We may be generating a bunch of video from Interop. But we weren't so busy with the video production that we've been avoiding e-mail. This morning, I awoke to a inbox with "response" to our coverage of Cisco's push-to-talk over VoIP capability. It came from Polycom and here's what it said:
We read with interest your post on the Cisco 7921 phone. SpectraLink (recently acquired by Polycom) was actually the first to market with a push to talk capability, as well as the first to support all three 802.11 specifications (a, b and g). If you have a chance, please stop by the Polycom booth #1958 for a chance to see the SpectraLink Wi-Fi handset in action.
So, what's a journalist to do when s/he gets a note like that? Well, of course! I headed over to booth #1958 to find out more about the Spectralink VoIP phones. There, I found Ben Guderian, Polycom's marketing veep who explained to me why he thinks Polycom's offerings are better than those of Cisco. Support for 802.11b was clearly one differentiator (Cisco supports 11a and 11g).
Another differentiator, according to Guderian, is Polycom's neutrality. Since Polycom doesn't sell WiFi gear the way Cisco does, the company has apparently focused on building solutions that work and work well with a whole bunch of WiFi infrastructure providers. Yesterday, Cisco vice president of mobility solutions Alan Cohen told me that Cisco's VoIP phones don't necessarily require Cisco networking gear. But Guderian rightfully points out that Cisco can't not view other gear providers as competitors: a problem Polycom simply doesn't have.
But don't take my word for it. Watch the video above!