbejder mest naturligt i videomødesituationer.


De har lagt mærke til, at folk elsker at gå rundt i lokalet og at de har det helt fint med at se hinanden i øjnene. Det er også konstateret at fjerndeltagerne er meget engagerede, når de ringer ind i et rum fuld af mennesker.

For at gøre det muligt at bevæge sig naturligt skal kameraet automatisk kunne tilpasse sig din højde og bevægelser i rummet. Der bør ikke være nogen unaturlige begrænsninger for din adfærd som bruger.


Det næste trin for brugeroplevelsen er at gøre systemet 100 procent automatisk. Det indebærer, at brugeren blot skal kunne logge sig på systemet, som så tilpasser sig brugerens præferencer, trækker brugerens meste brugte indholdsdelings-metode op i forgrunden, ligesom det tilpasser volumen, tilretter kamera etc. Disse faciliteter vil gøre møder, som er baseret på samarbejdsteknologi, meget mere effektive. Også selvom vi ikke er nået helt i mål endnu.

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.

Khristina Atwal
Polycom Employee

Guest Blog: Jens Brauer, Area Sales VP, DACH & Central, EMEA


Jens Brauer 4.jpgWas für einen Großteil der Menschen nach wie vor unvorstellbar ist, ist in vielen Bereichen bereits Realität: Roboter werden im Laufe der vierten industriellen Revolution mehr und mehr zum Teil unseres Lebens.


Zwar ist der Einsatz von Robotern bisher hauptsächlich auf Produktionshallen beschränkt, zum Beispiel auf die Arbeit am Fließband in der Automobilindustrie, allerdings finden sich auch in privaten Haushalten schon jetzt einzelne Exemplare - beispielsweise als Staubsauger. Weitere Einsatzbereiche außerhalb der Industrie sind das Gesundheitswesen oder die öffentliche Verwaltung. Darüber hinaus bedienen sich mittlerweile auch Personaler beim Recruiting eines Matching-Algorithmus, der die Stellenausschreibung des Unternehmens mit Bewerbungen abgleicht und auf diese Weise mögliche neue Mitarbeiter herausfiltert. Tätigkeiten, die bisher von menschlichem Denken und Handeln bestimmt waren, geraten auf diese Weise immer mehr in die Hand künstlicher Intelligenz.


Ein Bereich, der von diesen Entwicklungen in den letzten Jahren noch nicht betroffen war, ist der Finanzdienstleistungssektor. Denn dieser ist, gerade in Zeiten der Cyberkriminalität, besonders betrugsanfällig und dementsprechend vorsichtig gegenüber neuen Technologien. Diese können nur eingeführt werden, wenn sie absolut sicher sind und das Potential haben, das Vertrauen der Kunden zu gewinnen. Finanzdienstleister dürfen dabei kein Risiko eingehen - gerade jetzt, wo sie versuchen, ihr Image wieder aufzubessern, das unter der Finanzkrise erheblich gelitten hat.


Finanzdienstleistung 2.0: Worauf kommt es wirklich an?


Dennoch spielen mittlerweile auch in Deutschland etliche Finanzdienstleistungsunternehmen - einhergehend mit der FinTech-Revolution - mit dem Gedanken, Roboter in den täglichen Service zu integrieren und über diese beispielsweise Online-Banking-Geschäfte abwickeln zu lassen. Doch möchten Kunden tatsächlich von einem Roboter bei finanziellen Fragen beraten werden? Die sogenannten Millenials stehen Mobile Payment sowie Online-Geschäften und -Transaktionen generell zwar sehr offen gegenüber - und schon fünf Prozent nehmen heute Zahlungen über ihr mobiles Endgerät vor. Einen kompetenten Finanzdienstleister, zu dem Vertrauen aufgebaut werden kann, werden Roboter aber auch bei der Generation Y nicht ersetzen können.


Eine von Cognizant gerade veröffentlichte Studie kommt zu einem ähnlichen Ergebnis: Durch Datensammlung und -analyse werden, in Kombination mit künstlicher Intelligenz und maschinellem Lernen, neue Wege gefunden, Arbeit und deren Ergebnisse zu verbessern. Und auch im Finanzdienstleistungssektor wird der Einsatz von Robotern zur Steigerung der Produktivität und damit zur Verbesserung der Geschäftsergebnisse beitragen. Trotzdem werden menschliche Finanzdienstleister nach wie vor gebraucht. Denn Bankkunden sind durch ihr Vermögen in der Regel nur begrenzt abgesichert und haben einen entsprechend hohen Informationsbedarf. Kompetenzen, wie Erfahrungen, Empathie und Wissen, wie mit solchen finanziellen Situationen umzugehen ist, sind deshalb gefragt und können nur von einem menschlichen Berater erbracht werden.


Face-to-Face Kommunikation versus Roboter

Eine Beratung von Angesicht zu Angesicht wird es folglich auch in Zukunft geben, vor allem, wenn es um das Abheben von höheren Beträgen, größere Investitionen oder den Erwerb von Finanzprodukten geht. Aus folgenden Gründen wird ein menschlicher Berater in der Finanzdienstleistungsbranche bevorzugt:


  • Menschen fühlen sich normalerweise wohler, wenn sie bei einer wichtigen Entscheidung von einem Experten beraten werden, der die persönliche Situation versteht und sich in diese hineinversetzen kann. Zudem schenken Menschen einem Dienstleister, dem sie in die Augen schauen können, eher Vertrauen und Glaubwürdigkeit und treffen eine Entscheidung dementsprechend leichter.
  • Finanzdienstleistungsunternehmen haben darüber hinaus eine Rechtspflicht zu erfüllen und müssen sichergehen, dass sich Kunden über die potenziellen Auswirkungen ihrer Entscheidung bewusst sind und diese informiert treffen. Aus Kunden- und Bankenperspektive werden solche Gespräche eher ungern über einem Roboter geführt.

Finanzberatung über Video


Immer mehr Institutionen der Finanzdienstleistungsbranche haben mit steigenden Kosten, geringen Zinssätzen und weniger Kunden in den Niederlassungen zu kämpfen, weswegen auch in Deutschland mittlerweile jede zweite Bankfiliale schließt. Dennoch müssen sich Dienstleister die Frage stellen, wie sie profitabel bleiben und gleichzeitig zukünftig höherwertige Produkte bei erstklassigem Service verkaufen können. Denn gerade letzteres erfordert den direkten und persönlichen Kontakt zum Kunden.


Um diese Diskrepanz zwischen "in die Höhe schnellenden Kosten" und "mangelndem Service-Angebot" zu überwinden, wäre ein Lösungsansatz, im Finanzdienstleistungssektor vermehrt auf die Kommunikation via Video zu setzen. Der große Vorteil dabei: Der Kunde kann seinen Berater jederzeit kontaktieren und mit diesem face-to-face offene Fragen und Probleme klären - beispielsweise indem die Video-Funktion, neben der Chat und Audio-Funktion, direkt über den Browser gestartet werden kann.


Insbesondere Vermögensberater haben durch Video Collaboration die Chance, sehr viel mehr Produkte abzusetzen und Geschäfte abzuschließen. Jedoch geht es nicht darum, dass Finanzdienstleister bei jeder noch so kleinen Frage kontaktiert werden - vielmehr ist eine segmentierte Kommunikation das Ziel. Indem Geschäfte, wie Transaktionen über kleinere Beträge weiterhin online via Web und Apps getätigt, und größere Entscheidungen, wie der Erwerb eines Darlehens, über Video geklärt werden, sparen Unternehmen nicht nur Zeit und Kosten bei der Beratung, sie behalten zugleich ihr hohes Service-Niveau.


Allerdings gibt es auch bei der Finanzberatung via Video Grenzen: beispielsweise bei Geldautomaten. Denn nur die wenigsten Bankkunden haben Interesse daran, ihre finanzielle Situation zu besprechen, während einen Schritt weiter der nächste Kunde schon wartet. Das Motto sollte deshalb sein: Es geht nicht darum, den Großteil des täglichen Bankgeschäfts über Video abzuwickeln, sondern Videolösungen genau dort zu platzieren, wo diese Sinn ergeben.


Follow the author @Jens_Brauer

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

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

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