You are on page 1of 10


Polycom video conferencing solutions operate with a fully open, standards based technology. Their equipment is fully compatible with all standards based video conferencing solutions meaning calls to customers, or clients using brands other than Polycom will be made seamlessly. 1) Polycom Solutions are open and interoperable. 2) Polycom infrastructure and endpoints work natively with other manufacturers infrastructure and endpoints. 3) Integration with UC partners including Microsoft is possible without any additional hardware. 4) The Polycom solution utilizes H.264 High Profile (SVC) and lost packet recovery (LPR) across the entire product line within their Intelligent Core solution providing the highest quality conferencing experience available today. 5) Polycom also provides users with a single call-control, management and multipoint conferencing solution that works with their entire line of endpoints and infrastructure. 1) H.264 High Profile, LPR, Cisco TIP interoperability 2) LPR provides end-to-end error correction to avoid loss of connectivity or noticeable latency under congested network conditions 3) Native Microsoft RTV, CCCP

Cisco has combined multiple solutions including gateways, telepressence, MCUs, video and audio endpoints to customize their own proprietary based standards. The Cisco product portfolio (not including the Tandberg brand) includes non standards based systems which may cause an issue when calling other non-Cisco devices. 1) Cisco Telepresence solutions operate using a SIP stack with proprietary extensions which restrict interoperability. 2) Cisco solutions do integrate with UC partners including Microsoft, IBM and Avaya but gateway integration with these solutions compromises workflow productivity.To integrate with Microsoft Lync OCS, users are required to adopt Cisco applications in place of Microsoft native applications. 3) Using the Tandberg ClearPath technology, SIP endpoints do have network error correction, however MCUs are not equipped with this option. 4) Cisco devices including gateways, endpoints and MCUs are interoperable but are unified by an inconsistent method of combing multiple platforms and technologies- Tandberg, Cisco, Codian etc. 1) Cisco doesn't support H.264 Hi Profile hence Bandwidth requirements are steep & nearly twice as much as Polycom endpoints require. 2) Cisco endpoints support basic error correction algorithms (clearpath)which are not as




multipoint session protocol

1) High Profile allows for significant bandwidth cost savings over the life of the equipment. 2) Flat licensing structure & no hidden associated costs. 3) No Single Vendor locking customer has freedom to pick & use the best of what is available. This is possible due to open standards based technology. Polycom Solutions are all integrated & complementing each other.

effective as LPR hence can't handle packet loss & disruptions caused by Network leading to bad video/audio quality. Also, clearpath isn't supported across their entire products line. 3) NO Native Multi-vendor support - Cisco devices including gateways, endpoints and MCUs are interoperable but are unified by an inconsistent method of combing multiple platforms and technologies- Tandberg, Cisco, Codian etc. 1) High Bandwidth requirements to achieve the desired quality. 2) Cisco has extensive fees and license requirements on their solutions which are frequently not mentioned up-front in the cost of the equipment. 3) Gartner has shown that singlevendor solutions result in higher long term costs for equipment as it limits customers choice of products over the life of the equipment Cisco solution is a mix of islands. Still there is no direct integration between Tandberg line of products & cisco's native VC endpoints/infratstructure.

Polycom UC Intelligent Core

Polycom infrastructure and endpoints work natively with other manufacturers infrastructure and endpoints Polycoms provides customers with a single call-control, management, and multipoint conferencing solution that works with all of our endpoints

Cisco Telepresence System

Cisco CTMS systems are closed and do not interoperate with Polycom, Radvision, LifeSize, Microsoft or other elements, without the use of gateways Contrast with Ciscos Two of everything portfolio: Two call control platforms, two management platforms, two multipoint conferencing platforms, two competing sets of endpoints

Polycom uniquely utilizes H.264 High Profile Contrasts with the inconsistent use of High and Lost Packet Recovery across the entire Profile by Cisco and a real lack of effective error product line in the UC Intelligent Core. correction technology. Cisco often advices or requires customers to upgrade their networks to support Telepresence, which would make sense as they profit from network upgrades Polycom DMA solutions are capable of managing up to 64 RMXs to work as a single virtualized core upto 75000 device registrations & 25,000 audio/video calls. In only 13 RUs, and at worst case 70% of total power draw, a DMA/RMX solution can deliver 240 720p ports, complete with H.264 High Profile and Lost Packet Recovery technology, conferencing resiliency, virtual meeting rooms and a robust Microsoft Active Directory integration. Because of Dynamic Resource Allocation, the Polycom solution delivers 180 more SD ports, 360 more CIF ports, and almost 2000 more audio ports than the Cisco/Tandberg MSE8000 MCU. Polycom DMA-enabled calls are the only multipoint calls that can suffer a catastrophic failure or unplanned maintenance without dropping the call. Polycom resources can be scheduled from Microsoft Outlook, a platform users are used to using, and show up on HDX rooms systems in the calendar Polycom features such as native endpoint registration to a Microsoft Lync server, and DMAs Enterprise Directory integration are unique in the market, and provide a more robust integration vs. a gateway-based solution. Polycom does not rely on gateways to connect to unified communications environments or to tie together network technologies. This type of scale and virtualization is simply unmatched by Cisco

A fully loaded MSE 8000 has a total of 180 ports 720p, 1080p, Audio, Content, in a minimum of 19 RUs that can draw up to 4000 watts. Its important for administrators to know that this is a DC-only chassis; adding AC power supplies increase both required rack space and power

Any Cisco solution in a multipoint call that suffers a failure or maintenance event will disconnect users This seamlessness is different than the experiences one would get when using a CTS 1100 and a CTS T-Series endpoint A gateway-based solution

General Points of comparision

Ciscos one-stop-shop method is not always the cheapest for you. This locks you into their pricing for the long term and costs more across the life of your solution.

Ciscos technology is frequently based on closed standards causing them complexity in playing with endpoints from multiple vendors Cisco has a complex solution for integrating with Microsoft Lync, ICE and other common enterprise applications. H.264 High Profile will allow you to save costs on the operation of your solution. Cisco only supports this on some of their product lines, while on Polycom it is supported across the product line Cisco solutions typically require many additional licenses to enable endpoints, extended features, multiple displays, HD display, etc. These licenses not only increase the up-front cost of the system, but also the upgrade costs.

Endpoints COMPARISON Polycom HDX6000 Vs Cisco C20

Feature / Function H.264 Hi Profile support Strereo Audio Native Microsoft Integration

Polycom HDX6000 Yes Yes

Cisco C20 No Requires multiple microphones No


Yes FIPS 140-2 Security Validation Yes Lost Packet Recovery Yes Speaker-focusing camera High Definition Dual Displays Yes No


No LPR. Premium resolution is additional charged option. No

Yes - At additional cost Yes - at additional cost. Additional cost makes it higher than HDX7000 hence Polycom compates with HdX7000 for Dual screen option.

Polycom HDX7000/8000 Vs Cisco C40

Feature / Function H.264 Hi Profile support ISDN Protocol support (H.321, H.225, H.241, H.331, others) Microsoft Integration

Polycom HDX7000-9000 Yes Yes

Cisco C60 No No

Yes Yes FIPS 140-2 Security Validation Yes

No No

No LPR. Premium

Lost Packet Recovery Yes Speaker-focusing camera Dual Displays Yes - No additional cost

resolution is additional charged option. No

Yes - additional license (cost) required.

The Codec C40 is functional, but overpriced. Polycom HDX series offers far superior value and performance Feature licenses for multi-site, high definition, and multiple monitors add nearly 50% to the base cost of the C40. Features like Eagle-Eye director , conversational stereo, and HD Audio provide for more natural conference experiences



Feature / Function Dynamic Resource Allocation Per Conference Configuration

Polycom RMX 1500Series Yes Yes

Codian 4500 No No No

Ability to incorporate Yes ISDN, PSTN, TelePresence, & IP

Network Savings with H.264 High Profile


No No

Network Cost Savings with Yes HP & Lost Packet Recovery Technology Max Audio Conferencing (Product Family) 1080P Capabilities / Impact 540


Dynamic Resource Allocation assigns appropriate resources to all resolutions. Content does not impact bridge capacity 22 (1080p), 45(720p)

Requires Upgrade in most cases & removes separate Content Channel

Max HD Calls

20 (1080p), 40 (720p) highest 4520 model

Cisco MCU Codian MCUs are based on Flat port-is-a-port architecture which treats all calls (1080 or CIF) with the same CPU resources limiting the capacity of the bridge & lowering the ROI Codian MCUs do not have the ability to implement H.264 High Profile or any Lost Packet Recovery technology driving higher network costs to produce the same quality of experience Codian MCUs do not have the capability to incorporate a number of technologies including ISDN, TelePresence, or Microsoft RTV forcing customers to invest in expensive gateways

Polycom MCU Dynamic Resource Allocation improves efficiency and leads to far better TCO. It is important your customer understands this clearly and avoids Ciscos FUD. H.264 High Profile (Use Cisco CTS v1.7 as a reference) & Lost Packet Recovery are required for enhanced quality & low bandwidth consumption . H.264 HP lowers TCO while LPR increases video quality Polycom RMX comprises of an overall architecture that includes ISDN, Telepresence, PSTN, and Microsoft RTV without Gateways!

Ciscos MCU 4500 series is built on static, flat, technology that is not able to lower network costs while at the same time providing efficient scale and ensure the industrys highest return on investment

No H.264 High Profile No Lost Packet Recovery Not part of a distributed architecture Requires gateways to bring in other technologies like Microsoft, or IBM (This Net Effect adds significant WAN costs) No prioritization of calls based on profiles all calls & ports are simply treated equally

Feature / Function Voice Activated Continuous Presence H.320 (ISDN) H.323 (IP) SIP (IP) Microsoft Transcoding

Polycom RMX Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes

CTMS Yes No No No Proprietary No No

The RMX is a multipurpose and powerful media resource in the infrastructure. Its purpose is to provide the full functionality of the CTMS as well as Ciscos Telepresence Server and more, wrapped up into a single and cost effective package. Polycom is committed to the RMX product line into the future. The same cannot be said of the CTMS whose future is uncertain while multiple product lines and investments exist within Cisco.


Feature / Function Maximum seats per server Maximums seats per cluster Free concurrent registers Includes Desktop Client and Licenses

Polycom CMA 5000 5000 25,000 Up to 15,000 Yes

Cisco Telepresence Manager 300 1500 No No

Polycom CMA offers free CMA- Desktop licenses (CMA 5000 offers upto 500 free Client licenses). However Cisco Telepresence Manager has a complex and expensive licensing structure Multiple licenses and support contracts required for a single product make Cisco Telepresence Manager expensive to purchase as well as expensive to upgrade and manage.

Endpoint licenses for Cisco Telepresence manager are over 10x more costly than CMA licenses which range from about $50 to $150 per seat.