Polycom Provides Gymnasium Union of Russia's Groundbreaking Education Program with Video-Enabled Classes to 35,000 Students and

  Polycom Provides Gymnasium Union of Russia's Groundbreaking Education
  Program with Video-Enabled Classes to 35,000 Students and 1,400+ Education

 Polycom RealPresence video solutions provides distance learning and lecture
    capture to students and teachers across Russia providing collaborative
                          learning and broad access

Business Wire

SAN JOSE, Calif. & MOSCOW -- November 12, 2013

Over 35 000 students, teachers and representatives of public organizations
from federal Russian districts are benefiting from a ground-breaking
“Gymnasium Union of Russia” (GUR) program. Developed by non-profit
organization Russian Foundation for Education Support, the GUR program is
powered by video collaboration solutions from Polycom, Inc. (Nasdaq:PLCM), the
global leader in open, standards-based unified communications and
collaboration (UC&C).

Shown here: seminar held about the safety on the roads. Polycom video meetings
are held with student ...

Shown here: seminar held about the safety on the roads. Polycom video meetings
are held with students, heads of schools, teachers, education officials, and
police officers. (Photo: Business Wire)

Today the Gymnasium Union of Russia is the largest national educational
project in Russia. The pilot project began with seven schools in St.
Petersburg and now has approximately 350 regional education centers. All
centers are equipped with videoconferencing solutions and the services are
used by more than 1,400 schools - including high schools, military schools and
colleges of teacher training. The strategic aim of the GUR program is to
organize the professional network of gymnasiums and lyceums in Russia through
videoconferencing solutions. To date, the Foundation for Education Support is
in active cooperation with the countries of near and far abroad countries:
Armenia, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Moldova, and Australia.

More than 350 educational institutions are members of the GUR and each has one
video-enabled classroom with Polycom® RealPresence® Room video solutions
(including the Polycom VSX® 7000 and HDX® 6000).The GUR infrastructure is
built on the Polycom® RealPresence® Platform, open, standards-based video
infrastructure that provides the security, scale, manageability, flexibility,
and high-definition (HD) quality required to enable large numbers of students
and teachers to collaborate with virtually anyone via video in any work or
classroom environment, using any type of device. Another key component is
Polycom® RealPresence® Media Manager software, which allows classes and
seminars to be recorded and made available to students and teachers who want
to catch up on classes they missed or simply review material on their own

“High reliability, functionality and continuity are crucial to us when it
comes to choosing technologies for our teachers and students across all
education institutions,” said A.K. Fedorov, Vice President of the Foundation
for Education Support and Head of the GUR. “When we analyzed the technical
means by which we could unite different schools via video we reviewed various
videoconferencing solutions. We picked Polycom because their solutions met all
of our requirements and offered the most scalable, interoperable, and flexible
solutions for the most reasonable cost. We take into account the key
characteristics of equipment, as well as the cost when thinking about new
purchases every year.”

The information network has an important impact on the entire education system
of the Russian Federation, benefiting both the students and the educational
institutions. Students and teachers now have the opportunity to attend
lectures and participate – from wherever they are – in seminars from the best
teachers and education professionals in the regions. Over 35,000 users,
including students, teachers and representatives of public organizations, as
well as state bodies across more than 1,400 institutions, appreciate the
benefits of the new educational information network. As one teacher said, “I
do not want to come home from a meeting and read the synopsis again in order
to conceptualize and formulate something for myself. I can now make decisions
in real-time during the video call.”

In the last five years the GUR has held over 2,000 video sessions across
Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States, many with over 70
participating locations. For the GUR, the power of face-to-face, real-time
video collaboration:

  *Enables a new approach to learning at schools.
  *Extends the reach of experienced, qualified specialists.
  *Aims to improve teacher training for college graduates within any given
    specialty by pooling resources.
  *Reduces the costs of training courses and of collaborative development of
    educational resources.
  *Benefits teachers with continuous professional development.
  *Makes users and managers more efficient while saving valuable person-hours
    for technical engineers, experts, policy makers, and educators.

Students and teachers are also utilizing the solutions for videoconferences
with guest speakers from external organizations. For example, one of the
latest seminars held via video was "Providing safe and comfortable travel for
groups of children during summer vacations 2013; the organization of
children's leisure in transit." The audience for the seminar included
vice-governors, education and recreation officers, healthcare, emergency and
police officers, firefighters, representatives of the parent community, heads
of schools, teachers, and students.

About the Foundation for Education Support and Gymnasium Union of Russia

“Gymnasium Union of Russia” consistently implemented by Foundation for
Education Support (www.fobr.ru) since 2007 in response to the request of the
First Prime Minister of the Russian Federation D.A. Medvedev with the support
of JSC “Gazprom” within the framework of the national project “Education.” The
strategic aim of the program is the organization of continuing professional
networking of gymnasiums and lyceums in Russia through video conferencing.
Saint-Petersburg State University, the guarantor of the quality of video
conference substantive content, performs scientific and methodological support
of program and coordination with the leading universities in the country.

About Polycom

Polycom is the global leader in open, standards-based unified communications
and collaboration (UC&C) solutions for voice and video collaboration, trusted
by more than 415,000 customers around the world. Polycom solutions are powered
by the Polycom^® RealPresence^® Platform, comprehensive software
infrastructure and rich APIs that interoperate with the broadest set of
communication, business, mobile and cloud applications and devices to deliver
secure face-to-face video collaboration in any environment.Polycom and its
ecosystem of over 7,000 partners provide truly unified communications
solutions that deliver the best user experience, highest multi-vendor
interoperability, and lowest TCO.Visit www.polycom.com or connect with us on
Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to learn how we’re pushing the greatness of
human collaboration forward.

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