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The IP Opportunity

Real-time communication has a bigger business role

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.

Robert Hagerty

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.

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