As their company begins to scale, many growing businesses will find that consumer-facing video conference technologies don’t always cut it. Don’t believe me? Well, let me know what your global client thinks of your firm after you and three other colleagues pass around an iPhone to give a long-distance presentation.

While your budget might not be ready for an investment in video collaboration equipment that is akin to buying a four door sedan, upgrading to a more professional interactive interface will certainly help you collaborate on a more effective and efficient level. As a 20-year veteran working within the videoconferencing industry at companies like Polycom, Cisco, and now as a video solutions architect working at CDW over the past four years, I can certainly attest to evidence of this.

Polycom’s latest RealPresence system, the Trio 8800, is a great solution to start with for those on the fence about which platform to buy or whether to buy one at all. In this unboxing, I outline the best and worst features of the Trio 8800, as well as options to consider as you make the purchase process.

Out of the box, the endpoint was very simple to set up. The system comes with two external microphones, a camera, and not only an external box to connect a keyboard, but also an external monitor, too.  The Trio can be used as a standalone voice conferencing system or as a combination video system with the provided camera.  The main unit is made very well.  It has a full color 5″ touch screen that is very easy to use, along with three multi-directional speakers. As you can see from the above picture the interface is very simplistic and easy to use. There are also several light indicators to notify you when a caller is on a call and when you are muted.  The unit is powered via Ethernet with the included injector.

While the camera is made by Logitech, which often produces exceptional merchandise, keep in mind that this is not a (pan-tilt-zoom) PTZ camera

capable of remote directional and zoom control. As a result, the scope of the Trio 8800’s range of view will be limiting and best suited for a small conference room and/or preferable to meetings that will not require a lot of camera movement, as this will have to be done manually.

The Trio 8800 has both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth built in. The Bluetooth connectivity will allow you to stream media from either your laptop or mobile device. You can connect any Android or Apple device that has the RealPresence app installed.  This will allow you to control the Trio, as well as share content via Bluetooth.

I configured it using Bluetooth and it was just as simple as connecting to a headset.  The interface linked immediately to my Android and iPhone.

This unit logs directly into Lync 2013 (Skype for Business) with ease, but the Trio is also compatible with Broadsoft, Cisco CUCM 10, and Avaya Communications Manager V7 (There are SKUs for each firmware option, so make sure you order the appropriate upgrades.). When connected to a Lync account you can share content from your monitor or an open application. Sharing a PowerPoint via a laptop connected to the system ran even smoother than through Bluetooth. However, since this system only supports one video stream at a time, you will lose live video when sharing content.

Aside from the price point, which may be a bit steep for some at $2,559, the only changes I think Polycom should add for future iterations would be a portable wireless version.

Overall, the Trio was a snap to set up and configure straight out of the box. Plus, at 1080p, the video was exceptional and the sound quality was equally remarkable.

For more information about the Trio 8800 and its firmware or to find an equivalent brand with a PTZ camera, contact your CDW account manager and ask to speak to a solutions architect like myself today.

For the latest in collaboration trends, check out BizTech Magazine to stay on the cutting edge.

As always, feel free to leave a comment or question below.

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