Juniper and Polycom To Lower Video Conferencing Costs

Jeffrey Burt is a senior editor for eWEEK and contributor to TechWeekEurope

Juniper and Polycom have partnered up and are looking to drive the uptake of video conferencing services by driving down its cost and complexity

More signs that 2010 will be a busy year for telepresence systems after Juniper Networks and Polycom announced that they are joining forces, in an effort drive down the cost and complexity of delivering video conferencing services.

Juniper and Polycom officials announced plans to create a solution that will take advantage of technology from both companies that will enable service providers to offer video services over a converged network, a move that will help reduce capital and operational costs around video conferencing and telepresence.

Essentially, service providers will be able to do in a single converged network, what is now done in an overlay network model that has different avenues for voice, data and video, said officials with both companies.

For enterprises, the solution will mean greater cost control by having telepresence and video conferencing traffic move over the networking gear as other applications, more control over how those video services are delivered and better quality, which is important given the growing use of HD video, Scott Stevens, vice president of technology for Juniper, said in an interview.

“With this deal, it allows service providers to collapse all this [IP traffic] onto a single network, and it means not having enterprises having to buy multiple networks,” Stevens said.

The solution will be available in the middle of the year, the companies said.

The deal comes as competition in the video collaboration market heats up. Cisco Systems has taken a leading position in the collaboration space through the development of its TelePresence technology and acquisitions of such businesses as WebEx and Pure Digital Technologies and its Flip video camera, as well as the planned $3.4 billion purchase of rival Tandberg.

videoconferencing.jpg

Cisco officials have said that video will play a key role in a collaboration market that could jump to $34 billion (£21 billion) in the next few years. In November, the company announced plans to bring its TelePresence technology to the consumer space.

Many Cisco rivals in both the networking and collaboration spaces are looking at partnerships as a way of gaining traction in those spaces. For example, Polycom and Siemens Enterprise Communications Group announced a deal last week that will integrate Polycom’s telepresence technology into Siemens’ UC (unified communications) platform.