US network giant AT&T has announced it has signed a deal with Polycom to offer the firm's raft of unified collaboration products to customers across the US and Europe.
AT&T previously only used Cisco's services when selling unified collaboration tools to customers, but will now also be able to offer Polycom's tools such as its RealPresence platform for cloud-hosted "on-demand" video collaboration.
Vice president of European marketing for Polycom, Tim Stone, told V3 that AT&T had moved to partner with Polycom to take advantage of the firm's push to make the cloud a central component of its product offerings, and touted its growing competition with market-leader Cisco.
"The announcement is a big milestone for Polycom - it further validates a strategy started more than three years ago when chief executive Andy Miller joined the company, to become the leading partner enabling service providers to offer cloud-delivered video collaboration," he said.
"Being one of the world's largest service providers, AT&T historically only used Cisco, so this is a strategic win too."
The firm said the breadth of its product offerings, including its flexibility to be used across platforms, as a key benefits that could help AT&T sell its services to customers.
"Polycom will help AT&T deliver its next generation of on-demand "meet me" video service (virtual meeting rooms), with its fully interoperable and open support for virtually all video end point solutions," Stone said.
"This means AT&T customers will be able to join a video conference from any device and location, which is only available on the RealPresence Platform."
While AT&T will continue to offer Cisco products alongside Polycom, the move underlines that for many firms the use of "pay-as-you-go" cloud tools, over on premise systems, is proving popular.
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