Lync clients: Polycom CX7000

To show how strategic is the relationship with Microsoft, Polycom announced today the “First Room Telepresence Solution Custom-Built for Full Integration with Microsoft Lync”: the CX7000.

On the previous post I already wrote how good is the integration with Microsoft UC infrastructure. Jeff Schertz has a some great posts on his blog where we can see and know how to integrate Polycom with Lync, and i have at my company an HDX7000 integrated with oue OCS 2007 R2 production environment (soon to become a Lync) to confirm and prove the value-added of this solutions.

The HDX family (and the infrastructure product) are a very high quality video-conferenceĀ  solution, but to be part of the collaboration capabilities of Microsoft there are some limitations… you only have A/V integration on a conference. a Polycom endpoint:
* can share content (a PC desktop) with Lync users integrated on the video stream;
* cannot receive content shared from a Lync client (including desktop/app sharing sessions);
* Participants cannot interact with the content (point or even change it), i.e. collaborate.

So… based on the datasheet specifications, what is the CX7000?
Looks a customized version of the HDX7000 hardware with a full Lync client embedded with the UC features:
* EagleEye high definition cameras, with integrated PTZ control (no remote?), and built-in or HDX microphone array;
* (?)Dual-monitor support: DVI-I + HDMI video out;
* Wireless Keyboard and Mouse (to interact with the Lync-like client interface, instant messaging and collaborate on shared content);
* GAL search, exchange calendar view;
* initiate and receive IM, Voice and Video calls;
* can join schedule and ad-hoc online meetings (but cannot schedule);
* can share and participate on content sharing sessions;
* can be used for Lync on-premises or Office365 (as a normal Lync client);

…….

But this high-powered Lync conference device approach might also have some drawbacks:
* Although you have 1080p cameras and monitor output support, conferencing is limited to 720p/30fps point to point calls and VGA/30fps for multipoint calls;
* With this embedded software version on the Polycom device, don’t expect to make calls to other HDX devices or any 3rd party and H.323 devices. But you can use a Polycom RMX to join to other meeting rooms (as a normal Lync client);
* It is a ‘Lync Certified’ device, so you cannot used it with an OCS 2007R2 Server
* Unlike the HDX/Lync integration, you can only have active speaker view. There is no Continuous presence available even if
* I expect that the Polycom hardware price will be more expensive than a powerful CPU/video Windows PC with an 1080 webcam and be more difficult to sell on new customers (event current Polycom ones). In my opinion, the right price would be half of an HDX7000

You will have now some difficult choice comparing the advantages of an HDX/CX7000 device if are thinking on a room video-conference solution and you have a large Lync environment, you might want to wait and re-evaluate your of investment, but let’s wait until Q4 2011 for the availability of the first units.
Meanwhile watch the CX7000 launch video to get a look and feel of the interface.

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2 thoughts on “Lync clients: Polycom CX7000

  1. DenisO 03/10/2011 / 11:12

    Hi! Do you have information about prices for CX7000?

    • LuisR 03/10/2011 / 22:50

      Hi,
      I haven’t any official confirmation, but the rumors is that the price will be similar to the standard HDX7000, which is a bad approach from my view.
      You can do the same integration with Lync with an HDX (except content sharing), and can interact with other videoconferencing system. With the CX you can only used with Lync users.

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