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Now Hear This... Tech stuff you can't live without.

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As a former Intel employee, Bob Peake is used to having some ofthe finest computer and communications equipment around. So when hestarted a teleconferencing consulting company, Peak Solutions, fromhis Folsom, California, home in 1995, he made sure to furnish itwith high-quality equipment. A key component of his currentrepertoire: the new SoundPoint Pro desktop audioconferencing phonefrom Polycom.

"Communication is a very important aspect of anybusiness," Peake says. "Whether face-to-face or over thephone, if you can't be easily understood, it can causeproblems. The need for high-quality [voice] communications in mybusiness is paramount."

Unlike many systems, SoundPoint Pro combines audioconferencingand traditional phone capabilities in one sleek unit.SoundPoint Pro delivers full-duplex audioconferencing with up tothree additional remote sites, doing away with the need for outsidebridging services. A microphone on its front end eliminates anyworries about participants hearing background noises, and a360-degree conference mode can be established with just the touchof a button. Other features include 20 programmable speed dials, a99-number caller history, integrated caller ID, as well as callerID for call waiting (caller ID service required).

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