Polycom has become the first video conferencing firm to unveil hardware built specifically for Microsoft’s recently announced Skype for Business client.
Microsoft announced on Monday that it was merging its business communication service Lync into Skype for Business, which has more or less the same layout and design as the standard Skype service used by 300 million people worldwide.
Skype for Business also offers enterprise-grade security, compliance standards and control over IT into the communications service.
This new take on Lync and Skype is integrated directly with Microsoft's Office software portfolio, allowing users to carry out instant messaging, video calls and online meetings within the productivity suite.
To complement this, Polycom has worked with Microsoft to build its first hardware that is designed for Skype for Business, and given it a new brand, too: Roundtable. The first tool to be unveiled in this range is the Roundtable 100.
This is aimed at the small to medium enterprise (SME) market and is designed so that staff can easily set up conference calls in meeting rooms and breakout areas within minutes.
Charlie James, Microsoft alliance director Europe at Polycom, told V3 that the focus on making the Roundtable 100 easy to use was key to its functionality.
“The unit is designed to be very sleek to look at but also easy to use so you don’t need any IT Infrastructure or training to use it, you can just plug it in and get going wherever you are,” he said.
The Roundtable will be available from the summer although no pricing has yet been revealed.
Polycom has also confirmed that its CX series of video collaboration tools will be added to the Roundtable portfolio over time, expanding the range of systems that companies can use on top of the Skype for Business platform.
Polycom also confirmed that its VVX business media phones will be the first phones to support the cloud voice service offering as part of Microsoft Office 365.
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