First up, we're looking at the iPhone 4S. No, not the phone itself, but Polycom's new app. Polycom has launched a specific version of the RealPresence Mobile app for the iPhone 4S, which leverages the upgraded internals of the phone to allow users access to complex video collaboration, including the ability to swap between participant video streams and slide deck presentations. The new app also allows for a higher-quality audio and video experience. This technology also is available for the iPad 2, with the added ability to share PDFs during video collaboration. Polycom plans on launching this for the iPhone 4S shortly.
But the crème de la crème for Polycom is its collaboration with Ericsson, which has brought forth its new HD video-as-a-service technology (VaaS), which borrows Ericsson's "comprehensive video-enabled IP Multimedia Subsystem offering," according to the company, with Polycom's RealPresence technology, allowing for both high-quality and "universal" video chatting no matter what endpoint users dial-in from. Polycom plans on making this solution an end-to-end cloud offering with the hopes that it will help SMBs and enterprises alike adopt UC solutions that focus squarely on video. Polycom and Ericsson will be showcasing both technologies at Mobile World Congress 2012, so if you're in the area of Barcelona, Spain, be sure to pop in and check it out.
Meanwhile, the channel is probably wondering how Polycom's new endeavors can help them. It's really elementary: Polycom's offerings, for both iPhone 4S and "universal" VaaS, allow UC partners to provide more sophisticated (and differentiated) offerings without needing a personal infrastructure backbone to support the services. This gives VARs and MSPs an expanded breadth of UC solutions that are both sophisticated and simple to deploy.
UC needs are continually expanding and Mobile World Congress is potentially a catalyst for the acceleration of the the mobile and UC landscape. If you're a VAR who hasn't taken a look at mobile device management solutions (which could be especially powerful when bundled with VaaS), now would be a perfect opportunity to jump in and dive deep.