End-to-End Communications Solution Using Video-Over-IP Products
Complete Solution Offers Highly Reliable, Business-Quality Video Communication For Today's e-Business and Collaboration Needs KANSAS CITY, Mo., June 18 /PRNewswire/ -- Sprint (NYSE: FON, PCS) announced today that it is introducing a new full-service videoconferencing solution that integrates Sprint's conferencing services with video-over-IP (Internet Protocol) products from Polycom(R), Inc. (Nasdaq: PLCM) and Ridgeway. For the first time, businesses will be able to take advantage of a complete IP package that meets their video communications needs from start to finish, as Sprint integrates all the necessary elements: network transport, video end points, gateway and multipoint services, and video service support. (Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20001013/SPRINTLOGO ) By integrating the strengths and products of these three industry-leading companies, Sprint's total solution gives businesses of all sizes a comprehensive and cost-effective way to enhance their communications -- including video, voice and data - using secure video communications connections across high-speed IP networks, without compromising firewall security or requiring expensive upgrades to end-user networks. Sprint is committed to delivering total e-business solutions by providing integrated network technologies, managed services, business applications, security and hosting solutions that span the entire value chain of the e-business model so customers can quickly make their e-strategies a reality. With this new video-over-IP offer, Sprint will sell and support comprehensive communication package, including Polycom's full line of ViewStation(TM) videoconferencing systems and the newly launched ViaVideo(TM) desktop video communications appliance. Sprint will also provide top class service to these endpoints via the Ridgeway VX Communication System(TM), which enables secure connectivity through firewalls and an easy-to-use interface for end users. Sprint's Video Service Bureau will provide customers around-the-clock help-desk assistance, coordinating value-added services and features, such as quality assurance testing, multiple billing options and technical support, through dedicated customer service contacts. Sprint is the only tier one communications provider to offer a complete video-over-IP solution including best-in-class equipment, an award-winning IP network and a broad range of value-added services. "We see a tremendous advantage for customers in this combined offering with Polycom and Ridgeway, since it gives businesses an integrated approach to all their communications needs, including conferencing and collaboration," said Todd Townsend, assistant vice president, Sprint Business Marketing. "By choosing this solution for today's e-business, users will have everything they need in an easy-to-use package that will help companies communicate with even greater speed, efficiency and reliability." Polycom, which revolutionized interactive video communications with its market-leading ViewStation group video communications product line, announced its latest video-over-IP offering, ViaVideo, in May 2000. As the first video communications appliance for the personal computer that integrates a multimedia processor and camera for business-quality, two-way transmission, ViaVideo will play a key role in Sprint's full conferencing package. "While the Internet has made the workplace more efficient, we risk losing much of the face-to-face, real-time communication that really fosters collaboration and strengthens relationships, which is crucial for any business," said Craig Malloy, senior vice president and general manager of video communications at Polycom. "Capitalizing on the power of broadband, video-over-IP is a great way for enterprises of all sizes to supplement in- person meetings with video communications to spontaneously meet, exchange information and share ideas in a conference room setting or right from the desktop. Sprint's complete solution provides small to large businesses with a convenient way to leverage the power of face-to-face communications while improving productivity and reducing expenses." The Ridgeway VX Communication System eliminates the barriers to reaching small and large business customers alike by solving crucial network infrastructure issues, such as security and network address translation. "Sprint has created an extremely attractive end-to-end videoconferencing solution that brings service and functionality never before offered," said Graham Seabrook, CEO and founder of Ridgeway. "By combining Ridgeway's and Polycom's leading-edge IP technologies, Sprint now provides customers with the ability to provide a standards-based videoconferencing system that reaches all IP environments, without requiring costly enterprise network upgrades or continual management of routers and firewalls. This makes deploying video services much more appealing to businesses seeking ways to increase productivity via advanced communication tools." For more information on Sprint Collaborative Applications and its portfolio of services, please visit the company web site at http://www.sprintbiz.com/icc/. About Sprint Sprint is a world-class global communications company -- at the forefront of integrating wireline and wireless communications services. Sprint is a large carrier of Internet traffic and a leader in broadband communications. The company built and operates the United States' first nationwide all- digital, fiber-optic network and provides a portfolio of advanced data communications services. It operates the largest 100-percent digital, 100- percent nationwide PCS wireless network in the United States, already serving the majority of the nation's metropolitan areas including more than 4,000 cities and communities across the country. Sprint has $23 billion in annual revenues and serves more than 23 million business and residential customers. About Polycom Headquartered in Milpitas, Calif., in the heart of Silicon Valley, Polycom, Inc. develops, manufactures and markets a full range of high-quality, easy-to-use and affordable voice and video communication products and network infrastructure and access solutions. Polycom's integrated communication solutions enable business users to immediately realize the benefits of video, voice and data over rapidly growing converged networks. For additional information, call 1-800-POLYCOM (765-9266) or +1-408-526-9000, or visit the Polycom web site at http://www.polycom.com .
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