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.
Dan Worth is the news editor for V3 having first joined the site as a reporter in November 2009. He specialises in a raft of areas including fixed and mobile telecoms, data protection, social media and government IT. Before joining V3 Dan covered communications technology, data handling and resilience in the emergency services sector on the BAPCO Journal.