Khristina Atwal
Polycom Employee

Red Cross Children’s Hospital, Cape Town, South Africa is building a hospital of the future with Polycom video, voice and content sharing solutions and with the support of our partner Kathea.


Still_05.pngWe recently shared the Red Cross Children’s Hospital CATHCHAT story, and how the hospital is making a difference from their base in Cape Town, South Africa.  We’ve been working really closely with our partner Kathea and the hospital to deploy solutions that will serve the hospital for the future and support their journey in building a brighter future for their patients.


The hospital receives around 260,000 patient visits each year, the majority of which are from exceptionally poor and marginalized communities and one third of the patients are younger than a year old.


The hospital faced a growing need for cardiac procedures in young patients, but had limited resources and access to highly experienced pediatric cardiologists. In an effort to broaden their ability to serve patients and to expand their local physician’s education, the hospital chose to implement Polycom video collaboration solutions in their pediatric interventional cardiac catheterization lab.


Still_04.pngAs a result of installing Polycom collaboration infrastructure, including Polycom® RealPresence® Web Suite and Polycom® RealPresence® Media Suite with the support of our partner, Kathea, the hospital professionals, are now equipped to learn from highly experienced cardiologists from across Africa and beyond to learn and teach paediatric interventional cardiac catheterisation live and in real time.


This open channel of learning will enable the hospital to connect with experts in remote locations whilst in theatre and during CATHCHAT sessions for guidance during complex procedures. The approach of the hospital is changing with an intention to build an efficient process for the future with the support of Polycom video collaborations.  Ultimately, the hospital has an objective to decrease patient waiting time and enable their cardiologists to treat even more patients than before.


Still_01.pngPolycom has been lucky enough to join the Red Cross Children’s Hospital during their CATHCHAT session which took place March 2016, more here if you missed the details. We capture some great footage which shows the complex procedures taking place in theatre while remote, experienced pediatric cardiologists are joining via video to support and advise where required.  Additionally, we were able to joining learning and teaching sessions where doctors and experts from the hospital are able to share their knowledge and experience.  To better understand the journey the hospital is taking with the support of Polycom and Kathea, please watch this short video clip or read the full case study here


Kathea_Final Logo_RGB-04.jpgThe CATHCHAT weeks have been very successful. With Polycom and Kathea, the Red Cross Children’s Hospital is building its concept to secure a bigger and better future for the people of Western Cape.




Cathchat logo hi-res 06.png

Note - CATHCHAT is an invitation only session designed for medical professionals involved in paediatric cardiology, but interested partners and the general public can follow the conversation on Twitter with hashtag #CATHCHAT

Khristina Atwal
Polycom Employee

Here at Polycom we're dedicated to enabling the workplace of the future with the support of our voice and video solutions.  This year at GITEX Technology Week it is no different! We are going to be in attendance and showcasing the latest portfolio of video, voice and content sharing collaboration solutions that help businesses enable their workforce to work from anywhere. Yes, Anywhere!


Polycom will be on stands Z-H12 and Z-H35 in Zabeel Hall in partnership with FVC and Sitec, while Westcon will be hosting a networking event for partners from October 17 – 19 at the IBIS Hotel. 


Want to know what you can see whilst at the show? Read on, we have lots to share...


Gitex-2016-Flashcard v2.jpgGitex-2016-Flashcard Opt1.jpgGitex-2016-Flashcard Opt3.jpg


Key Polycom solutions on display by FVC, Sitec and Westcon at GITEX are:


  • Polycom® RealPresence Trio™ is a solution transforms the iconic three-point conference phone into a voice, content-sharing and video system that can fit into any team environment. Easy to deploy, RealPresence Trio technology has broad interoperability and deep integration across multiple UC platforms including Skype for Business and Microsoft Lync, BroadSoft and others.


  • Polycom® RealPresence Centro™ is the first solution purpose-built to put people into the centre of collaboration, will be available for demonstration during the show. The RealPresence Centro solution introduces a brand new paradigm for group conferencing that drives deep engagement and highly productive meetings by bringing people to the centre of collaboration.


  • Polycom® RealPresence® Debut brings enterprise grade video collaboration to the huddle room with a focus on simplicity and affordability. RealPresence Debut has an easy, elegant design that enables high quality visual collaboration for huddle and smaller room environments, as well as for small or medium sized businesses with limited IT resources.


  • Polycom® RealPresence® Media Suite is an enterprise recording, webcasting and portal solution that makes the creation and delivery of higher quality videos possible. A central management console enables simple workflows to manage media nodes remotely.


  • Polycom® RealPresence ClaritiTM is a collaboration infrastructure that delivers Polycom’s powerful HD voice, content, video and web collaboration to businesses of any size is also available for demonstrations during GITEX.


  • Polycom VVX 101 and VVX 201 Business Media Phones: The Polycom VVX 101 business media phone is a low cost solution for small and home offices, lobby areas and shared workspaces—anywhere people need access to a simple phone with a single line. On the other hand, the Polycom VVX 202 is designed for organisations of all sizes looking for a cost effective telephony solution and features two line support and a wide-range of enterprise telephony features. Both offer life-like conversations with Polycom’s industry-leading HD voice, Polycom Acoustic Clarity and Polycom Acoustic Fence technology to deliver excellent sound quality and noise-free, echo-free conversations.

Want to meet the Polycom team and see how solutions in action?  Sign up here, and we'll see you at the show!


The event this year is being held 26th – 30th September, Atlanta GA and Polycom will be there as a Gold Sponsor at Booth #1624 - and we are going to be very busy!


Ignite is the coming together of up to 20,000 Global IT Professionals, IT Decision Makers and Enterprise Developers from around the world.


As well as a packed agenda there will be an EXPO and Polycom will be there showing all the latest roadmap developments that creative productivity solutions built on Office 365 for voice, video and video interoperability.


Please use this invitation to visit our booth where you will see how:

  • You can have complete Office 365 collaboration with Polycom
  • Polycom is the only solution provider to complete Office 365 collaboration end-to-end
  • Our breadth of our portfolio is second to none for Office 365
  • How our native integration of Polycom devices into O365 drives rapid adoption
  • And how our deep expertise and global reach helps rollout our rapid deployment of solutions.

Want to learn more? Sign up for a boot tour here.


…and it doesn’t just stop there. Throughout Microsoft Ignite 2016, Polycom will be presenting a number of speaking sessions too! More details below…


Session 1: Complete Collaboration with Polycom and Office 365: a Partnership Overview

Monday, September 26 – 2.00 - 2.45pm

For over a decade Polycom and Microsoft have been working together to create the next generation workplace. In this session, Ashan Willy, Senior Vice President at Polycom, will give an overview of the Polycom and Microsoft alliance and how Polycom’s solutions for Skype for Business and Office 365 enable employees to truly collaborate from anywhere.


Session 2: Best practices in Building a Collaboration Strategy: a Conversation with Polycom and Microsoft

Tuesday, September 27 – 9.00 - 9.45am (Breakfast Session)

Skype for Business and Polycom are changing the way organizations communicate and collaborate. During this session, Microsoft and Polycom experts will address best practices around getting the most out of your Skype for Business and Polycom deployments. From finding the right partner to help with your journey to driving end-user adoption, Polycom and Microsoft will share their experiences from the field.


Session 3 & 4: Technology Deep Dive into Polycom Voice and Video for Office 365

Tuesday, September 27 – 4.00pm

Wednesday, September 28 – 10.00am

Do you have technical questions around deployment of Skype for Business or Office 365 and Polycom products? Our Solution Architects and Microsoft MVP’s will present Polycom’s collaborations solutions and how they integrate with Skype for Business and Office 365. They will be available to answer any technical questions you might have around deployment, product updates, and voice and video endpoints. 


Session 5: How to Prepare for the Cultural Evolution of Video: Strategies for Success from a Microsoft and Polycom customer

Thursday, September 29 – 10.00 - 10.45am

Video is transforming the way employees communicate and collaborate. Preparing for video requires an organization to think beyond the technology and evolve people and culture.  Hear best practices from Polycom’s VP of Global Solutions Marketing, Amy Barzdukas and first-hand experience from Chris Bryant, Sr. Vice President, Enterprise Applications & Technology at Operation Smile


Expo Hall Theatre 4 Session: Complete Collaboration with Polycom Voice and Video for Office 365

Thursday, September 29 – 2.10pm

Trying to determine a device strategy for Skype for Business and Office 365? Working through interoperability challenges between Skype for Business and your other voice and video endpoints?  Polycom helps global organizations with these questions every day.  Discover why 70% of customers choose Polycom when choosing the right partner for Skype for Business collaboration.


See how Polycom and Microsoft joint solutions can transform collaboration across your organization.  We can’t wait to see you there!

We have a very exciting and busy time coming up as Polycom will be joining Microsoft at their annual Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC), July 10-14 in Toronto, Canada. This is a great opportunity for those attending, and particularly for our Microsoft partners who will be looking for new revenue streams with our Polycom voice and video solutions. 


Partners can visit our booth #643 to learn more about Polycom’s strong partnership and interoperability with Microsoft, Office 365 and Skype for Business. The Polycom Partner team will be onsite to discuss and demonstrate how our products complete the end-to-end collaboration story and drive new revenue streams for our partners.


It’s simple…our certified solutions for Skype for Business and Office 365 easily light up our customers licenses so that they achieve rapid adoption and utilization, which assures that return on investment and higher levels of productivity that our customers seek. In turn, Microsoft partners are able to engage with customers deploying their own valuable skills and services that they have gained through their Microsoft competencies. 


We want to illustrate how Microsoft partners can engage with Polycom to be part of this huge go to market that we have with Microsoft. The breadth and depth of solutions for Office 365 and Skype for Business that we at Polycom have results in this relationship.  As a result, we create a long term, valued partnership with our customer and so can our partners. 


As I say it’s simple……. what’s not to like?


At our booth, the solutions demonstrations will include:rp-trio-09.jpg

  • The world’s first business media conferencing solution for Office 365 – Polycom® RealPresence Trio™ 
  • Polycom and Microsoft extend video collaboration to Office 365 – Polycom® Group Series
  • The first business media phones for the new Office 365 services – Polycom® VVX® phones
  • Simple and powerful collaboration software that drives Skype for Business video interoperability – Polycom® RealConnect

So how can partners engage at WPC 2016?


You can join Polycom for a booth tour at booth 643 and be entered for a chance to win a Polycom® RealPresence Trio ™.


Check out the WPC page on Polycom’s website >>


Sign up for a booth tour >>


Meet one-on-one with a member of our Polycom Partner team to explore partnership opportunities partner executive one to one

Khristina Atwal
Polycom Employee

Guest Blog: Ray McGroarty, EMEA Director, Industry Solutions and Market Development


EW3_4992.jpgFinancial Services is a fast-moving sector where new decisions about the most valued commodity – money - are made with every passing second. Having a collaborative workforce that is driven towards improving business productivity and speed of decision-making is therefore pivotal to the success of any financial services company as well as their customers. The right mix of workplace collaboration tools can not only improve engagement internally between the various departments of a geographically dispersed financial service workforce, but also externally between internal departments and their suppliers and customers. This allows the workforce to be more agile and productive and in turn promotes flexible working.


The applications, devices and workspaces used to conduct business in financial services have evolved from being consolidated, homogenous and predictable to being fragmented, heterogeneous and spontaneous. The workforce is more dispersed and mobile, and business is conducted from almost any location and at any time. This is leading to an increase in the demand for workplace technology that enables borderless collaboration and improves the speed of the decision-making process for businesses within the financial services sector.


The five pillars of financial services



With the advances in technology, the ways in which customers access information supplied by their financial services providers have also changed. For example, customers can easily access their banking information or details of a payment they made using their mobile phone or computer, eliminating the need to physically visit a bank. Within the workforce, there is a growing need for mobility and access to services that do not compromise expert face-to-face interaction for the internal teams.  When it comes to external communications with partners or customers, business workflows need to be able to provide the same functionality conveniently as during such meetings there is often a need to discuss documents, applications and approvals. To do this, we need audio-visual interaction along with content sharing ability. Audio-visual interactions enable customers to understand clearly as they can read the gestures and body language too, and ask questions in real-time, discuss concerns, share documents through content-sharing solutions and obtain spontaneous feedback where possible. This speeds up the decision-making process for the financial services firm without compromising on customer satisfaction.


Agility and Flexibility

Financial service companies need to be agile to be able to search and hire new talent – currently there is a struggle to attract the best talent and make hiring decisions promptly.  Utilising video collaboration for talent acquisition, on-boarding new employees and providing learning and development opportunities helps improve employee engagement, communication, as well as the reach of corporate initiatives. Additionally, financial service organisations need to offer flexibility to work, flexible locations and training. 



The challenge around creativity is how to synchronise to ensure work and efforts are not being duplicated and that the creativity is shared – whilst this is often conducted through email, video proves to be efficient and there is a better understanding when employees are able to see and discuss in real time. It’s not always possible to meet every day so video solutions enable a financial service company to collaborate effectively.



To evolve as a business, visual interaction, especially when it’s an interesting higher-value transaction, is desired to put the face back into the heart of financial services. When making important decisions, it is vital that decision-makers feel confident and can trust that their financial services advisor is making the right choices.  Millennials are reluctant to engage with big banks, they have current accounts, credit cards, but they aren’t investing their money in the same way as their parents’ generation. The financial services sector needs to start attracting this generation if they are to drive value from these customers. There are also wider economic implications for the financial services sector and the UK market as a whole if they can’t rebuild that trust and encourage the public to engage again.


Facilitating convenient access to specialist advisors through video collaboration, and making those digital appointments as valuable as their in-person counterparts through real-time content collaboration solutions, allows customer advisors to cross-sell, up-sell and improve the overall business efficiency. To learn more about the changing face of financial services and how you can achieve collaborative financial services to gain competitive advantage please join me and FinTech expert Mike Baliman on the 5th May at 10am BST by registering here and join the #FaceOfFinance twitter hashtag to join the full conversation.


If you are unable to make the webinar you can always download the full version of our new free whitepaper which will give you access to a new, exclusive video detailing what should be top of mind for leading financial services institutions to remain competitive.


Follow the author @RayMcGroarty    

Khristina Atwal
Polycom Employee

Guest Blog: Jens Brauer, Area Sales VP, DACH & Central, EMEA


Jens Brauer 4.jpgSechs große Technologie-Trends lassen sich identifizieren, die unsere Arbeitswelt branchenübergreifend von der Fertigung über den Banken- und Gesundheitssektor bis hin zum Bildungswesen beeinflussen werden.


Der "Arbeitsplatz der Zukunft" wird heute in vielen Unternehmen bereits gelebt. Mobiles Arbeiten von überall her, Zusammenarbeit im Team über zeitliche und örtliche Grenzen hinweg, steigende Flexibilität bezüglich Arbeitszeit und -Ort - das ist für viele Mitarbeiter weltweit bereits Realität. Um den Arbeitsplatz der Zukunft allerdings tatsächlich in einen produktiven Ort verwandeln zu können, brauchen Unternehmen die richtigen Werkzeuge. Welche Entwicklungen müssen sie im Blick behalten, um den Anschluss nicht zu verpassen?



Mobility wird zur Super Mobility

Bezeichnete "Arbeit" früher primär einen Ort, an den wir gingen, steht der Begriff heute vielmehr für die Tätigkeit - unabhängig von Zeit, Ort und Endgerät. Herkömmliche Büros und Besprechungsräume weichen deshalb offenen Arbeitsräumen und mobilen Lösungen, die ein effektives Arbeiten zulassen. Laut den Analysten von IDC nutzen 2015 bereits 1,3 Milliarden Menschen weltweit mobile Technologien zum mobilen Arbeiten beziehungsweise für das Home Office. Und Smartphones und Tablets machen 40 Prozent des gesamten IT-Wachstums aus. Rund 87 Prozent der Unternehmen haben bereits eine Strategie für Mobilität und mobile Geräte eingeführt, wobei sieben von zehn Unternehmen damit kämpfen, mit der rasenden Entwicklung im mobilen Bereich Schritt zu halten.


Computer im traditionellen Sinn werden am Arbeitsplatz der Zukunft nur noch eine geringe Rolle spielen. Telearbeit beziehungsweise mobiles Arbeiten wird zunehmend zum Standard und mobile Geräte damit immer mehr zum voll ausgestatteten Mini-Computer mit einer Vielzahl an Funktionen für den Arbeitseinsatz. Unternehmen sollten darauf hinarbeiten, ihren Mitarbeitern Technologien für ihre mobilen Geräte zur Verfügung zu stellen, mit denen sie produktiv und einfach zusammenarbeiten können - beispielsweise durch Integration in die Video-Kommunikation des Unternehmens und mit Lösungen, die Content Sharing und Content-Bearbeitung ermöglichen. Entscheidend ist dabei laut Sir Cary Cooper, Professor für Organisationspsychologie und Gesundheit an der Manchester Business School: Die Lösungen müssen bedienungsfreundlich sein, damit der Anwender sie problemlos einsetzen kann und das Potenzial der Investition voll ausgeschöpft wird. Ideal sind Lösungen mit intuitiven Benutzeroberflächen, die auf offenen Standards basieren und so eine barrierefreie Kommunikation auch mit Anwendern ermöglichen, die Systeme anderer Hersteller verwenden.


Collaboration Tools überwinden globale Grenzen

Stärker als jemals zuvor arbeiten Unternehmen über zeitliche, räumliche und kulturelle Grenzen hinweg global zusammen - mit ihren global verteilten Tochterunternehmen, Partnern, Zulieferern und Kunden. Damit diese Art der weltweiten Zusammenarbeit funktioniert, sind effektive Collaboration Tools erforderlich, die für jeden Geschäfts- und Aufgabenbereich speziell zugeschnittene Lösungen bieten: Während HR-Abteilungen vermehrt Bewerbungs- und Mitarbeitergespräche über Video führen oder damit schneller und kostengünstiger Schulungen durchführen , kann in der Produktentwicklung mit neuen Technologien die Go-to-Market-Zeit reduziert werden. Dienstleister kommunizieren damit zukünftig besser mit externen Kunden und Partnern - beispielsweise, indem ein Versicherungsberater vor Ort einfach und schnell einen Experten für einen bestimmtem Bereich auf seinem Tablet per Video zuschalten kann. In der Fertigung werden die Technologien verstärkt eingesetzt, um Fernwartungen oder Fern-Qualitätskontrollen durchzuführen. Für alle Einsatz-Szenarien gilt: Video, Voice und Content Sharing in Unternehmensqualität sind gefragter denn je und Distanzen werden zukünftig eine geringere Rolle spielen.


Die Cloud setzt sich in der Kommunikation durch

Cloud Lösungen sind als Trend schon längst in aller Munde. Die Cloud hat auch den Kommunikationsbereich erreicht und wird dazu beitragen, dass sich dieser in den nächsten Jahren rapide verändert. Ein Großteil der Diskussion rund um die Cloud wird sich darum drehen, welche spezifischen Anforderungen Unternehmen und Mitarbeiter an die Lösungen haben. Video Collaboration in Echtzeit bzw. Video-as-a-Service (VaaS) wird dabei ohne Zweifel eine der Lösungen sein, die Mitarbeiter fordern.


VaaS-Angebote aus der Cloud, welche Anwender von jedem Gerät aus abrufen können, gibt es bereits. Der Vorteil: Sie sind auch für jedes kleine oder mittelständische Unternehmen zugänglich und flexibel anpassbar. Zudem entstehen weniger Kosten, denn teure Investitionen in eine Hardware entfallen und nur bei Nutzung wird auch abgerechnet. Bereitgestellt werden Videoservices von Service Providern und zwar schnell, zuverlässig und vor allem sicher, über unterschiedlichste Plattformen, Netzwerke und Endgeräte. Eine Entscheidung, die sich auszahlt. Und was kommt als nächstes? Auf jeden Fall offene, standardbasierte Lösungen, welche sich sicher mit der Cloud verbinden lassen. Darüber hinaus wird die Cloud Unternehmen dabei unterstützen, via Fernüberwachung zu kontrollieren, wie gut die Rechenzentren arbeiten und wie häufig Video, Voice und Content Collaboration-Lösungen im Einsatz sind.


Endgeräte werden noch intelligenter

IDC kommt zu dem Ergebnis, dass aufgrund der enormen Zunahme an smarten Wearables, Haushaltsgeräten und medizinischen Geräten, zukünftig auch die Ausgaben hinsichtlich solcher intelligenter und kollaborierender Produkte steigen werden. Und all diese Endgeräte werden in den nächsten Jahren nicht nur miteinander verbunden sein, sondern auch untereinander kommunizieren können.


Um allerdings eine Interaktion zwischen den Geräten zu ermöglichen, müssen diese mit einer gewissen "Intelligenz" ausgestattet sein, um tatsächlich kollaborierend "handeln" zu können. Weiterentwickelte Media Management Lösungen können bereits genau das, indem diese Inhalte mit einer intelligenten Sprach-Text-Transkription erfassen, verwalten und präsentieren. Darüber hinaus können diese Meta-Daten markieren und sind mit einer Suchfunktion ausgestattet, so dass alle Personen sofort wissen, wo die entsprechenden Daten abgelegt sind. Und darüber hinaus interagieren nicht nur Endgeräte untereinander, sondern Endgeräte kollaborieren mit Collaboration-Tools in Unternehmen, und verschmelzen miteinander. Meetings können so gestartet werden, Content geteilt, Musik gehört werden etc.


Big, Bigger, Big Data

Big Data ist nach wie vor das Thema der Gegenwart - und wird auch in Zukunft weiterhin in allen Trend-Listen vertreten sein, vor allem, wenn es darum geht, wie mit Big Data die Zusammenarbeit verbessert und die Produktivität gesteigert werden kann. Laut IDC werden sich in diesem Jahr die Datenmengen verdreifachen, vor allem hinsichtlich Bild- und Videodateien. Denn diese wurden von Unternehmen gerade "neu entdeckt", um hieraus mehr über ihre Kunden zu erfahren. Große Videoanalyseplattformen werden deshalb zukünftig dazu beitragen, das Angebot an unstrukturierten Daten zu überbrücken, hin zu strukturierten Erkenntnissen - um so Business Intelligence zu ermöglichen.


Intelligentes Content-Finding, basierend auf Analysen, wird die Entwicklung zunehmend mitbestimmen. Durch die Arbeit mit Metadaten und intelligentem Tagging-Content kann jedes Meeting und jedes kollaborative Erlebnis aufgezeichnet werden und für eine Sprache-zu-Text-Übersetzung aktiviert werden - so kann suchbarer Content erstellt werden. Dieser Content kann anschließend für jeden verfügbar sein, der innerhalb eines Gesprächs oder innerhalb einer Präsentation nach spezifischen Details sucht. Fazit daraus: Ein Gespräch muss nicht mehr stundenlang angehört oder eine Videoaufnahme angesehen werden. Das geht nicht nur sehr viel schneller, sondern ist auch effektiver.


Agiles Programmieren

Um Collaboration vorantreiben und an sich wandelnde Bedürfnisse anpassen zu können, muss die Programmierung flexible handhabbar sein. Der Trend geht seit einiger Zeit hin zu offenen Standards. Aber mittlerweile hat sich die Erkenntnis durchgesetzt, dass nicht alle offenen Standards gleich sind. Viele Unternehmen verwenden standardbasierte Technologien, die jedoch keine breit angelegte Collaboration ermöglichen. Anbieter wie Polycom setzen auf sogenannte "Open Standards". Diese erlauben es Entwicklern, mit einem offenen Toolkit und offenen Programmierschnittstellen neue Collaboration-Lösungen zu integrieren, um einen Videocall zu starten oder direkt mit salesforce.com ein Meeting im Kalender zu erstellen.




This German language blog post was originally created by Polycom for IDG Experten Netzwerk, Computerwoche.  To read more about the top trends in workplace collaboration as identified by Polycom, visit here


Follow the author @Jens_Brauer  


Sonal Bisht
Polycom Employee

Guest Blog: Simon Aldous, Channels Director, UK & Ireland

 Lync Picture.jpg

This weekend sees the final game of this year’s 6 Nations Rugby Tournament and as the anticipation builds as to whether England will achieve the grand slam, it made me think about how the England rugby team turned things around from their somewhat ‘interesting’ performance as hosts of the Rugby World Cup six months ago.  Over the past couple of months they have demonstrated that as a team they have come together collaboratively and focused their sights on the end goal, successfully working together and winning.


Behind the success of winning is not the magic of the game, but through the power of the scrum, the huddle, the coming together as a team to unite, agreeing the plan of action, aligning the process of delivery and together they achieve success, and it’s no different in 
how teams should operate in the workplace.  Team meetings should be a way of pulling together to achieve a common goal. They should be productive, concise and each individual should takeaway something valuable, something they needed to know, but didn’t already.  Some organisations, especially in the field of product development, have taken things one stage further and hold a ‘daily scrum meeting’ where the key points that are on the agenda for that day are discussed and communicated so everyone knows the priorites and plan, inclusive of any potential obstacles that might delay progression.  But what if the team involved aren’t based in the same location – how do they hold the ‘daily scrum’?


Polycom® RealPresence Centro™, is the first visual collaboration solution purpose-built to put people at the centre of collaboration.  The RealPresence Centro brings to life the Scrum Meeting so that teams that have members that are located in disparate locations can still hold a daily circle meeting or scrum meeting ensuring that they work as
a unit to reach a common goal efficiently.Centro with 2 people on screen.jpg


Polycom’s patented 360-degree voice and video technology brings the team together to ensure all attendees can see each other – no matter, where they are in the room. Collaboration becomes more fluid and natural as participants engage with each other effectively in the round. 


But as with any new technology ‘seeing is believing’ so why not try this new meeting
experience yourself? We would like to invite you to attend one of our 2 hour open day sessions at our Executive Experience Centre in London where you discover how to put people at the centre of collaboration to help drive team productivity to achieve success – oh and before I forget, ‘good luck’ England you know you can do it – it’s all about the scrum. 


Register for a FREE session at our Executive Experience Centre in London here: http://bit.ly/1pr3yws

Sonal Bisht
Polycom Employee



@PolycomEurope will open its doors once again on Twitter. The next #PolycomChat session will take place on 11 August at 12:00-13:00 BST, where we will be discussing the technology that instigates collaboration in workplaces and its place in the office of the future.


Why should you join us for #PolycomChat?


If you are interested in how companies, both large and small, can future-proof their business processes through collaboration solutions, then the next #PolycomChat is for you.


The open forum welcomes all discussions on how IT can increase their business potential, drive innovation and optimise budgets. IT is the business hero that can help shape and ultimately make the future workplace a reality today. 


Who are our panel?


Industry experts Ray McGroarty, Global Director for Enterprise UC Solutions at Polycom, and Matthew Ball, Principal Analyst at Canalys, are our panellists for this session. Both our experts will provide differing insights on how to get the best from your collaboration solutions.


Here is how you can join the discussion and also invite others who wish to participate.


Hashtag: #PolycomChat

Date: Tuesday 11 August

Time: 12:00 – 13:00 BST

Event page: http://www.polycom.co.uk/go/TwitterChat-IT

How you or your contacts can join the event or ask questions is explained below:

  • On Twitter: Participants can join the Q&A on the day by 
    tweeting their questions including #PolycomChat  in all conversations
  • Not on Twitter: Questions can be submitted in advance by:
  • We endeavour to respond to all questions on Twitter or otherwise be in touch directly to provide a response.

You have probably seen in the press that Microsoft has unveiled yet another collaboration tool – the Surface Hub with its state of art front facing cameras and noise emitting microphones.  Through the launch of the its large screen Surface Hub devices, Microsoft promises to transform the way groups of people work together as the Surface Hub could replace traditional whiteboards in offices, homes and schools with full connectivity to the range of Microsoft products.

So what does this mean for Polycom? Will the Surface Hub replace the Lync Room System? 


From my perspective, the new addition to the Microsoft collaboration suite is an ideal opportunity for us. As for replacing Lync Room System, I believe the Surface Hub will only serve to complement existing solutions as it further drives true room based collaboration.



It’s no secret how successful the Polycom / Lync partnership has been over the years, and the use of Lync throughout businesses particularly the enterprise means that organisations have already invested a fair amount in infrastructure, endpoints and training for employees in order to ensure that the Lync workflow is integrated into the business processes.  


I am excited about the new possibilities and potential sectors that could open up for us through a solution like the Surface Hub, we have seen great success through Lync Room System installations and our own Room Systems for Lync drive by our Group Series products, we anticipate further joint success moving forwards.   Think of the possibilities of extending Surface Hub with our audio / video capabilities?  That would be awesome!


Lync Room System or CX8000, is what it says on the tin - a room collaboration solution - purpose built to deliver visual collaboration capabilities coupled with the CX5100 centre of the table camera, LRS can ensure a productive meeting experience where everyone is seen and heard.  On the wall touchscreen a solution like the Surface hub then further enhances this environment. 



I would even go as far as to say that this truly compliments our ethos of creating a true workplace of the future, through enabling collaborative workspaces, workflow and a high quality experience. It’s almost like we planned it!



With Skype for Business now generally available, a new era in workplace communications has arrived...to learn more about how Skype for Business can impact your organisation watch our 'Connecting Skype for Business in your video environment' webinar to gain valuable insights from our experts


Sonal Bisht
Polycom Employee

You are invited to join the #PolycomChat organised by @PolycomEurope on 19 May 2015 at 12:30 – 13:30 BST. @PolycomEurope will host an open Q&A on Twitter to answer all your questions about the use of collaboration technology in the healthcare sector.


Join the Q&A on the day by tweeting your questions using #PolycomChat. Alternatively, you can post your questions on our FaceBook page (if you don’t have a twitter account), or email your questions to pressoffice@polycom.com in advance. We will endeavour to answer all your questions on 19 May or otherwise be in touch with you to provide a response.


About #PolycomChat panel


Andrew Graley, EMEA Director Healthcare – Polycom, will host the Q&A with a virtual panel of experts including Mark Evans, Imerja and Veronica Southern, Independent Healthcare Consultant. The Q&A is open for customers, partners, the press, analysts and anyone with questions on technology in healthcare.


Andrew and the panel will answer all questions on how telehealth is having an impact on healthcare, and how technology more broadly is helping to improve healthcare processes.


Let’s get the conversation started!


Polycom Employee

On June 30th 2014 the right to request flexible working was extended to all UK employees. Immediately businesses went from needing to provide flexibility for a select few to potentially hundreds of thousands of staff.

The popularity of flexible working both for employees and employers has seen four out of five requests granted, according to Pensions Minister Steve Webb. Business leaders should consider accommodating as many requests as is practical given that flexible working is proven to reduce real estate costs and salary bills. It is also a key factor in employee recruitment and retention across the whole age range of the working population.  In this day and age, it is no surprise that a quarter of office workers would rather have a flexible working package than a pay rise.



But how can business leaders incorporate this into their future plans? The determining success factor is whether the C-Suite can push these plans beyond the boardroom and into the everyday processes of each business group. Each department has a different set of requirements and challenges, so having the right technology is the key. IT can be the centralised hub to consult both the Board and business groups on the technology their organisation—and people—need to be successful.

Everyone from finance to facilities needs to be more collaborative to support flexible working practices that contribute to the overall growth and productivity of the business.  The traditional boundaries of departments and hierarchy are now blurring in the modern enterprise, with cross-functional projects and processes becoming the norm. IT becomes the lynch pin to success, bridging the gap between the Board and business group leaders while planning for and deploying solutions that connect employees, improve productivity and foster innovation.


The C-Suite

Technology will facilitate the new wave of flexible working, but it must be integrated into business processes for it to be a help rather than a hindrance. It’s critical that any solutions are integrated and interoperable with the process specific solutions across the full range of business functions to avoid employees finding their own workarounds to compatibility issues.

For employees to be effective when working flexibly the entire IT ecosystem needs to work seamlessly regardless of the physical location of the person. Investing in communication and collaboration technologies which facilitates remote working will be key to maintaining productivity in the modern, flexible enterprise. And the collaboration of the C-Suite will be vital to achieving this. Flexibility needs to extend beyond location into working practices and business leaders must be prepared to be flexible and incorporate the needs of other business functions into their IT planning.

“IT innovations play an increasingly critical role in the ways we interact and collaborate with each other. The penetration of IT in the business world has improved the way that businesses are conducted and the power now lies in the IT leaders’ hands to drive the innovation further throughout the organisation”, says Dr Carsten Sørensen, Reader (Associate Professor) in Digital Innovation at The London School of Econ....


Human Resources

From HR’s perspective, the increasing number of flexible working requests means that a formalised process for dealing with these as well as a clear company policy is essential.

For the first time ever, the workforce spans five generations. The average enterprise has to incorporate a diverse set of needs; millennials want to work differently to baby boomers. Flexible working reflects this, as it is about adapting work to the individual, not the other way round. This employee-centric approach is becoming the norm, and the expectation of workers so must be considered by management.

To satisfy everyone, the right technology will be vital. For its part, HR will need to consider guidelines and policies around the use and care of this technology. Employees will need a clear set of instructions as to how to conduct their own workspace health and safety check in their home office. Rules around accessing and storing files and services remotely will need to be drafted in conjunction with the IT department. In fact, HR will need to work more closely than ever with IT to implement infrastructure and solutions to support flexible working policies.



Facilities management

To be competitive in today’s world, the modern workforce needs to be truly flexible, which means addressing both time and location. It can mean working from home or remotely, but it also means having a variety of environments onsite to serve different purposes.

Breakout rooms, open plan workspaces, work pods, and traditional meetings rooms are all examples that facilities management must consider when designing the best possible collaborative workspaces.

Flexibility can be achieved through technology. Remote working requires access to files and programmes from anywhere, the modern enterprise needs to consider the cloud whether private or public, proprietary or ‘as-a-Service’. Video conferencing can allow your workforce to reduce their travel time and improve their productivity. One facilities manager can service several sites through telepresence negating the need to have a manager for each location.

The proliferation of new technologies means that there is a danger of fragmentation. Unified communications is a key consideration for facilities, as it allows them to ‘plug’ their physical locations into a wider network of locations, including virtual meeting rooms. These flexible workplaces have higher usage rates through unified communications as a consistent interface simplifies it for the user.

In order for facilities management to create a flexible workplace, it requires close collaboration with the IT function to implement the technology solutions and integrate them into the wider infrastructure. This collaboration will reduce the risk of shadow IT projects that sit in silos.

Facilities management will also need to align with HR to draft policies for the usage of these flexible workspaces. Lastly, they will need to liaise with Finance to make budget available for these strategic projects.


Marketing, sales & customer services

 In the past sales and marketing department this often had to be visible at their desk from nine till five. This was partially due to the need to be on an internal network to access business critical systems including CRM tools, as well as the need to be next to a desk phone connected to an on premise PBX system. The advent of cloud-based solutions and Voice over IP (VoIP) means that your sales team can be more flexible in terms of location, as they can access these systems from anywhere.

In an increasingly digital world, marketing and sales use IT solutions to complete almost every business process. CRM tools, marketing automation, web platforms and production, reporting and tracking are all now digitised, partially due to the improved productivity but also because it is easier and more accurate to extract and analyse data from digital sources in order to measure ROI and improve performance. If you invest in these solutions ‘as a Service’ your employees can access them from anywhere. This provides the obvious benefit in that the sales team do not need to return to the office between meetings, but it also allows you to improve your external communications. If key customer contacts can access the full spectrum of communications tools remotely, for example through UC as a Service, then they move beyond email and phone calls. Modern consumers expect to be able to communicate with businesses in a variety of ways including instant chat functions which are built into your corporate website, video communications and social media. All of these solutions and systems need to be interoperable and seamless today, which means that marketing, sales and customer services need to work closely with IT to implement and integrate them into their processes.


Information Technology

The CIO and his team’s digital skills have never been more in demand, but it’s no longer just about adjusting equipment. IT needs to be a trusted advisor on the right solution for each business function, and help them to integrate the right technology to facilitate flexible working for their team. IT becomes a consultative function, the IT team will have less need to be physically present and can also take advantage of flexible working, including working remotely.

Flexible working often comes hand-in-hand with BYOD. It’s important that IT have a strategy in place to maintain services and security across a range of devices and operating systems. In the modern enterprise employees will often use their personal devices for work even without an official BYOD policy, which can cause security and accountability issues. It is worth investing the time and resources in collaborating with the appropriate business leaders to ensure policies, guidelines and provisions are in place to support your employees. Investing in the right technology will drive growth and productivity even with staff working flexibly, research shows that employees equipped with video conferencing are up to 39 percent more productive when working remotely.

Whatever the needs of your business, and whichever technologies you choose to implement, the CIO will need to retain a strategic overview of all of these new solutions. Without a centralised function monitoring the interoperability, simplicity of use and adoption rates of new technologies, an influx of shadow IT is a danger for any organisation. The IT function as a whole will need to get out of the back office and into the boardroom in order to understand the requirements and challenges of each business function so that they can be effective advisors to the business from the C-Suite down.

It is clear that a digital economy calls for a digital enterprise, and this means the integration of IT across all fu.... IT must not only get out of the back office and into the boardroom, it must also think of itself and its advice as indispensable when it comes to making strategic infrastructure decisions.

Polycom Employee

As one of the leading hospitals for children's heart surgery in the United Kingdom, Evelina London children's hospital is a centre of excellence for paediatric cardiology amongst other services, and around 300 sick children pass through the doors every day. If you don't know where Evelina is, then it might surprise you to learn it is based inside the grounds of St. Thomas' hospital site, directly opposite the Houses of Parliament, London.


I had the pleasure of meeting the lead paediatric cardiologist Mr. John Simpson, Clinical Nurse Specialist Audit & Data Manager Thomas Witter and the Trust's telemedicine expert Frank Baldesare in early January, 2013.  At the time, the team were facing a particular challenge - if a procedure was underway in an operating theatre and an unexpected complication arose, it could take almost ninety minutes for the cardiologist to get scrubbed and gowned in order to enter the theatre.  Often, the cardiologist would only need a few short minutes to look at the echo; an ultrasound image produced by a Philips device, in order to recommend a course of action for the surgeon, but may compete with other clinical commitments on the ward or intensive care unit.


The team were convinced there was a way to overcome the lengthy time delay by using technology to enable a cardiologist to view the intraoperative images and communicate with the team in theatre. After a design session and a series of tests that spanned about eight months and involved the hospital's own Medical Physics department, IT, and the ultrasound manufacturer Philips, the decision was taken to put the telemedicine solution into use inside the operating theatre.


Take a look at the customer story and supporting video and you will learn how video collaboration enabled the team to save about 1,300 hours of consultants’ and surgeons’ time each year through the project.


And so, on 16th September 2013 (which just happened to be my birthday) the system was deployed.  Within hours, it was used for the first time during a procedure and the first successful case was recorded.


The solution shortens the time to review scans from 90 minutes to five minutes and enables quicker operations with less time under anaesthetic for patients. There is a profound improvement in the recovery time of a child by a reduction in anaesthetic, leading to a shorter stay in hospital and many other benefits.


The project has seen many successes within  the hospital, and has also been awarded the Collaborative Communications Product of the Year at the AV Awards 2014 by AV Magazine and the 2014 UK IT Industry Award - IT Project Demonstrating most effective use of Collaborative Technology by the prestigious British Computer Society and Computing Magazine.


 BCS & AV Awards 2014.png

         Chris Boba of Polycom picks up AV Award, while I picked up BCS Computing Award with Frank from Guy's & St. Thomas'


I'm very proud the project has been recognized and I was honoured to be at the UK IT Award ceremony with Frank to pick up the Collaborative Technology award.  As we left the stage, we had lots of comments on how wonderful it was to see Evelina win, and that many of the well-wishers children had been treated at the hospital.


I thank the judges of both AV Magazine and the British Computer Society for recognising the fantastic work of the whole team.  This has been one of those projects when everyone had a clear vision of what was required, how to achieve it, and wanted to work together to put it all in place.






For a growing number of people, the ability to work from home is “living the dream.” I know this, because I can’t even recall the number of people who have told me this, without ever knowing what it is I actually do. At Polycom, many of the employees, including myself, are fortunate to have the ability to work remotely and flexibly. Unsurprisingly, it appears flexi-work benefits are becoming increasingly common as more employees demand it.


A recent report from PwC in the UK found that just 14 percent of workers want to work in a traditional office environment and one in five workers prefer to work in a “virtual” work space.  What does this mean? Employees want the ability to work from wherever, whenever. Of course, this doesn’t work for every type of job function, but for many this is achievable as long as employers are providing the proper framework and tools to do so. 



Source: http://visual.ly/considering-coworking


What if work is no longer somewhere you go, but something you do? I myself can speak to this proposition as I am enabled to work in multiple environments. Recently, I met with the CEO of coWorkr, a company that develops technologies for companies to track and asses how employees work in their office environment and how they utilize the physical space. This poses some important questions to ask:


How often do employees actually spend time at their desks? If they’re spending more time collaborating with one another in communal spaces, how will this change the physical office space? And what does this mean for the “virtual” space?


The PwC report also found that in the future, “Workers will be more likely to see themselves as a member of a particular skill or professional network, rather than as an employee of a particular company. People will be categorized and rewarded for having specialist expertise.”


This professional network can be grown outside the office, as I have experienced by working in coworking environments. Having the opportunity to collaborate and network with other like-minded individuals who enjoy working in a shared space is one of the biggest benefits I’ve experienced from working outside of the office. I find that I can be more creative and productive when I have the freedom to work in a location that suits me, and obtaining input for my ideas from people outside my normal work team leads me to more overall creative ideas. Not to mention the ovcious benefits of a better work-life balance by cutting down the time and stress of a daily commute. If the traditional office is going to be a thing of the past, then we better start preparing for it now!


The best part is that working outside the office does not mean I have to give up any of my technology or miss out on any meetings with my colleagues.  Between Polycom RealPresence and CloudAxis and a good pair of headphones, I stay in touch with my team all day and don’t miss a beat.


What are your thoughts on the idea of working remotely? How often do you work from outside the office? Do you think there are added benefits to coworking? Comment and share your thoughts below!






We all know that face-to-face meetings are the most natural and effective way to communicate. However, when you work for a global company with team members dispersed all over the world, video calls are the next best thing. As a millennial and a so-called member of the “selfie generation,” being on video has always been comfortable for me. With popular apps like SnapChat and WhatsApp becoming another regular form of communicating, video is an everyday part of my life. 


But on my first day on the job, I realized how different it was to be on a video call when it wasn’t a casual encounter with my friends. I couldn’t help but continue to glance over at myself in the self-view window. How did I look? How were people reacting to what I said? Was I coming across as professional?


Flash forward six months and now I’m a mobile worker. I work from our headquarter offices, my home office, in coffee shops, or in the occasional a hotel lobby during a quick break at a conference. Even with all the benefits that flexible work and video conferencing has, it can be really easy to screw up.




Along the way I’ve picked up some quick and easy tips on how to set up a video call so you feel comfortable, confident and come across as professional.  They are:


1. Get the right lighting.

Overhead lighting is the worst kind of lighting for video conferences because it makes shadows under your eyes and across the bridge of your nose giving you a tired look. Natural, soft light is best; ideally behind your web cam (directly behind it, or one on the left, one on the right) and one directly behind you.


2. Check your angle.

Are you using a web cam clipped to the top of your monitor? Chances are it’s not capturing you from the best perspective. If it’s angled down too much, you’ll put your fellow meeting-goers in the position of towering over you.

If you’re using the built in camera on your laptop, it may be too low--and looking up your nose. Adjust the height of the chair you sit in, or a good quick fix is to put hardcover books under your laptop until the angle is right. You want the camera to capture the triangle of your forehead to your left shoulder and right shoulder in the frame. A diagram here would be great!


3. Look presentable.

Even if only your face and shoulders are in the frame, you never know if you’ll need to stand up for some reason. It’s always best to be prepared! So look decent from head to toe. Wear flattering, solid colors near your face, just like television news anchors do. Make sure you’re sitting in a comfortable position so you aren’t moving and fidgeting throughout the call and distracting from the meeting. And, please, no pajama bottoms.


4. Look behind you.

Don’t forget that the people on the other end of the call have a “fish bowl” view into your environment. Junk and clutter is not only distracting, but it’s also unprofessional. Think of your workspace as an extension of yourself, how would you want to be perceived? Clean walls are best, but if you do have photos/posters in the background, make sure it’s something you wouldn’t be uncomfortable with your boss looking at. The best rule of thumb? If you wouldn’t want it in a live meeting, you shouldn’t have it in a video conference! If possible, a poster with the company logo is ideal. Would be cool to collage a few good examples. Think of folks who brand their backgrounds and ask them for a photo or screenshot them during a video call.


5. Minimize distractions.

If you’re working in an environment with other people around, creating an “On Air” sign for your office door when you’re live can help keep other people from walking in. A barking dog or a cat running through the background can be a big distraction, so it’s best to keep them out of room. If you’re working in a public area like a coffee shop, it’s best to work with your back to a wall so you don’t have “extras” walking through the background while you’re on a call.


6. Be prepared.

Video is closer to a face-to-face meeting than it is to a conference call, yet most people treat it like a conference call. Looking at your notes or squinting at your computer screen is just as distracting as if you were reading your meeting notes in front of someone face-to-face. Know your main talking points and look up, eye contact is important to show you’re listening and engaging with others in the meeting. It might feel awkward at first to stare directly into the camera eye, but alternating between this and focusing on the speaker as they talk is important to show you’re engaged.


And last but not least, be sure to turn your video camera on and preview your view BEFORE starting a meeting! Give yourself a couple extra minutes before each meeting for a test run in case you need to adjust things like lighting, the height of your computer, move anything out of the background that might be distracting, etc. Following these simple tips will set you up for a much more professional and productive meeting!


What other rules do you follow when on a video call? Have any quick tips? Comment below!


Referenced from: Fast Company



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