The IP Opportunity

Real-time communication has a bigger business role

Thomas Claburn, Editor at Large, Enterprise Mobility

January 31, 2004

1 Min Read

To jaded urbanites across the bay in San Francisco, the town of Pleasanton might seem extremely square. At data-, video-, and voice-conferencing company Polycom Inc., based here, the view is quite different. Forget squares; think triangles.

IP changes everything profoundly, CEO Hagerty says

Triangles pervade Polycom, from the corporate logo to art on the walls. The motif comes from the company's triangular conferencing phones--and conveys the concept that communication has moved beyond point-to-point calling to multipoint IP networks.

"When we move to IP, the world changes profoundly for us," says CEO Robert Hagerty. He foresees growth depending on Polycom delivering new features made possible by IP-based products, such as better collaboration.

Listening to Hagerty from his fishbowl office, where two of the walls are floor-to-ceiling glass, it's easy to see how far the technology still needs to go to gain acceptance. Polycom has shipped 1.5 million of its triangular and traditional phones. Wainhouse Research estimates there are about 55 million conference rooms worldwide.

About the Author(s)

Thomas Claburn

Editor at Large, Enterprise Mobility

Thomas Claburn has been writing about business and technology since 1996, for publications such as New Architect, PC Computing, InformationWeek, Salon, Wired, and Ziff Davis Smart Business. Before that, he worked in film and television, having earned a not particularly useful master's degree in film production. He wrote the original treatment for 3DO's Killing Time, a short story that appeared in On Spec, and the screenplay for an independent film called The Hanged Man, which he would later direct. He's the author of a science fiction novel, Reflecting Fires, and a sadly neglected blog, Lot 49. His iPhone game, Blocfall, is available through the iTunes App Store. His wife is a talented jazz singer; he does not sing, which is for the best.

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