Polycom Group Series - Good for it's time.
July 06, 2021

Polycom Group Series - Good for it's time.

Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 6 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Modules Used

  • RealPresence Group 500
  • RealPresence Group 700

Overall Satisfaction with Polycom RealPresence Group Series

The Polycom RealPresence Group Series codecs were used as part of our outgoing Video Managed Service. Enabled collaboration for staff in meeting rooms over video conferencing. Where it was used it faciliated meetings with colleagues both internal and external and saved time on traveling nationally but crucially with international contacts including suppliers.
  • Solid codecs, well built and robust
  • Video and audio quality is very good including the microphones
  • Codecs are reliable, as long as users don't interfere with the cabling.
  • The UI is fairly dated compared to what's available on the market
  • Codecs require a fair bit of config before they are able to be used
  • Remote control is fiddly
  • The codecs whilst refreshed from older HDX ones have not really evolved in a significant fashion over the years. Everything feels like an add-on which requires multiple devices to be purchased for a fuller experience.
  • Reliablity has been good so long term the HW pays for itself however the maintenance and support costs continue to be a less attractive ongoing ROI.
  • Increasing server capacity is expensive and eventually you are forced to upgrade to a newer model. Turns into a balance of the here and now versus future proofing to a specific point.
Polycom Group Series was very good for what it used to do for its time, however newer technology that provides a more simpler method to configure, join and host video conference meetings has come in the form of Zoom and [Microsoft] Teams which is hard to go back from and therefore means the Polycom codecs of yesteryear are rapidly becoming phased out. The Polycom Trio is a more forward thinking technology which can be configured for the likes of Teams, Zoom and Zoom Phone and with the Poly Studio X range of codecs, this is ultimately the way forward.

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The directory is slightly dated and unless you have a Skype for Business integration license, dialing users into a call is difficult. The Group Series Remote whilst minimalistic is actually more difficult to use than the previous HDX remote. Having to recharge the battery on the group series remote is both annoying and difficult as if you do not keep on top of it, you will be faced with a situation where the remote is not working and then have to try and find another one. Not ideal if you need to start a video call (assuming auto join has not been enabled in the admin portal).
The support and maintenance is only as good as your own helpdesk. First line is your own IT department and they need to be fully versed in using the systems and configuring them. Beyond this, Polycom's 2nd/3rd line support is good but by that time you will have wasted a long time insofar as your system will be down. The RMA process is good for maintenance support codecs but again, you're paying for this on an annual basis.
If you're always working in the Polycom ecosystem then the Group Series codecs are reliable and the quality of the camera and microphones are extremely good. However, the system relies heavily on either having onsite server technology and/or cloud based bridging capability. In addition, the peripherals like cameras and microphones are quite expensive. Maintenance and support costs also make the ongoing investment a costly one.