SM: What was your response to the customer demands?
We created a suite of solutions. We bought Accord Networks which we felt was the best multipoint conferencing network. Then we had the endpoints in the multipoint. From within we built an IT application called GMS, which allowed us to run all of the equipment. We added schedulers afterwards, so now our solution is very complete.
SM: Is it easy to use?
BH: I think it is extremely easy to use. If you deploy the whole package, a network with Quality of Service, it is an important step to make although our latest generation is very good with bad networks and can handle up to 10% packet loss. That aside (these are really resilient products), if you buy the MCU you can record a stream, call anyone you want. You can call them off of a directory. In the case of this one, it has a corporate directory tied into the Active Directory, and you just select the name and call. It has presence, so you can see if the person is there at the desk or not.
[While we are chatting, Bob is constantly showing me stuff on his office personal video conferencing console, which is perched above us. It’s a large screen which at this moment, shows the two of us …]
SM: Can what you are showing me connect to someone’s desktop?
BH: Absolutely. This here is my individual telepresence, and I can call anyone who has a unit. For example here is a person named Alex, and if you see the V500 that is a desktop. [visual demonstration at his desk]
SM: So you can talk to a desktop application?
BH: With our solution, everything talks to everything. However, we have found that the best way to connect remains the old fashioned way, which is with an extension. You can use a directory, but I am old fashioned so I just remember the extensions of the folks I want to call. I just punch in the extension. I know the people I call routinely, and I know their extension number.
Inside of Polycom, with our equipment, we use Polycom phones. It is a complete Polycom shop. If I want to call someone I get their extension on voice or video, however I would like. We can just add people as needed, and we can have a multipoint conference if we need to.
SM: Does this connect to the outside as well? Do you have people in the directory who are not in the company?
BH: Yes, we do have contacts in our directory which are outside of the network. We also have a secure firewall traversal process. You can go through the firewall and not worry about someone hacking back through the line. These systems run AES encryption which can be employed as an optional feature. We do deep packet inspection whenever we traverse a firewall.
SM: Where does that security capability come from?
BH: Some of it comes from here, but the AES is a standard.
SM: Security was not part of your acquisition strategy?
BH: No, because you will find different governments want different protocols. For the different DoD’s, we have a connector out which goes to a secure box like a KIV-19. Everyone has their own security, for the ultra-secure. For commercial, we use the highest level of security which is commercially allowed to be used.