Polycom and Internet2 Foster Video Collaboration Between Higher Education and Business Markets
E2Bconnect enables colleges, universities and businesses to extend their reach and cooperate on business challenges and educational opportunities through visual communication
PLEASANTON, Calif., ANN ARBOR, Mich. – May 6, 2010 – Polycom, Inc. (Nasdaq: PLCM), a global leader in telepresence, video, and voice communications solutions, and Internet2, the foremost U.S. advanced networking consortium, today introduced E2Bconnect, a free, online professional networking program designed to facilitate collaboration between higher education institutions and businesses using visual communications to address business challenges such as corporate training, and to improve educational opportunities. This new initiative builds on a longstanding partnership between Internet2 and Polycom, who has been an active member and collaborator in the Internet2 community since 2001.
“The rapid adoption of visual communications is expanding the opportunities for colleges, universities and businesses to collaborate in new ways for mutual benefit,” said Mike LaHaye, director of technical services of Internet2, a not-for-profit advanced networking consortium comprising more than 200 U.S. universities in cooperation with 50 leading corporations, 45 government agencies, laboratories and other institutions of higher learning as well as over 50 international partner organizations. “Our partnership with Polycom on the E2Bconnect program combined with the capabilities of Internet2’s high performance national network will serve as a catalyst to bring these opportunities to life.”
“We are excited about the possibilities of the E2Bconnect program to accelerate the video collaboration opportunities already taking place among the Internet2 membership and expand those with new institutions and organizations,” said Bob Dixon, chief research engineer, Ohio Academic Resources Network (OARnet) and Internet2 member. “Telepresence and video conferencing are growing in use and this program will help create a larger, connected community and drive new applications.”
E2Bconnect provides an easy way for colleges, universities and businesses with visual communication capabilities to work together around common needs and interests. Application examples include:
* Education to Education – In an era of constrained budgets and rising costs, visual communication creates opportunities for educational institutions to collaborate and share resources regardless of distance. Examples include distance learning programs to expand course offerings, expansion into new markets through the ability to leverage resources and expertise across distances, greater participation and interaction between academic research centers, and shared faculty training and continuing education programs.
* Education to Business – Colleges and universities can benefit through closer collaboration with businesses by gaining greater access to subject matter experts to enhance curriculum and by offering video-enabled corporate training, continuing education and executive education and mentoring programs that can expand revenue opportunities. Business can also benefit through access to academic subject-matter experts, and through availability of cost-effective and convenient training, continuing education and organizational programs for employees that can be delivered to any location via live interactive visual communication or dynamic, on-demand video content,
* Business to Business – E2Bconnect also creates opportunities for businesses to collaborate together around corporate training and education programs by sharing resources and best practices, which can expand opportunities for employees while reducing costs.
“In the next 36 months video will play an enormous role in linking institutions of higher education and corporate employers,” said Elliott Masie, chair, The Learning CONSORTIUM, a coalition of 240 global organizations cooperating on the evolution of learning strategies. “On a daily basis, students in classrooms, career centers and labs will be connected with experts in our nation’s business. Likewise, the knowledge and expertise of faculty located around the world, will be “video” ready to be leveraged by corporations. We are excited to see portals such as E2Bconnect that will provide the bridge between our nation’s universities and employers.”
As an example of collaboration between businesses and universities, Polycom recently piloted a virtual recruiting program with the University of Colorado, Boulder using Polycom video conferencing to interview students for annual internship positions within Polycom.
“As a human resource specialist, I am excited about the possibilities to expand our video recruitment programs through E2Bconnect,” said Jessica O’Quin, senior human resources generalist at Polycom. “In this case, UC Boulder is a current Polycom customer and already has our video technology available on campus. We were able to leverage that relationship during the hiring process for our annual internship program and offer students the flexibility to interview onsite or via video if they were under time constraints. This allowed us to interview several candidates in a short period of time while also exposing these future hires to part of what Polycom is all about.”
“We expect programs like video recruiting to be popular programs within E2Bconnect,” said Marci Powell, global director for Higher Education & Training of Polycom. “It provides a cost-effective way for colleges to create valuable job placement opportunities for graduates and helps organizations attract the best and brightest talent from potentially anywhere in the world.”
E2Bconnect is available today and free membership is open to users of visual communications systems from colleges and universities and businesses around the world.
About Polycom Programs for Education
In addition to E2Bconnect, Polycom offers a range of programs to help educators leverage visual communications. Additional programs include an online networking tool for primary and secondary school educators and administrators, a searchable database containing nearly 250 video-enabled content providers and more than 2,100 active programs such as zoos, museums, authors, experts in a given field, etc.; an assistance program to help new users arrange virtual field trips; free special events; and a grant assistance and E-rate information program to help schools find funding for new equipment.
Internet2 is an advanced networking consortium led by the research and education community. An exceptional partnership spanning U.S. and international institutions who are leaders in the worlds of research, academia, industry and government, Internet2 is developing breakthrough cyberinfrastructure technologies that support the most exacting applications of today—and spark the most essential innovations of tomorrow. Led by its members and focused on their current and future networking needs since 1996, Internet2 blends its human, IP and optical networks to develop and deploy revolutionary Internet technologies. Activating the same partnerships that produced today’s Internet, our community is forging the Internet of the future. For more information, see http://www.internet2.edu.
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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