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Polycom and Microsoft team up in Skype for Business offerings

An expanded relationship between Polycom and Microsoft will see a new series of video collaboration solutions purpose-built for Skype for Business, hitting the market in mid-2015.

In announcing the deal, Polycom becomes the first company to unveil hardware built specifically for the Skype for Business client, following Microsoft’s decision to transform its business Lync offering into Skype for Business.

Skype for Business delivers an expanded Lync feature set and enterprise-grade security, compliance and control, according to Microsoft.

First up in the new offerings will be the Polycom RoundTable 100. Designed for ‘huddle rooms’, it  will allow small to midsized businesses and teams with Skype for Business and Microsoft Lync 2013 to have voice, video and content collaboration by logging into their Skype for Business account.

Polycom says the offering will take ‘just minutes’ to set up and start using, and won’t require corporate domains or on-premises infrastructure, making it easy to use without assistance from IT.

The RoundTable range will add to Polycom’s portfolio of more than 40 existing solutions that integrate with Lync and Skype for Business.

Zig Serafin, Microsoft Skype business services group corporate vice president, says collaboration is the cornerstone of productivity, and people need tools that work the way they do – across locations and devices.

Peter Leav, Polycom president and chief executive, says the two companies  have a joint vision to deliver collaboration experiences ‘that help our customers defy distance’.

“We are now expanding our solutions to allow SMBs, as well as large enterprises, to reap the benefits of video collaboration,” Leav says.

The companies also announced that the Polycom CX series of video collaboration solutions, including the CX8000 room system and the CX5100 and CX5500 unified conferencing systems, will become part of the Polycom RoundTable series of products.

Meanwhile the Polycom VVX business media phones will be the first phones to support the forthcoming cloud voice service offerings as part of Microsoft Office 365.