Consumer-grade vs enterprise video

The Polycom Trio 8800 is a voice conference phone, fitted with a colour, touch screen and offering a 6m pickup range and HD voice, says Gail Holt, MD of Hardware Distribution.

Johannesburg, 18 Jun 2018
Read time 4min 30sec
Gail Holt.
Gail Holt.

Most of us have used video applications, such as Skype, in our personal lives to keep connected with family and friends who live across the seas or in other parts of the country. It's easy to use, well known and free.

"Although frustrating, you don't really mind if the picture freezes or the call drops and you have to dial your mother again," says Gail Holt, MD of local Polycom distributor, Hardware Distribution. "The app generally offers a good experience, and is adequate for personal communication.

"Most of us are accepting of the experience, even if the quality is mediocre, because it's simple to use and free!" continues Holt.

Conversely, most users of video conferencing in a business understand that meeting rooms have different needs, and the communication should be of a high quality and a professional experience. Simply putting a Webcam on your laptop and hoping to deliver a productive video meeting in a conference room is an exercise in frustration. One of the benefits of having so much exposure to consumer video experiences is that it has driven more awareness of what is needed to make video more pervasive in the business.

Smaller businesses are frequently trying to get by on consumer-grade video due to the lack of affordable alternatives that deliver significantly better experiences. However, "getting by" gets a lot tougher when the audio drops out or sounds tinny, or the video freezes up and loses lip sync. We can live with these compromises when chatting with our best mate, but it's unprofessional during business conversations.

When comparing consumer-grade video to business video conferencing, a key difference is simply what each solution is designed for. Skype is optimised for point-to-point voice and video calls. Equally, enterprise video is optimised for multi-point calls, and business collaboration, including voice, video and content sharing.

Another limitation of Skype is that its users can only connect with other Skype users and cannot connect to open SIP, standard-based video conferencing equipment, which is not suitable to world-class businesses. Then there are the questions about bandwidth required, reporting, security and control, support and advanced features.

Consumer-grade vs enterprise video.
Consumer-grade vs enterprise video.

If your company is seeking a solution that needs secure video communication, low bandwidth and interoperability across multiple platforms and participants, then an enterprise-grade video conferencing product is required.

"However, the apparent cost of enterprise video is a big deterrent, and the company settles for the sometimes unreliable, free video applications," Holt says.

The myth of enterprise video being expensive is smashed with the Polycom Trio 8800. The Trio brings Polycom's legendary voice and video quality to the market at a very affordable price; and with the add-on cameras, you can choose the product best suited for the size of room (and your budget).

How it all fits together:
The Polycom Trio 8800 is firstly a voice conference phone. Fitted with a colour, touch screen, and offering a 6m pickup range and HD voice, it is the best conference phone Polycom has ever produced.

This impressive pick-up range and high quality makes Trio the conference phone of choice for all size boardrooms; including the 30-seater corporate room.

If your company is needing video and content sharing, which enables employees to collaborate via both mediums and share data and presentations, the add-on Polycom visual+ is required, along with a camera.

If video conferencing is needed for huddle rooms/small workspaces (two to four-seater), you would then add the USB Webcam to the Trio conference phone. This offers a four x digital zoom, which is ideal for smaller spaces.

If video is needed for a larger meeting room or boardroom, you would order the 12 x Optical PTZ (pan, tilt, zoom) camera, which can easily cover a medium to large boardroom (six to 30-seater).

The Trio provides an awesome user experience, and is simple to install and use. The add-on cameras allow you to choose the best solution depending on the room size.

The Trio 8800 collaboration products are cost-effective for all businesses and are designed around simplicity. Trio is also simple to configure, whether you are using it with SIP, Skype for Business or with other hosted cloud video services. And, of course, it's really simple to use with an intuitive design that doesn't require an engineering degree to figure out.

"Polycom RealPresence Trio is the conference phone re-imagined. With its legendary voice quality and the additional capabilities of personal content sharing and business-class video conferencing, Trio can be flexibly now deployed anywhere, from huddle rooms to boardrooms."

"Depending on the camera used, the Trio offers quality voice, quality video and content sharing from R35 000, to under R70 000 (retail); this product will indeed change the way your company works," concludes Holt.

The Polycom Trio 8800 separate Polycom's enterprise-grade video solutions from consumer-grade alternatives, and it makes all the difference when you need high quality, reliable communications.


Polycom helps organisations unleash the power of human collaboration. More than 415 000 companies and institutions worldwide defy distance with secure video, voice and content solutions from Polycom to increase productivity, speed time to market, provide better customer service, expand education and save lives. Polycom and its global partner ecosystem provide flexible collaboration solutions for any environment that delivers the best user experience, the broadest multi-vendor interoperability and unmatched investment protection.

Hardware Distribution

Hardware Distribution is an official Polycom distributor and supplies the complete range of Polycom voice solutions for SIP platforms and Skype for Business/O365. Its portfolio includes entry-level video conferencing solutions, including the RealPresence Debut and Trio. All products are fully supported by its comprehensive portfolio of professional services. These services are designed to assist clients throughout every stage of a project and are fully tailored to suit organisational requirements.

Services include supply of demonstration and POC equipment, installation and preconfiguration, technical and support training, onsite technical support and assistance, onsite end-user training (both on the handset and the SfB client) as well as second tier support contracts.

Editorial contacts
HardwareDistribution Gail Holt (+27) 11 467 9325
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