HP Digs Deeps for UC

New AppSystem for unified communications and video set to debut with some help from Polycom's conferencing platform, Microsoft Lync and F5 Big-IP family.

By Sean Michael Kerner | Posted Mar 26, 2012
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HP doesn't have a complete unified communications (UC) story on its' own, instead they rely on partners like Polycom and Microsoft. But that's not stopping HP from building out new UC solutions that bring together partner solutions to help enable customer deployments.

A key driver for UC growth in 2012 is the continued adoption of video, which is placing increased demand on networks. At the same time, getting a video delivery properly setup on a network isn't a trivial task.

"What we're doing is releasing two primary ways to bring video to market, they're both designed to deliver video-based UC using Polycom and Microsoft technologies," Mike Nielsen, director, Solution Marketing at HP Networking told EnterpriseNetworkingPlanet.com.

The first solution is a new bundled offering called the HP AppSystem for Microsoft Lync. The AppSystem is pre-configured set of HP hardware with software that is intended to provide an all-in-one system experience. HP first starting pushing the AppSystem model in June of 2011 with database consolidation and Vertica Analytics systems.

The AppSystem for Lync includes an HP rack, servers and storage as well as an F5 Big-IP load balancer. For video, the bundle will include a Polycom RMX conferencing platform. On the services side, HP has a network services assessment for voice and video to optimize deployments. According to Dragana Beara, virtual workplace solutions lead at HP Technology Consulting, the AppSystem approach simplifies deployment.

"Lync is one of the most widely used unified communications platforms in the market," Beara told EnterpriseNetworkingPlanet.com. "We're hoping to get some customers that had been holding back on voice and video to get re-assured that it is something that can be leveraged for their own business."

The AppSystem is primarily designed for those enterprises that are looking to use Microsoft Lync. The Polycom component is there for those enterprises that want to extend their Lync desktop video conferencing to a room based environment. "So they can extend meeting features to their remote workforce so people can interface with meetings happening at office locations," Beara said. "It also enables the Polycom equipment to be scheduled through a Microsoft Outlook integration.

The second new UC solution is the HP and Polycom Rich Media Communications (RMC) solution. While the AppSystem is a pre-configured solution that is sold by HP, in contrast, Nielsen explained that RMC is all about enabling HP's channel partners to be able to deliver UC. He noted that the vast majority HP Networking's business is channel partner based.

"For customers looking for a fully packaged solution than AppSystem is the right choice," Neilsen said. "For customers that don't have the direct touch with our technical services group or that have their own in-house expertise or partner of choice, then RMC would be the right solution for them."

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

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