Polycom Video Solutions Helps Bühler Group develop ClassUnlimited™

Using Polycom video collaboration solutions, the ClassUnlimited™ distance learning project allows apprentices working abroad in China, South Africa or United Kingdom to attend vocational class in Uzwil, Switzerland


Uzwil, Switzerland - May 02, 2013: 

Polycom, Inc. (Nasdaq: PLCM), the global leader in open standards-based unified communications and collaboration (UC&C), today announced that Bühler Group, a Switzerland based specialist and technology partner for plant and equipment for processing basic foods and manufacturing high-grade materials, has implemented Polycom® RealPresence® Room Solutions in their apprentice programme of 300 students.

As one of the largest employers in Eastern Switzerland, Bühler prides itself on the quality of its employees, and is especially proud of their apprentice programme, training professionals as early as 16 years old.  The apprentices spend 50% of their time in the classroom, and the other 50% applying in the factories what they learned in the class.  As Bühler is a global company, Andreas Bischof, Head of the professional education programme, wanted to enable the students to broaden their learning experience by working in Bühler factories outside Uzwil, and found that Polycom video solutions enabled him to create ClassUnlimited™.

Polycom certified partner Symetria designed the video classroom for Bischof, each of which consist of a base station, in Uzwil, and remote classrooms located on other continents. The base station is designed with Polycom video collaboration solutions with screens in the back of the room, with Polycom EagleEye director cameras designed to zoom in on the speaker and powerful ceiling microphones capturing every sound.  Each is positioned so the instructor is able to interact with students attending for example, from Wuxi, China.  In the remote classrooms, the set-up is similar, but the screens are situated in front of the classroom, where the instructor would be in person.

Hansjörg Brändle, Vocational Training College Teacher says “Teaching ClassUnlimited™ is very much like teaching a ‘normal’ class. If the instructor knows how to use multimedia teaching tools then the transition can hardly be noticed”.

Today 20% of the apprentices are able to study in Uzwil whilst living and working abroad for a period of time in China, South Africa and the United Kingdom.  The programme is very successful and gives young adults a great start in their professional career.  ClassUnlimited™ will expand to India, the United States and Brazil, to allow 1/3 of their apprentices to benefit from international experiences by 2015. 

Andreas Bischof confirms by saying, “Our Polycom RealPresence Room Solutions allows us to link continents, and offer our apprentices a great learning experience.  So much is possible with the ClassUnlimited™ project.”

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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.co.uk or connect with us on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to learn how we’re pushing the greatness of human collaboration forward.

About Bühler

Bühler is a global leader in the field of process engineering, in particular production technologies and services for producing foods and manufacturing advanced materials. Bühler operates in over 140 countries and has a global payroll of over 10,000. In fiscal 2012, Bühler Group generated sales (turnover) of CHF 2.4 billion.

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