You’ve just finished your first full year at Polycom… was 2015 everything you anticipated?
Actually, 2015 was everything I expected and more. Last year we established a baseline for growth – creating a launch pad for our services offerings. We reviewed and refined the portfolio, optimised specific service offerings, adjusted the deliverables to meet the needs of our customers, and refined how we partner with our channel.
Customers are no longer asking us to simply deploy the solutions. They’re asking us to play a bigger role in designing their solutions, for example with our Solution Design service. And as our customers look to integrate the increasingly robust core functionality of our products to create seamless workflows with vertical-specific or 3rd party applications, our Business Application Solutions are enabling them to achieve this.
We launched the Polycom® RealAccess™ Service Delivery Platform in 2015 which includes our first Analytics offer. Access to near real-time data is changing the game for our customers and partners, providing them powerful insight into what’s happening in their environment, how video is being used, and where there are areas for improvement. RealAccess is also one of Polycom’s first cloud-based solutions available as a subscription.
We couldn’t talk about services in 2015 without discussing our partnership with Microsoft® and our growing services portfolio for Skype for Business® and Office 365™. We built out the services portfolio to assist our customers with envisioning, deploying and provisioning our many interoperable and native devices for Microsoft environments.
Managed Services also enjoyed a transformational year in 2015 with the introduction of modular offers, such as the Remote Monitoring and Management services for infrastructure and endpoints. These new offers open up the benefits of outsourcing some, or all, day-to-day operations to more of our customers. They also represent a real shift to a more proactive approach to support. Managed Services are proactive, meaning we often identify faults and errors before the customer even realises there’s an issue (up to 85% resolved remotely).
Our evolving Private Cloud offer is receiving high praises and driving many transformational conversations with our customers. Customers are moving to hosted and hybrid models for their collaboration infrastructure. The cloud and managed services are transforming the types of offers we’re providing to our customers.
Have you made many changes to the Professional and Managed Services organisation since you joined?
In 2015, we invested in subject matter experts (SME) in each region with expertise in both professional and managed services disciplines. The SMEs have the expertise to meet with our customers to discuss what’s required to be successful – that end-to-end conversation.
We also expanded the portfolio management team. We introduced the new Plan, Deploy, Support, Optimise and Manage model and made adjustments to ensure we’re looking at the portfolio through a customer-centric lens. That focus allowed us to create complete new offers, transform some existing offers, and quite frankly, eliminate offers that are no longer relevant to our customers’ needs.
In 2015, we worked closely with the Technology Services Industry Association (TSIA) in benchmarking our portfolio. As a result I now sit on the advisory board for their Managed Services practice. It’s a great opportunity for Polycom to be represented and interact with other tech organisations offering managed services from all walks of life – Adobe, Cisco, Oracle, Diebold – the who’s who of the technology industry and truly cross discipline. TSIA is on the cutting edge of what’s happening in the industry – understanding what customers are looking for – so this involvement with the board will help us shape and form our managed services offers.
What are your top priorities for 2016?
The market is demanding deeper engagements from vendors and we need to be positioned to meet that demand. Strategic services such as our Envisioning and Solution Design consulting services, RealAccess Analytics, Business Apps and Voice Services for Skype for Business and other 3rd Party Platforms will be key focuses in 2016. In Managed Services, we are looking to expand our private cloud offering, making it accessible to a broader audience.
What’s your favourite thing about being at Polycom?
The culture. I love the culture, the innovation, the partnership and the transformation. It’s great to have the opportunity to come here, innovate and ultimately drive success for our customers, our partners and Polycom.