SOURCE: Polycom, Inc.

February 27, 2008 08:30 ET

Polycom Telepresence Helps Georgetown University Create Global Classroom

Georgetown Students in Washington, D.C. and Doha, Qatar Interact in Telepresence Classroom Using the Polycom RealPresence Experience Solution

WASHINGTON, DC and DOHA, QATAR and PLEASANTON, CA--(Marketwire - February 27, 2008) - Polycom, Inc. (NASDAQ: PLCM), the world's leading provider of unified collaborative communications solutions, today announced Georgetown University has deployed the Polycom RealPresence™ Experience (RPX™) HD, the industry's only high definition immersive telepresence solution, in order to create a global classroom bridging the University's Washington, D.C. and Doha, Qatar campuses. By providing symmetrical telepresence class rooms in each location that feature high definition video, voice and content-sharing capabilities, students separated by more than 7,000 miles of ocean and land are able to interact and collaborate with each other and faculty as if they were in the same room.

Located in the capital city of Doha, the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service in Qatar is the first branch campus of its world-renowned Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown. The program provides a four-year undergraduate degree in international politics to students from the Middle East and around the world. The Global Classroom initiative, led by James Reardon-Anderson, dean of the School of Foreign Service in Qatar, is designed to help provide a consistent learning experience between the campuses.

"The point of the global classroom is to enable students and teachers in separate locations -- in this case Doha and Washington -- to experience learning as if they were in the same room," said Reardon-Anderson. "This gives students from different countries and cultures an opportunity to talk directly to one another, and it weaves together the two Georgetown campuses in ways that have not been possible in the past."

Creating a realistic and interactive learning environment was important to Reardon-Anderson and his colleagues. They experimented with other visual communications technologies and evaluated other telepresence solutions, but found the Polycom RPX HD solutions offered a unique and more natural collaboration experience.

"Georgetown University's global classroom is a great example of how Polycom telepresence solutions can erase the collaboration barriers caused by distance and create wonderful new opportunities -- in this case for the students, faculty and the university," said Youssef Saleh, vice president and general manager of telepresence and vertical solutions at Polycom. "The flexible nature of this technology makes it ideal for a broad range of industries and interactive applications. We look forward to seeing how the progressive educators at Georgetown use this solution to continue to enhance their curriculum for students of international relations."

The system is currently being used in one undergraduate course titled "Causes of War." David Edelstein teaches the course from Washington, DC to two groups of students, one in DC and one in Qatar. After overcoming the initial surprise of using the new technology, students from both campuses are now engaging in real-life classroom discussions.

"It is a way of enhancing the experience by providing select opportunities for teachers and students on both sides of the Atlantic to study and learn together," said Reardon-Anderson.

The University is currently evaluating ways to expand the use of the system for additional courses, as well as student meetings and more.

"This truly opens the doors between D.C. and Doha," said Randy Bass, executive director of the Center for New Designs in Learning and Scholarship. "This is at the center of what we do as a global university. It's exciting how many possibilities there are for powerful interactions in the future."

Polycom telepresence solutions eliminate the barriers of working across distance through immersive, life-like visual communications, enabling people to collaborate face to face with coworkers, customers and partners in different locations as effectively and productively as if they were in the same room. Polycom telepresence solutions are based on open standards and work seamlessly with the full range of Polycom visual communications solutions from the desktop to immersive telepresence suite, allowing organizations to connect their entire knowledge network. The standards-based solutions integrate with the unified communication networks that customers have today, and interoperate at the highest possible quality with standards-based video conferencing solutions from other manufacturers, and the million-plus legacy video conferencing systems in use around the world.

Additional information:

Georgetown University School of Foreign Service

Georgetown University News article about new Global Classroom

Polycom RealPresence Experience telepresence solution

Podcast -- Polycom Introduction to Telepresence

About Georgetown University

Georgetown University is the oldest Catholic and Jesuit university in America, founded in 1789 by Archbishop John Carroll. Georgetown today is a major student-centered, international, research university offering respected undergraduate, graduate and professional programs on its three campuses in Washington, DC. For more information about Georgetown University, visit

About Polycom

Polycom, Inc. is the worldwide leader in unified collaborative communications (UCC) that maximize the efficiency and productivity of people and organizations. Polycom delivers the broadest array of high definition telepresence video, wired and wireless voice, and content solutions so people can enjoy the best communications, whether from a real-time collaborative interaction or on-demand streamed video experience. Spanning from the desktop to the industry's only immersive telepresence suite, Polycom's high quality collaboration and communications solutions are easy to deploy and manage, as well as intuitive to use. Based on open standards, they integrate seamlessly with leading telephony and presence-based networks. With innovative market-driving technologies, a compelling vision for next generation visual communications, best-in-class products, alliance partnerships, and world-class service, Polycom is the smart choice for organizations to gain a competitive advantage with proven and trusted communication solutions. For additional information, call 800-POLYCOM or visit the Polycom web site at

Polycom and the Polycom logo are registered trademarks, and RealPresence and RPX are trademarks of Polycom in the U.S. and various countries. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. ©2008, Polycom, Inc. All rights reserved.

Contact Information