SOURCE: Polycom, Inc.

Polycom, Inc.

October 06, 2009 08:30 ET

Polycom Telepresence Helps National Defense University Enhance Education for Government and Military Leaders

Polycom Telepresence Allows NDU to Project Expertise Globally, Collaborate With Other Leading Universities and Private Industry Experts From Around the World

WASHINGTON, DC and PLEASANTON, CA--(Marketwire - October 6, 2009) - The classroom of the future is taking shape at the National Defense University (NDU) with a new, advanced immersive telepresence environment from Polycom, Inc. (NASDAQ: PLCM), the global leader in telepresence, video and voice communication solutions. The Polycom RealPresence™ Experience (RPX™) telepresence solution is an integral part of NDU's Information Resources Management College (iCollege, formerly IRM College) effort to create an environment for "unlimited collaboration," and will make the NDU iCollege more effective in projecting its expertise around the globe, collaborating with other leading universities, and leveraging the expertise of leading authorities in private industry.

With a new, cutting-edge classroom built around the Polycom RPX immersive telepresence suite, the NDU iCollege is able to project the expertise of its faculty across the U.S. and overseas without instructors ever having to leave its Washington, DC campus. It also enables guest speakers from other locations, other universities and private industry to remotely address classes.

The new facility supports the college's mission to prepare leaders to direct the information component of national power by leveraging information and information technology for strategic advantage. The NDU iCollege's vision is to be the global hub for educating, informing, and connecting Information Age leaders, and knowledge shared both in the classroom and via distance solutions will help the college achieve this goal. As the college helps prepare both military and civilian leaders from the U.S. and other countries to evaluate both domestic and international information security and information management challenges, it looks toward telepresence to help support its mission and vision.

The immersive environment enables classrooms of up to 18 students to communicate and collaborate with colleagues at other universities, such as the Duke Fuqua School of Business, which also uses Polycom RPX telepresence, and at Combatant Commands around the world. The Polycom RPX is a complete environment optimized for natural interaction and delivers a Polycom UltimateHD™ experience with high definition (HD) video and HD Voice™ in stereo, and the ability to share multimedia content in HD.

For teaching and collaboration, that "across the table" experience is essential. "Telepresence gives us the look, feel and sound necessary for participants to establish a relationship in a way that standard video teleconferencing or voice communication alone can't. It's as if everyone is in the same classroom," said Dr. Robert D. Childs, the NDU iCollege's Senior Director and recent recipient of both the 2009 Fed 100 Award and also the AFCEA Excellence in Technology Award.

With the help of telepresence, the NDU iCollege can achieve its objectives even in the face of tightening budgets. "We're planning a major symposium for mid 2010 in Singapore," said Dr. Marwan Jamal, one of the college's professors and a technology advisor to the Senior Director. "Putting a conference together requires a lot of planning, resources and time. Previously, we'd have teams travel halfway around the world a couple times a year. But with the economic downturn, the budget isn't there. Telepresence will help us meet with our partners overseas without the time or expense of travel."

Building the classroom of the future

The new facility supports another initiative at the NDU iCollege: creating a cutting-edge classroom that allows participants to directly interact and share content with anyone, anywhere. "The classroom of the future requires unlimited collaboration," said Dr. Jamal. "It goes beyond audio, video and file exchange. It's the ability to interact with your counterparts or audience in every way that mimics real life, as if you're all sitting in a room. It's about bringing the resources you need, no matter where the expertise or information is located, to solve real problems. Polycom telepresence is an essential part of the new classroom, along with contributions from wireless, virtualization, embedded security and Web 2.0 technologies," added Dr. Jamal.

"Our job now is to get more faculty members into the telepresence room to learn how they want to use this technology to enhance their courses and programs," said Dr. Childs. "We're impressed with Polycom telepresence and its possibilities. I think over the next six months, our use of telepresence will explode." Leadership at the college, including the college's eSolutions group, is currently working with staff to match the use of telepresence with classes and teach faculty and staff how to use the system.

The NDU iCollege is also expanding its use of visual communication beyond the Polycom RPX. It is currently deploying the Polycom Converged Management Application™ (CMA™), which includes a highly scalable desktop video conferencing application that interoperates with the Polycom RPX room as well as other standards-based telepresence and video conferencing systems. To enable multipoint calling capabilities on the network, the college is also deploying the Polycom RMX 2000™ media conferencing platform, which can connect telepresence rooms, video conferencing systems and phone participants in the same meeting.

"NDU's iCollege is an exciting customer to work with because they have very progressive ideas about how visual communication can and will be used within an integrated unified communications environment," said Rene LaVigne, president and chief operating officer, Apptis Technology Solutions. "They will provide a great example to the government leaders going through their programs about how this technology can be applied to solve real-world problems."

The potential of telepresence drew the attention of attendees at an AFCEA Technical Committee meeting hosted last week at NDU. Over 30 technology and communication experts toured the college's Polycom RPX telepresence environment, and saw the system in operation. Participants were impressed and wanted to know more about the installation and use of the telepresence environment.

Additional information:

NDU Case Study (PDF)

http://www.polycom.com/global/documents/company/customer_success_stories/ government/ndu-cs.pdf

About NDU and the iCollege

The National Defense University (NDU) is the premier center for Joint Professional Military Education (JPME) and is under the direction of the Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff. The university's main campus is on Fort Lesley J. McNair in Washington, DC. The Joint Forces Staff College is located in Norfolk, VA. NDU is accredited by the Commission on Higher Education of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools. For more information, visit www.ndu.edu

The Information Resources Management College (iCollege, formerly IRM College or IRMC) prepares nearly 3,000 government and private-sector information leaders annually through on campus, on-line, full-time and part-time programs. Primary areas of expertise include Chief Information Officer and Chief Financial Officer competencies, Information Assurance, IT Project Management, Enterprise Architecture, and Government Strategic Leadership. Learn more at http://www.ndu.edu/irmc/

About Polycom

Polycom, Inc. (NASDAQ: PLCM) is the global leader in telepresence, video, and voice solutions and a visionary in communications that empower people to connect and collaborate everywhere. Visit www.polycom.com for more information and follow us on Twitter @AllAboutPolycom.

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