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Work video calls connect with personal smartphones
by Staff Writers
San Francisco (AFP) Feb 27, 2012

Telepresence colossus Polycom is connecting secure workplace video-call systems with hot smartphones to stay in synch with a trend toward people using their own gadgets on the job.

Polycom RealPresence Mobile, which will be released in early March, will let business IT managers safely open in-house networks to high-definition video calls with laptops, tablets, or Apple iPhone 4S or Android 4.0 smartphones.

"There is this whole segment of the work world becoming consumerized" with people buying preferred mobile devices at retail shops and using them for work, Polycom vice president of product management Surendra Arora told AFP on Monday.

"We told IT departments they could be mobile and support the BYOD (bring-your-own-device) trend you are seeing," Arora said. "That message has done us really well."

The California-based corporation, which boasts more than a third of the work telepresence market, in October began letting users of its service incorporate earlier model Apple or Android devices.

Free Polycom applications will be available in early March for iPhone 4S and Android 4.0 smartphones made by Samsung, according to Arora.

Smartphones users will be able to use Facetime or Google calling software to connect to Polycom video-conferencing systems used by their employers, according to the company.

"At this point we are focusing on Android and Apple," he said. "That is what our customers have wanted."

Polycom reported seeing "a lot of traction" for video calling in the education, health care, and finance sectors.

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