Polycom has unveiled plans to drive the use of telepresence systems in businesses by providing a single protocol over which service providers can connect different video systems.
The Open Visual Communications Consortium (OVCC) will allow service providers to link multiple systems from numerous vendors and remove issues of proprietary exchanges that have hindered video take up in businesses, according to Polycom.
Polycom is clearly hoping that the OVCC will overcome this barrier by giving companies the confidence to buy systems safe in the knowledge that they will interact with those from other providers, such as Cisco, Avaya and Lifesize.
Polycom chief executive Andy Miller said on Wednesday that the OVCC is the "biggest news in the industry in a decade" and will encourage the use of video between businesses, and between businesses and consumers.
"The OVCC will help drive the mass deployment of visual communications which will break through barriers that have prevented this happening in the past," he said.
"We expect this to start hitting the market by the end of 2011, allowing hundreds of millions of users worldwide to connect via video as easily as they do over mobile phones.
"We have 14 worldwide service providers signed up, including BT, Telefonica, AT&T and Verizon, with more to join over time, and we've already trialled a multi-vendor high-definition telepresence core on 12 service networks hosted on our intelligent core."
Andrew McFadzen, managing director at Orange Business Services, said that the OVCC will help service providers allow businesses to use video across external networks and continue the uptake of video systems.
"Enterprise customers have been buying video collaboration tools for some time, but primarily for use within their own businesses," he said.
"But what they are keen on doing, and what the OVCC enables, is to talk to one another, to partners, suppliers and customers."
Also today, Polycom has acquired HP's video division.
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