Polycom to plug communication gap

September 29, 2011

Few among us have not at least once been frustrated by the limits of today’s common office communication tools, like emails or instant messaging (IM).

Like a brilliant product concept that you can’t explain clearly to your CEO in an email, or a nuance in a business strategy not lending itself to a chat message.

Well, there is videoconferencing, you could argue.     But those are still often time-consuming and tough to set up — not as convenient as an email or IM you can shoot off from your tablet or PC when you feel like it. Yet.

If telepresence software maker Polycom has its way, videoconferencing can become as ubiquitous as emails in offices.

It has signed up social media software maker Jive Software to provide real-time videoconferencing to its internal social networking engine, something similar to Google with its Google+ hangout.

Polycom, which calls this initiative ‘unified communication’, says this will make workplace collaboration as easy as sharing your vacation photos on Facebook.

So, you could be video chatting with a co-worker in another continent, or conducting group video calls. Want to record them for archiving or training purposes? That’s possible, too.

The benefits are many, from productivity gains to less time spent on emails, to better and more personal interaction.

IT research firm IDC reckons the market for such unified communication will be close to $23 billion this year, and will effectively double by 2015.    Polycom is betting on this strategy to double its revenue to about $3 billion over the next few years.

The trend is likely to prove popular at small and medium enterprises, and could eventually kill of messaging applications altogether.

Maybe it’s time to wave goodbye to Google Talk and MSN messenger?

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