Polycom® RealPresence® Video Collaboration and BT Help Western Kentucky University (WKU) Make College Degrees Possible for

  Polycom® RealPresence® Video Collaboration and BT Help Western Kentucky
  University (WKU) Make College Degrees Possible for Hundreds of Working
  Students in Cities and Small Towns, Away from the Primary Campus

Remote video classes help give rise to new class of entrepreneurs who can act
                    as economic engines in their hometowns

  *Each year, remote video classes save WKU students an estimated 5 million
    miles of driving and nearly $1 million in fuel costs
  *Program prevents 780,288 kg of CO2 from being emitted into the environment
    – equivalent of keeping 150 passenger cars off the road for a year
  *Channel partner BT provides Western Kentucky University quality service
    and responsiveness

Business Wire

PLEASANTON, Calif. -- April 30, 2012

Video collaboration solutions from Polycom, Inc. (Nasdaq:PLCM), the global
leader in open standards-based unified communications (UC), and BT (NYSE:BT),
one of the world’s leading providers of communications services and solutions,
are enabling Western Kentucky University (WKU) to reach students in smaller
cities and rural areas who otherwise might never have the chance to earn
bachelor’s and graduate degrees at WKU’s main campus in Bowling Green. In the
process, WKU is collectively saving students hundreds of thousands of dollars
in commute costs each semester, sparing them from losing weeks of work and
family time to travel, shrinking its environmental footprint, and helping to
boost local economies throughout central Kentucky.

At five regional campuses and in Bowling Green, WKU delivers 900 hours of
interactive, face-to-face instruction every week through Polycom®
RealPresence® video solutions supported by BT. Faculty use the Polycom video
network to offer more than 100 classes, some with as many as 60 students
participating. Courses range from core undergraduate through Master’s level
courses to advanced studies aimed at doctoral candidates. For many students,
video offers the opportunity to take classes that aren’t available in person
at their regional campus.

“Many of our students have jobs and families, so they can’t come to Bowling
Green and live in a residence hall,” said Tamela Smith, WKU’s Interim Director
of Communication Technologies and Manager of the university’s Interactive
Video Services (IVS) group. “They’re anchored in their home towns. That’s why
we need to bring the complete college experience out to them with Polycom
RealPresence video. Without this service, it would be more challenging for
students to obtain their education.”

For instance, a busy working mother in Cecilia, an unincorporated town 90
minutes north of Bowling Green, now can drive just 10 minutes to WKU’s
Elizabethtown campus to take video classes toward a bachelor’s degree in
health sciences. “Just by attending one class, these students can lose half a
day at least,” said Smith. “Now they can take just a couple hours off work and
still pick their kids up from school. It makes going to college more feasible
for more people.”

Saving Students Time and Money while Helping the Environment

Conservative estimates from WKU show that the BT/Polycom-powered IVS classes
save students on average 48 hours of travel time every semester. By avoiding a
twice-weekly commute to Bowling Green, a student based in Glasgow (which is 28
miles from Bowling Green) is spared nearly 1,800 miles of driving a semester,
which helps save more than $340 on gas alone. For each student based in
Owensboro and Elizabethtown (70 and 75 miles away, respectively), taking a
video class saves 4,480 miles of driving and more than $800 in gas costs per

Across all students, the benefits add up fast – even if just half of the 1,378
regional campus students currently enrolled in IVS classes are spared a
twice-weekly commute to Bowling Green. They collectively would save more than
37,000 hours of travel time, 2.5 million miles of driving, and more than
$450,000 in gas per semester. Without this convenience, students might choose
to not attend WKU.

Less driving also means a reduction in carbon emissions. On a per-student
basis, savings in CO2 emissions range from 1,200 kg to 1,456 kg per semester.
All told, the video classes are projected to prevent 780,288 kg of CO2 from
being emitted into the environment – the equivalent of keeping 150 passenger
cars off the road for a year, according to EPA estimates.

With Each Graduate, a New Economic Engine

Smith predicted that by creating more college graduates, WKU can help
communities that have been especially hard hit by the recession, with many
students being drawn from counties with a higher than average national
unemployment rate – places like Edmonson County with a March 2012 unemployment
rate of 11.7 percent according to the Kentucky Office of Employment and
Training. For some students, it can mean the difference between a minimum wage
job and a career that could earn them 84 percent more money over a lifetime,
according to a 2010 Georgetown University study.

By giving more students a chance to earn four-year degrees, Smith argued, WKU
contributes to the emergence of a professional workforce that is more likely
to drive growth locally by purchasing a home or starting a business. “These
students graduate and become economic engines all by themselves,” she said.
“They earn more, buy more, donate more, contribute more.”

A User-Friendly Platform that Delivers Value Every Day: Multiple Use Cases

Polycom® RealPresence® room video systems are integrated into 44 classrooms
and teaching theaters throughout the WKU system. In addition to the savings
and benefits to students, the university itself has saved thousands in travel
expenses by using video to conduct day-to-day operations, conduct first-round
interviews of candidates for academic positions, as well as allow
administrators to attend regional meetings. “We’ve facilitated faculty
interviews with candidates from Alaska to American Samoa, without the
university having to incur travel expenses,” said Smith.

The IVS staff also has worked with WKU’s Career Services Center to let
students interview for jobs with potential employers. Students have been able
to interview for positions across the U.S. without ever having to get on a
plane. The university even leases its RealPresence video systems to local
businesses for customer and board meetings, legal depositions, and more.

From BT and Polycom, a Classroom-Friendly Solution

  *Ensure consistent quality of service: WKU worked with BT to select Polycom
    RealPresence as its video collaboration platform. “We’ve built a close
    working relationship with BT and Polycom,” said Todd Hughes, IVS Engineer.
    “For more than seven years BT has provided consistent quality of service;
    they’re responsive, provide great support, and they’re always willing to
    work with us and to share their expertise. Whatever I need, even if it’s
    just good advice, I know I can always go to BT.”
  *Flexibility for classrooms and lecture halls of any size: Barry Skaggs,
    Account Manager at BT Conferencing, explained that WKU needed a solution
    flexible enough to meet the unique demands of facilities of differing size
    and function. “Classrooms aren’t meeting rooms,” Skaggs said. “You don’t
    have a dozen people sitting around a conference table all facing the same

    Along with its 20-plus years of expertise in video conferencing, BT
    provided the video endpoints, audio-video integration, and 24/7/365
    helpdesk support and maintenance by 100 percent Polycom-certified staff.

    “The flexibility we’re given, I don’t know if you can put a price tag on
    that,” added Smith. “BT and Polycom make it easy for us to give faculty
    and administrators what they need.”
  *Ease-of-use to ensure a high rate of usage: The result is easy on users,
    too. “With our faculty, there’s never a discussion of endpoints or codecs
    or connectivity,” said Hughes. “Connections are made automatically via the
    Polycom® RealPresence® Platform, allowing faculty to concentrate on
    content, not the technology. “There’s a touchpad control in each room, and
    the faculty member simply taps it to turn the system on. We’ve worked very
    hard to make it simple and transparent for users, and BT and Polycom have
    helped us to do that.”
  *Lower operating costs through simple network management: Student IT
    workers monitor and support the network, which helps keep ownership costs
    low. “Thanks to Polycom, we can do troubleshooting remotely,” said Hughes.
    “If we see someone is having trouble, we can use the system to resolve the
    problem. Students and faculty find it reassuring and it means we don’t
    have to dispatch one of our IT staff to every room.”
  *Extend video learning to mobile devices: As more faculty offer video-based
    classes, WKU is expanding its use of Polycom® RealPresence® Mobile
    environments, which bring HD video collaboration to iPads and Android
    tablets – Hughes described it as “having a videoconferencing system in
    your back pocket.” Together, with RealPresence Desktop systems, these
    solutions give instructors the possibility to teach class from home or the
  *Increase system value by interoperating with other communications systems:
    As WKU expands its horizons and collaborates beyond its own network,
    Polycom’s support for open industry standards will ensure that everyone
    can participate. “When it comes to interoperability, we are not on an
    island,” said Hughes. “We’re on the mainland.” Smith put it even more
    succinctly: “Polycom plays well with others.”

To learn more about Polycom education solutions, visit

About Polycom

Polycom is the global leader in open standards-based unified communications
(UC) solutions for telepresence, video, and voice powered by the Polycom^®
RealPresence^® Platform.The RealPresence Platform interoperates with the
broadest range of business, mobile, and social applications and devices. More
than 400,000 organizations trust Polycom solutions to collaborate and meet
face to face from any location for more productive and effective engagement
with colleagues, partners, customers, specialists, and prospects.Polycom,
together with its broad partner ecosystem, provides customers with the best
total cost of ownership, interoperability, scalability, and security for video
collaboration, whether on-premises, hosted, or cloud delivered. Visit
www.polycom.com or connect with Polycom on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

About BT

BT is one of the world’s leading providers of communications services and
solutions, serving customers in more than 170 countries. Its principal
activities include the provision of networked IT services globally; local,
national and international telecommunications services to its customers for
use at home, at work and on the move; broadband and internet products and
services and converged fixed/mobile products and services. BT consists
principally of four lines of business: BT Global Services, BT Retail, BT
Wholesale and Openreach.

In the year ended 31 March 2011, BT Group’s revenue was £20,076m with profit
before taxation of £1,717M.

British Telecommunications plc (BT) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of BT Group
plc and encompasses virtually all businesses and assets of the BT Group. BT
Group plc is listed on stock exchanges in London and New York.

© 2012 Polycom, Inc. All rights reserved. POLYCOM®, the Polycom “Triangles”
logo, and the names and marks associated with Polycom’s products are
trademarks and/or service marks of Polycom, Inc. and are registered and/or
common law marks in the United States and various other countries. All other
trademarks are property of their respective owners.


Polycom, Inc.
Brianna Woon, +1-925-924-5659
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