Right now, top of mind is focusing on how our new solutions can help me and my team to continue to drive growth across my regions.
Our new solutions firmly put us back in the ‘market leader’ position in the UC space. We have talked for a while now about what the Workplace of the Future will look like and the significant changes that need to happen to make this a reality. We now have a full portfolio of solutions that can address most customers’ requirements regardless of business size or requirement, ones that talk to our customer base in a very different way.
It was great to see so many of our loyal customers and channel partners at our launch event in London last week. The feedback so far has been fantastic, and our partners and sales teams are excited and energised, with the interest and desire to take these solutions to the end user.
So, how do we take these solutions to new and existing customers and broadcast our message efficiently and effectively?
First and foremost, we need to educate our channel partners. So this week in the UK, we kicked off with our European Tech Summit, which provides all attendees with the opportunity to gain in-depth hands on experiences with the new solutions. This will be followed by a UK partner day taking place towards the end of October, where we educate the partners’ sales teams. In addition, our UK channel team are out on the road talking to our partners and distributors to continue to bang that drum. So in summary, we have an effective training programme in place for our partners, and a solid marketing and PR programme to help us promote our new solutions.
What are you seeing in the UK market?
There are the signs of growth again with the new government in place, and Q3 saw budgets being released again. We are seeing businesses investing again in technology, and high on their agendas is how they can make their workplace a better environment for employees and customers to communicate and collaborate together.
In the last six months we have seen competitors unveil their own new product portfolios which has, I’ll be honest, challenged us. Of course, business wouldn’t be business without a little healthy competition!
So, having unveiled our own set of new solutions, we are starting to see a real shift in what customers are looking for. The interest of room systems has wavered over the last couple of years, and now I believe we will start to see room or ‘huddle’ systems become more popular again, with the introduction of centre of the room solutions like Trio and Centro.
The market was more than ready for a different approach; allowing users to keep their investment in what they already have, but they are now also able to explore and deliver new and enhanced meeting rooms to allow their employees to interact in a much better way than they have done before.
How are you capitalising on these trends?
I believe our new solutions will open doors that weren’t previously opening to us due to our portfolio – now with a breath of solutions available, we have a very real opportunity for us right there.
Vertical sectors continue to be a focus for us. We already enjoy success in sectors such as healthcare and education, but equally we have a great opportunity in other sectors such as finance, with solutions like Trio and Debut, enabling customers to quickly and easily speak to a customer services specialist via video who is perhaps no longer based in a branch.
In summary, this is going to be a very exciting quarter for us as we take our new solutions to the market. The proof - of course though - is in the pudding and everyone likes pudding!
Special Guest Blog for Jeremy Keefe, ASVP UK&I and Benelux
With the 2015 Rugby World Cup kicking off, and hopes high for the home nations, many junior fans will be dreaming of the day they represent their country’s 15’s. The dedication needed to make it as a professional sports person is learnt at a young age. And it’s not just the youth players who have to put the hours in, it’s their families too.
Oxford Harlequins Minis and Juniors Rugby Club produces national champions at all ages. This is partly a result of the natural talent of the youngsters, but also an indication of the commitment of the coaches, administrators and club officials who give up their time to train the players, organise fixtures and manage the finances of the institution.
The management team of the club is made up of volunteers, parents and ex-players, all of whom have to find the time to meet regularly to discuss everything from match dates to sponsorships, facilities management to training methods. For these busy professionals, it can be hard to find the time. “As you can imagine, it takes a lot of organisation. With forty coaches and ten of us on the committee, getting us all together to talk at any one time is actually quite difficult,” says Jonathan Valentine, Chairman of the Oxford Harlequins youth teams (minis and juniors).
That’s where Polycom comes in. Not only do Polycom UK sponsor the boys’ and girls’ shirts, they make it possible for the management team to come together regularly through the Polycom RealPresence WebSuite video collaboration solution, provided by Imago VaaS-t. The management team can hold regular video meetings without the need for expensive hardware, simply joining the video call via a web link. This means more regular discussions and better results as a team.
“Meeting over video has enabled us to be more efficient and productive, and to get a lot more cross-fertilisation of ideas between the coaches,” says Gavin Allinson, Club Coaching Coordinator. “One of the areas where we are hoping to utilise video conferencing in the future is to bring in some outside coaches with particular expertise to come in and deliver online training sessions for us.”