Polycom CX5100 and CX5500 Unified Conference Stations
The Polycom CX5100 and CX5500 Unified Conference Stations have a new software release with V1.3.0 as of March 2017. The new features are:
– Added video panorama support to supported Mac OS X clients running Skype for Business on Mac
– Updated UI on the CX5500 to match VVX series
– Caller details and optimized dial pad added to CX5500 interface
– Export configuration details or Wireshark trace data to USB Flash Drive
Updates are easy to do from a USB flash drive. Check out Jeff Schertz blog for an excellent article on how to do CX5100 and CX5500 firmware updates if you need a refresher. Pick up software and the release notes on support.polycom.com.
Polycom CX300 R2 USB Phone
No updates here, but it is important to mention that the Polycom CX300 R2 USB phone continues to be manufactured and sold. As a USB device, it does not utilize the Lync Phone Edition (LPE) client. The dependency on LPE was one of the reasons behind our announcing the End of Sale (EOS) on CX500 and CX600. In fact, the CX300 R2 USB phone continues to be a popular phone choice for many customers. As a plug and play phone device, it offers Skype for Business client users an alternative to only using a headset. Numbers are easy to dial from the built-in keypad. Use it as a speakerphone, pick up the handset or plug an RJ-9 headset into the headset jack in the back of the phone. Say goodbye to “headset fatigue”. The CX300 R2 USB phone also makes a great 2nd phone for the home office for those early morning or evening calls and is popular phone choice for full time telecommuters.
Since the Polycom VVX phones (Skype for Business Edition) are now your “go to” phones for the desktop and Polycom RealPresence Trio is the recommended Skype for Business conference phone, we’ll no longer be editing and updating the CX Series Reference Guide. Instead, use the datasheets for the CX300 R2 USB Phone, the CX5100 Unified Conference Station and the CX5500 Unified Conference Station when these solutions come into play. These unique and “only from Polycom” solutions continue to be an important part of your Skype for Business and Office 365 Cloud PBX solution portfolio.
Expand Your Video Portfolio with…. Telepresence???
Yes, I know. You read that headline and thought for a second that you were teleported back to 2007. Using telepresence to expand your sales opportunities? But before you chuckle and move on, there are some current market realities you should be aware of:
As a Polycom partner, the new RealPresence Immersive Studio Flex is the ideal entry point, even if you’ve never actively sold telepresence before. Reasons for this include:
Enable your sales team to sell Immersive Telepresence, apply for RealPresence Immersive Certification, add a great solution to your portfolio and offer your customers more choice than ever.
Lots of sales tools and materials to help you sell are available on the RealPresence Immersive Studio Flex page on PartnerConnect, and check out this video for a quick glimpse of it in action.
There were some notable “Polycom Ready” solutions introduced in 2016. Let’s review them and see where there are opportunities for channel partners to expand their business, better serve their customer needs, and increase revenue.
Many of you who attended Team Polycom in 2016 and traveled through the Expo hall saw some solutions from LiteScape. The Secure Personal Authentication Reader (SPAR)™ offers multi-factor secure identification with a sidecar device that sits next to the Polycom VVX phone
Partner Benefit – Voice channel partners can compete in customer opportunities where more than a simple pin code is needed to secure phone access (US Govt).
Array Telepresence solves the “bowling alley effect” to deliver an Immersive Telepresence view of room participants when you add their unique camera to a Polycom Group Series.
Partner Benefit – Video solutions integrators can expand their “immersive experience” portfolios. While not a life-size and truly immersive room solution like Polycom RealPresence Immersive Studio, Array Telepresence’s Equal-i Technology enables immersive telepresence in standard conference rooms.
Deltapath, our 2015 Technology Partner Innovation Award Grand Prize Winner, fine-tuned an all-in-one platform offering in 2016 to introduce Deltapath® Connector™--a comprehensive gateway for Polycom® RealPresence Trio™ and more. Deltapath Connector is designed with a simplified approach that includes a firewall, Session Border Controller, audio conferencing bridge, SIP proxy, call routing engine, and endpoint-provisioning server all in a single device.
Partner Benefit – Video solutions integrators now have an all-in-one edge gateway server to expand Polycom video solutions like Polycom RealPresence Trio and Polycom Group Series into SMB accounts running Cisco and Avaya PBX’s. Voice channels looking to expand their portfolios into video offerings may find Deltapath is solution partner worth exploring to get started with new video revenue.
Just about everyone in an open office environment wants to have a headset attached to their VVX phone. For Axtel, Polycom’s newest Headsets partner—sound quality, reliability and maximum comfort are the main features of a perfectly designed headset.
Partner Benefit – Add professional headsets to your solution sale. And don’t forget, with Polycom financing you can finance the phones and the headsets.
Service providers will love this solution. Imagine how many hours of valuable Engineering time that you will save when you automate test validation of your solutions in your lab and at your customer sites.
Partner Benefit – You can automate remote feature testing of your Polycom endpoints in enterprise and service provider customer deployments, including monitoring and diagnostics reports of test results. Testing can be scheduled or executed on demand to ensure consistent high quality operation of your communications solution.
Partner tip #1
Don’t forget—you can search the Technology Partner Solution Showcase if you aren’t finding the exact solution you are looking for with a search on Polycom.com. Here’s how:
Want to find all the headsets tested as “Polycom Ready” with Polycom VVX phones? Try the same search with “headsets”.
Partner tip #2
Do you want to see the new Technology Partner Solutions as they become “Polycom Ready”?
23,645 steps counted, 19 coffees consumed and with a brain that has hit its maximum capacity with giga bits of new data, I think I need some cloud storage of my own to manage this influx of ideas. Welcome to Microsoft WPC 2016!
Day one kicked off with the opening keynote from Satya Nadella. He explained the vision, the future and the simplicity of the transformational journey that we are about to embark on with the launch of Office 365 and which is something that every organisation needs. Nadella said, “Every business is a digital business and their digital transformation journey starts now. The question to ask is how do we as a vendor or you as a partner develop and deploy key applications to support this journey? Clients aren’t interested in hardware they need solutions for their business workflows. We need to create, build and reinvent our solutions to support their digital transformation.”
As a long-standing partner of Microsoft, Polycom has done just that in the recent past – we launched Polycom® RealPresence Clariti™. It is our new collaboration infrastructure software which delivers Polycom’s powerful HD voice, content, video and web collaboration to businesses of any size. Deployable on-premises, in a private hosted cloud or through a partner-hosted service, the RealPresence Clariti solution allows customers, including small and mid-sized businesses, to connect and experience the power of enterprise-grade visual collaboration. The solution has already seen great success as it provides the open standards-based interoperability with the rest of the Unified Communications industry and compatibility with Skype for Business platform. Unified Communications-as-a-service (UCaaS) has evolved and is empowering the partner community to add real value to their customers’ digital transformation.
The atmosphere here at WPC 2016 is simply amazing! It’s great to see the existing and potential partners, who otherwise compete on a daily basis, arriving at an event and brainstorming what the industry really needs to innovate further. I’ve managed to catch up with old friends, added lots of new contacts to my list and extended my professional network many folds.
Here are the main highlights for Polycom partners from this year’s show (so far!):
So to close off, Microsoft collaboration is in full force here at WPC 2016 and we would very much like to meet you if you are around. We invite you to be a Polycom partner so you can start your journey to become the trusted advisor to your clients. Please get in touch with our channel management team or leave a comment here so we can be in touch. If you succeed, we succeed – we can help you further your Unified Collaboration business.
Follow me on Twitter @timbritt1
And we're off – I’ve departed the UK shores, reached 38,000 feet at 521 mph, and the nibbles trolley on the plane is my friend en route. I’ve still got 8 hours to gather my thoughts and prepare for what I’m sure will be an amazing and educating four days of representing Polycom at the Microsoft World Wide Partner Conference 2016 in Toronto, booth 643.
Unified Communications is changing rapidly – what was once considered as a black art only a few could pull off has now become a fundamental business process requirement that is mission critical to a large number organisations. You can call it, The Digital Era, Internet of Things or Workplace Transformation; whatever the buzz word of the day might be, the concept is still the same – we need to work more effectively to improve decision-making process and create a culture of encouraging ideas from all levels of the business.
I’ve been with Polycom for 5 years now and in that short time Unified Communications has evolved from being a driver solely adopted to reduce travel costs to become a catalyst for revolutionising business productivity. The technology industry is moving at a much faster pace than before and it is a known fact that a digital enterprise is a more successful enterprise, but the real question is how do we embrace the changeover without having to face many repercussions.
For Polycom, partners are key to our go-to-market strategy and we need to make sure we are fully aligned with each other, and driving UC innovation jointly. "The successful partner of 2020 will look entirely different from the successful partner of 2010," said Darren Bibby, vice president, Channels and Alliances research, IDC. That is a bold statement but I do agree you need to evolve and be ahead of your competition.
So my first thought is to help our partners learn what does success look like for them in this joint journey? With years of experience in the bag, Polycom can help shape the business relevance and offer a service that your customers want and require. The table (on the left) demonstrates some of the core areas we can help you develop to become a successful partner. It’s not rocket science – the course is simple so why not make a change and join the journey. As a vendor we believe in ‘selling with you’ rather than ‘selling to you’ so that we can deliver the most effective solution to the customers.
At the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference 2016, I am not only looking to educate the partners about our existing approach but also looking forward to identify new ways of extending our approach. The next few days present the opportunity to dwell deeper and network with the new peers and partners. So stay tuned for my updates to keep abreast with Polycom and remember to visit Polycom at booth 643.
Follow me on Twitter @timbritt1
The Polycom team will be at Microsoft’s annual Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC) July 10-14 in Toronto, Canada. We’ll be demonstrating the strong partnership between Polycom and Microsoft through solution interoperability with Office 365 and Skype for Business.
Solutions Demonstrations will include:
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 >>
Meet one-on-one with a member of our Polycom Partner team to explore partnership opportunities >>
What is a Deltapath Trio Connector?
Deltapath Trio Connector™ is a mini platform designed for Polycom RealPresence Trio that empowers mobile conferencing, mobile collaboration, audio conferencing.
Who needs this product?
Polycom customers who are interested in RealPresence Trio.
Unleash the full potential of Polycom RealPresence Trio
Share your idea: Walk into a huddle room, push a Presentation from your iPad or use it as a whiteboard projected to the TV.
UCS 5.5 is now available and includes exciting new features for Open SIP Customers
Polycom UCS 5.5 is the telecommunications industry’s broadest and most feature rich software for IP-enabled devices. It enables our partners and customers to manage their communications easily and efficiently all via their Polycom desktop phones. UC Software allows them to make their calls see if their contacts are available, send Instant Messages and push content with ease and efficiency.
NEW! The latest release UCS 5.5 launched now and includes a number of BroadSoft features such as BroadSoft Executive – Assistant, BroadSoft Flexible Seating, IPv6 Support just to name a few all enabling them to further enhance their communications experience with optional features and benefits.
If you have enjoyed this preview of the new UCS 5.5 capabilities and would like to read more details on the large number of new features please read the entire UCS Features Summary or visit us on the Polycom voice page! You can also download the software now.
Polycom UC Software is built on open standards, UCS is proven interoperable with most of the industry's standard platforms and devices. It also includes features specifically designed for business and enterprise users. Upgrade now!
Our Polycom VVX D60 will begin shipping mid-April. Building on Polycom’s market-leading voice solutions the VVX D60 offers:
The VVX D60 Wireless Handset offers the convenience of a cordless on premise mobility solution as a simple phone accessory. The VVX D60 Wireless Handset is designed for a range of user needs and environments. Wireless connections and features like conferencing and directory access help users stay productive, even when they move throughout the building or by the loading dock. Exceptional voice quality helps ensure employees communicate clearly and efficiently from virtually any location.
Documentation and SW is will be available on the Support site on April 1st. The release is adding support for the VVX D60 is available in the UC 5.4.3 Software release.
Guest Blog: Chris Wortt, EMEA Director of Sales - IP Telephony
The telephony market is evolving fast. In the past three years we’ve seen many of the smaller cloud telephony service providers (SPs) either acquired or drop out of the market, leaving us with fewer competitors. However, this doesn’t mean less competition.
The cloud or hosted telephony market seems to have homogenised itself around two sales offers; cost and the scale and reliability of networks. What this means from a customer point of view, is that there is often no clear differentiator between service providers. The most innovative SPs are looking beyond this status quo to offer services over and above basic hosted telephony. Like all industries, hosted telephony is looking at a case of innovate or die. In this context, it’s about looking at the changing purchasing habits of people and applying it in a telephony context.
Most of us have a smartphone. To buy a high-end smartphone handset as a sim-free device can cost anything up to £700, but the customer doesn’t feel the pain of that cost because they often sign up to a contract. Instead of purchasing a product (the hardware) they purchase a service (mobile connectivity). After six to twelve months of paying their monthly contract, the product moves from an ROI phase into ROA (Return on Asset) for the provider. From that point forward, as long as they maintain a reliable service, the provider can begin to upsell additional services. This can include anything from additional data to complimentary services such as Spotify, at a price that encourages brand loyalty. Of course, for consumer mobile contracts this is fairly simple; whilst it can get more complicated in a business telephony context, the principals stay the same. If you can find the value-add that is compelling enough for the customer to add to their services package, then you can shift from ROI to ROA and drive real value to your business.
The challenge for a B2B operator is that when selling hosted or cloud-based voice solutions with desktop VoIP handsets, you are essentially selling dial tone. The end users at your customers want a connection. The upsell often occurs once you’ve won the account. After the customer has invested in the solution, you can start to introduce extended services that integrate with their current package such as Unified Communications, instant messaging, presence, Outlook calendar and scheduling integration.
In fact, the demand for those additional services can be generated from within the customer, from their own end-users. Once users become accustomed to VoIP or UC, they’ll start to look to multipoint collaboration. Users will want to introduce content, which will demand a larger screen and drive them into a meeting room environment. It’s a natural evolution which can be supported from the SPs’ side to develop a strong business-case for the customer to invest an incremental additional amount to extract more value from their service. From the SPs’ point of view, if you can charge £10 a month for a desktop service for one seat, you can potentially charge up to £100 a month for a conferencing room with ten seats, with relatively little additional investment on your part. So how can you convince the customer?
A great start for presenting a solid argument is to make use of modern analytics to mine your data to make better decisions. Monitoring and understanding your customers and their users is useful in two ways. Firstly, you can begin building profiles of your customer base in order to better sell to them. But secondly, and this is where the real value lies, you can build profiles of your customers’ end users in order to deliver a better service. Show the client that they could redistribute their resources by downscaling in one location and upscaling in another for no additional cost. This would allow their end users in their call centres to answer more enquiries and be the foundation for a long-term relationship based on the trust built through honest recommendations. In this way, monthly usage reports of the services you provide can be a popular upsell for customers, especially when marketed at a reasonable ratio of cost per seat versus utilisation increase.
As much as the market is changing, it’s not stopping anytime soon. In the near future, we predict SP’s will no longer be able to charge for the connection alone. The value of a connection has waned as the value of content has grown. Think back to when you were charged 50p a minute to make a mobile phone call. Now providers give away hundreds of minutes and unlimited free texts, but they charge dearly for data. Business to consumer connectivity will ultimately become free. But in a business context, content alone won’t be enough. They’ll require meaningful information about usage levels, potential cost savings and optimisation options. Analytics will provide all of this and help them manage their estates better.
The analytics and support will be even more important given the move towards hosted and hybrid services. Customers no longer want to be responsible for their telephony solutions. From adding and reassigning seats to ongoing maintenance costs, they know there are savings to be made by reducing downtime and internal management. For example, one pharmaceuticals company with 14,000 seats achieved the significant cost savings and business benefits over a three year period by using Polycom telephony devices in a Hosted UC solution. They recorded:
That’s a total cost savings and benefits of $15M. This potential overhead reduction is too significant a value for organisations to ignore, especially if their competitors are experiencing these savings and able to invest more in other profit-generating areas of the business. It’s not just the enterprise that can benefit though; according to UniVoIP an SMB of 10 seats can save 51% in costs over three years with a hosted solution versus an on premise PBX or an average of $11,000 per organisation in total.
In order to take advantage of all these growth areas within the SPs’ environment, the vendors need to focus on one key thing; quality of service. Think about your favourite shop, I bet you have a loyalty card. You probably chose to spend slightly more to purchase from your preferred outlet because of the rewards they offer, the quality of service or the offers they tailor to you. It’s the same in the SP’s environment, if you can provide a consistent quality of service, provide offers based on meaningful data and great rewards for your customers in terms of cost savings or ROI, then they will begin to purchase more and more from you.
SP’s are actually extremely well positioned to sell in complex, high value, high return environments. Most organisations don’t go from zero to sixty, meaning they don’t go from non-existent enterprise telephony to a Unified Communications and Collaboration environment in one single purchase. They start with a cloud-based service of some description, and as long as they feel the benefit and have a good user experience, then they will start to add to their environment; feature by feature, benefit by benefit. This means you can move away from selling on cost and sell on value. It’s about truly embracing service and only viewing a product as part of the entire offering. If SPs’ aren’t already planning to do this, they need to seriously consider how they are going to differentiate their offering to build brand loyalty and succeed in this rapidly changing market.
What is on your hit list for 2016?
My top priority for 2016 is, as always, driving profitable growth through nurturing our existing customers and implementing the strategy we call ‘net new’. Net new for us means new customers, channels and incremental channels, products and services to help us to continue to grow and expand our business. Continuously engaging with our existing customers to understand their business objectives and requirements is an absolute priority for me and the team. This is where we win — when we fundamentally understand what they need and how we can help them, to support their journey of growth and expansion.
Our new solutions will provide us with great opportunities this year. The depth of our portfolio makes us even more compelling to potential and existing customers; we are able to offer a breadth of solutions, regardless of business size, sector or budget. This enables us to grow opportunities for our channel partners too.
Of course, it goes without saying that the other opportunity we have is our partnership with Microsoft; our relationship is at its strongest and remains a critical part of our strategy in EMEA. It’s a key differentiator for us in attracting new customers and expanding our partner base, hence our continued development of solutions for this market, such as being the first to market with our Polycom® VVX® Business Media Phones voice solutions for Microsoft’s new Office 365 PBX.
What are you seeing in the UK&I market, and how are you capitalising on these opportunities?
The UK&I continues to grow with the new government in place and in Q4 the budgets announcement meant businesses started investing in technology again. High on the agenda is how they can make the workplace a better environment for employees and customers to communicate and collaborate together.
We are now starting to see an overwhelming response to room or ‘huddle’ systems, they are becoming popular again and with the introduction of solutions like Polycom® RealPresence Trio™, RealPresence Debut™ and RealPresence Medialign™ we can cater to this demand.
What are you seeing in the Benelux market, and how are you capitalising on these opportunities?
There is a big appetite for flexible and mobile working in the Benelux and video-as-a-service is becoming more widely used. Customers are looking for easy to install "room-based" videoconferencing solutions, so we expect our solutions, as mentioned above, will support customers and enable seamless, collaborative working from any workspace.
We also have an established relationship with The Social Enterprise Society Platform, which is made up of Dutch UC companies that are aiming to help businesses in The Netherlands use Skype for Business more effectively. This means we can continue to be a part of the Microsoft ecosystem, creating great momentum for Polycom and our solutions can continue to support the workplace of the future.
Skype for Business is driving enterprise value and is in high demand, subsequently driving the demand for enterprise-grade hardware solutions. The seamless integration that we offer with Microsoft Skype for Business and Office365 makes Polycom the clear choice.
I can safely say that in the UK&I and the Benelux, the workplace of the future is already here. Video collaboration is becoming more and more pervasive, people in coffee shops on video conferences, people on trains, airports…the list is endless. This was unimaginable three years ago and brings many opportunities for Polycom. 2016 is all about growth so we can continue to build the workplace of the future.
Wow. What a week. I can safely say that TEAM Polycom 2016 blew all expectations out of the water. It was a fantastic three days of learning and training. I have so many positive thoughts and feedback from the event hence putting pen to paper and sharing with you all.
One of the first things that struck me was the excitement and energy from all of the speakers and the 1,500 partners, sales team and analysts in attendance. We pretty much had a full house at every presentation and the expo hall was buzzing with everyone trying out our new solutions.
It was great to have the opportunity to catch up with the sales teams and partners and discuss in detail our plans for 2016. I would like to take the opportunity to thank our partners for their continued support and dedication and to congratulate those that won a Circle of Excellence Award.
The keynotes were fantastic and met with very positive feedback from our partners who have said we ‘have our swagger back’ and that we ‘killed it’ with our new portfolio of solutions. The strength of our partnership with Microsoft and the benefit that our joint solutions can bring to the customer and to the market were at the forefront of several sessions. As I have mentioned to you before, our relationship is at its strongest and remains a critical part of our strategy in EMEA. We have such a deep integration with them; we are starting to see our competitors trying to do similar things. We need to continue to preserve our customers’ experiences with solutions like Polycom® RealPresence Clariti™ and Polycom® RealConnect™.
The innovation keynote was simply astounding. It felt like Michael Frendo and Ashan Willy received more applause than President Obama during his State of the Union speech! The atmosphere was amazing. Following a recap of the great innovation we have bought to the market over the last year, Michael and Ashan introduced Polycom® RealPresence Clariti™. We have a fantastic opportunity with RealPresence Clariti™ – enabling us to target small and medium sized businesses with this easy to use solution, as well as including Cloud Burst capability, an industry first.
I have been waxing lyrical about value selling and listening to our customers. This is one of the key messages that was focused on during each of the presentations, with a customer example from SAP. We need to constantly engage with our existing customers to understand their business objectives and requirements. This is where we win — when we fundamentally understand what they need and how we can help them.
We have many opportunities in front of us to enable us to Change the Game in 2016. Our new solutions, our strong relationship with Microsoft and our continued investment in innovation to name a few, so let’s get started!
We have been planning TEAM Polycom for months now, and after a lot of hard work we’re excited to see it all come to life. This year, we’ll be changing the game for our business, industry and customers, bringing the workplace of the future to life.
TEAM Polycom allows us to set the stage for our partners and sales teams, setting them up for success in the year to come. This year, we chose Nashville because as the home of all genres of music, this city is a leader in the industry. They have changed the game for music, and this year we plan to change the game for business big and small.
Thank you to everyone who helped us plan or will be in attendance at TEAM Polycom. See you there!
Nashville has recently been named one of the top ten cities for travel by Lonely Planet, and is ranked number one in the United States for international travel by TripAdvisor.com. As the home of such attractions as the Grand Ole Opry and the Ryman Auditorium and the former home of stars like Elvis Presley, Etta Jones and Jimi Hendrix, Nashville has something for everyone.
Known as the Music City, many of its attractions and most famous residents are centered on the music industry. But there is more to this city than just music; it has a rich history and holds many secrets.
Looking for something to do in Nashville in your down time before and after TEAM Polycom events? Here are some of the biggest attractions in Nashville:
Visit http://www.visitmusiccity.com/ for more information on the Music City.
Have fun on your visit to Nashville! We’ll see you there.
Guest Blog by Chris Wortt, Director of Sales, IP Telephony, EMEA and Charlie James, Alliance Director, EMEA
Time waits for no man, and that includes IT and communications managers. Let’s face it; your PBX stack is starting to look out of place in your workplace of the future. Private Branch Exchange just doesn’t have the same ring to it as ‘cloud-based collaboration’. So here’s five very good reasons why you should think about moving from analogue to IP.
Did you know that some of the largest phone networks in the US and Western Europe are planning to turn off their analogue services from 2018? That means all those PBX stacks will start to be cut off too. We need to seriously start thinking about replacing those analogue lines with SIP trunks/IP circuits before it’s too late. With some PTT’s planning to switch off their analogue/PSTN service in a little less than three years, many analogue PBX vendors have also followed suit and announced end-of-life for their PBX systems. It’s time to think about how you are going to maintain mission critical communications post-PBX.
2. As-a-Service, as you please
It is clear that Skype for Business has changed the game in the UC and PBX industry with Skype for Business having a great deal more telephony capability in it than Lync 2010. Companies using Skype for Business can, potentially, run all of their communications and telephony on one platform. Simplicity is key in the modern IT environment. Many companies already use some elements of the Microsoft portfolio - whether its Outlook, Microsoft One Drive or Share Point – so being able to integrate, as well as stick to a familiar user interface is a big plus. Therefore, Skype for Business appeals to many businesses of varying sizes and not just the enterprise. With the ever increasing family of Microsoft hosters, the Skype for Business infrastructure can now be provided through the cloud and offered ‘as a service’. It’s bringing the entry point down and enabling SMBs to gain access to traditionally enterprise grade solutions
3. Skype for Business means business
We all know about the benefits of Skype for Business making telephony more than just phone calls. The pace of innovation is much more aggressive than traditional telephony with the cadence of software releases much higher for a Skype for Business enterprise environment. There are approximately three to four major releases a year plus continuous software updates. This is because Microsoft has approached the situation differently by building core telephony capability into its flagship UC offering as a business solution rather than a pure play telephony proposition.
4. Partner power
Microsoft associated partners are launching everything from call control centres to gateway solutions and survival branch appliances, all of which are building an ecosystem around Skype for Business, and an ecosystem around your telephony. Every vendor in partnership with Microsoft wants to provide a complimentary service to Skype for Business from which you can benefit. These vary from a dedicated bespoke on premise offering to simple, easy cloud solutions. This variation is creating huge opportunities for customers to have it their way.
5. UC it’s easy
The rebranding of Lync to Skype for Business means UC is easy, not just from an IT manager point of view, but from an end user perspective. That blue cloud is so familiar! Suddenly enterprise-grade security and features are wrapped in a consumer-esque interface that drives adoption of your deployment by your teams. You also get an enterprise grade solution than can be put into hosting environments and other cloud providers’ space, making this UC platform very accessible to organisations that couldn’t previously take advantage of more costly on-premise options. Microsoft recently announced their Q1 earnings showing 70% growth quarter-on-quarter of Office 365, demonstrating how strong this cloud market will be.
In addition, Microsoft has recently expanded their Preview Program for PSTN Conferencing Services via Skype for Business Online, allowing customers to preview Cloud PBX in Office 365 using their existing phone lines for inbound and outbound calling. That means modernising your telephony doesn’t have to all be a rip-and-replace nightmare. So what are you waiting for?
Are you ready to upgrade? Then follow our check-list for a headache-free switch from PBX to IP.
Captain “Sully” Sullenberger is set to take the stage as the special guest speaker at TEAM Polycom 2016.
Captain Sullenberger became internationally renowned on January 15, 2009 when he and his crew safely guided US Airways Flight 1549 to an emergency water landing in New York City’s Hudson River. Captain Sullenberger and his crew received international acclaim for their actions that day, including the passage of a Congressional resolution recognizing their bravery. Sullenberger was also featured in TIME's "Top 100 Most Influential Heroes and Icons of 2009” and was awarded the French Legion of Honor.
More about the Speaker
Polycom’s annual sales and partner conference will take place January 11-14 in Nashville, Tennessee the country music capital of the world!
Visit the TEAM Polycom 2016website for more details
More on Captain “Sully” Sullenberger
Each year Polycom honors top-performing partners from around the world through the Circle of Excellence Awards during TEAM Polycom, Polycom’s annual sales and partner conference.
Polycom recognizes partners that excel at incorporating value-added solutions and services which create lasting value for customers. These partners also demonstrate the highest level of expertise in implementing Polycom’s solutions, while delivering best-in-class performance and exceptional sales results.
In addition to recognizing top go-to-market partners, Polycom also honors our leading technology and alliance partners for demonstrating unique and innovative approaches to implementing customer applications that extend the value of the Polycom RealPresence Platform and software components.
Circle of Excellence nominations are reviewed by a panel of Polycom executives from around the world.
See the full listing of recent Circle of Excellence winners >>
Polycom will announce 2016 Circle of Excellence Honorees at TEAM Polycom 2016
Visit the TEAM Polycom 2016 website for more details
Check out this guest post from, Takeshi Ishimaru, Senor, Product Marketing Manager
Have you heard the news? New software 15.14.02 is now available for Polycom's CX8000 (with Crestron RL codec).
Polycom's CX8000 was custom built for Microsoft Lync 2013 environments. Over the years customers enjoyed a familiar Lync experience along with powerful collaboration features like PowerPoint annotation and white-boarding on touch displays.
However, in May 2015, Microsoft released Skype for Business Server 2015. They also updated the client user interface along with Office 365 online environment. Since then, customers have steadily upgraded their server environment to Skype for Business and they are quickly getting used to the new look and feel of the Skype for Business client.
The new CX 8000 software provides the Skype for Business branding and refreshed user interface. Why does this matter?
As the automatic update is turned off by default on the Crestron RL codec, the administrator of existing systems can change the setting to enable the automatic update or to manually update the system.
The latest software release provides a host of improvements and fixes. For more details check out the Microsoft KnowledgeBase for more details.
The Polycom CX8000 web page is being updated with new collateral to reflect the new Skype for Business branding this week.
Commercial Integrator (CI) is dedicated to professional integrators that serve the small and midsize business (SMB) market.
The magazine released its first annual Brand Preference survey. Polycom took the top spot for Video Conferencing and Telepresence Solutions!
The survey took the pulse of
a cross-section of integrators and experts in the installation space to get their feedback on the brands they rely on. Survey respondents chose from 25 categories and were also given the option to write in preferences.
Click here to view the full survey
AV Integrators in the Workplace of the Future
TEAM Polycom 2016 is “the” place to discover strategies to drive sales, expand into new markets, and extend customer loyalty.
The TEAM Polycom agenda is now available and focused on providing tangible ways to accelerate revenue growth in 2016 and beyond. The timing couldn't be better, according to COMPTIA's 5th Annual State of the Channel, the top macro trends in the channel are:
Remodeling for the Future:
More players across business functions have a say in technology investments.
The Customer is King:
This is true now more than ever, so the IT Channel has to evolve to the needs of existing as well as new SMB, mid-market and enterprise customers.
Business Transformation is Not an End Point:
Nearly 8 in10 U.S. channel firms say they have experienced some transformative activity to date. Many have added cloud services to their portfolio or pay-as‐you-go contracts. But according to COMPTIA,those steps are just the beginning.
There is an immediate need for skilled marketers to message, target and support new business development and sales to non‐IT line of business buyers.
Industry experts agree, it's time to Change The Game and Polycom is the vendor that will lead the IT channel in doing just that.
Join Polycom’s senior executive leaders and global sales team in Nashville, Tennesee to develop action plans to maximize and deliver growth in light of market trends.
Also noteworth, the EXPO at TEAM Polycom offers a rare opportunity to meet and network with key members of Polycom’s partner ecosystem. Attendees can engage and discuss ways to drive business outcomes and deliver ROI. The EXPO is a valuable forum to meet with these industry trailblazers.
Here is the list of TEAM Polycom 2016 Sponsors:
Microsoft, ScanSource, Sennheiser, SHURE, EPSON, Barco, Westcon, VXi Corporation, myVRM, Eceptionist, Broadsoft, DeltaPath, IBM, JIVE, Interactive Intelligence, GENBAND, BT, Lite Scape, Check Point and Jabra.
Visit the TEAM Polycom 2016 website for more details. Early registration rates end on November 20th, 2015.
COMPTIA's 5th Annual State of the Channel
Polycom’s historic launch took place recently and we took our newest solutions on the road to BroadSoft Connections.
We also launched the new Polycom VVX D60 Wireless Handset during the show to an audience of collaboration technology experts, telecommunication executives, solution providers and service providers from over 30 countries.
Here is a snapshot of what Polycom demonstrated during the show:
Unlike any other vendor partnership in the space Polycom and BroadSoft helps providers deliver the most reliable and easy-to-use unified voice and video collaboration solutions as a hosted service to SMB AND enterprise customers. Our partnership spans over 15 years and together we can help partners deliver complete UC service offerings to a wide range of customers including small to medium sized companies and businesses with limited IT staff.
So what’s next?
TEAM Polycom 2016; Polycom and BroadSoft will showcase our offerings geared to support the demands of the modern workplace to Polycom’s global ecosystem of partners. In the meantime, check out Polycom’s collaborative workspace solutions to innovate your core business.
Office 365 Cloud PBX: Handsets vs Headsets – You Decide
How Polycom is Transforming Workflow
NEW Whitepaper! Why the desktop phone isn't going away
What is top of mind for you right now?
When I think back to the last time I wrote a ‘Spotlight on the Benelux’ post, I can safely say a lot has changed. This is the reason I wanted to share an update with you all sooner rather than later and outline what’s important for us right now.
As I referenced in my last post, we have made several changes to the Benelux team and welcomed David Van den Berg as a Major Enterprise Accounts Sales Manager and Sebastiaan Hoogstadt as a Channel Sales Manager to the team at the beginning of September. Since they have been on board, both David and Sebastiaan have made a tremendous impact to the business and their enthusiasm and drive has reenergised the team.
In the last two months we took a bit of a step back to understand and address our challenges. One of our biggest priorities was to make sure the channel team works in tight cooperation with our High Touch team, ensuring regular communication and face to face visits with our customers and partners. We have received very positive feedback from our channel partners already, resulting in closer alignment with our priorities and generating leads, as well as more traction from end users.
David and the High Touch team are working closely with our customers to help them understand our position in the industry and how our breadth of voice and video solutions can support their UC&C requirements.
Sebastiaan is leading the charge, addressing the immediate needs of our channel partners. We are continuing to work closely with our valued distribution partners in the region to ensure we support our partners and use our resources effectively. As we continue to strengthen our channel team, we have also welcomed Tally Salzman as a new Channel Account Manager to the team in October.
What else is new in the Benelux?
We continue to invest in our relationship with Microsoft and have reengaged in our membership of The Social Enterprise Society Platform. The Platform is a group of Dutch UC related companies who are aiming to help businesses in The Netherlands effectively use Skype for Business. This allows us to remain a visible part of the Microsoft ecosystem, creating great momentum for Polycom and an opportunity for our new solutions, such as the Polycom® RealPresence Trio™. It is through this partnership that System Integrators are approaching us more and more. Skype for Business is clearly driving enterprise value and is in high demand, subsequently driving hardware demand. The direct integration that we offer with Microsoft and Office365 makes Polycom the clear choice.
Vertical sectors continue to be a focus for us. With our new portfolio of solutions that can address most customers’ requirements regardless of business size or requirement, a priority for us will be to enter C-level conversations; taking the product conversation to a business level. Already we can see a real appetite for our new solutions, including the Polycom Video as a Service which we look forward to bringing to the market this quarter.
With our new portfolio of solutions and a solid team in place, we can look forward to 2016 with a renewed focus, rigour and pace.
The Polycom® VVX D60 Wireless Handset buildings on Polycom’s market leading voice and desktop solutions. This scalable, cordless on-premise solution is ideal for small businesses, retail environments or administrative personnel that require the flexibility to be mobile throughout the workday.
The Polycom® VVX D60 Wireless Handset provides the user experience and interface that customers have come to expect of the Polycom UC solutions. The solution also provides seamless call management & advanced business communication features usually reserved for deskbound users. The VVX D60 is easy to install and manage.
The workplace of the future is here now. Workers need to be able to move around and remain fully connected no matter where they are. They need to be able to multi-task or collaborate on the go. The VVX D60 is the latest of Polycom’s game changing solutions that puts humans at the center of communication.
The new Polycom VVX D60 Wireless Handset along with Polycom comprehensive portfolio of collaboration solutions will be demonstrated at BroadSoft Connections, October 27-28 in Phoenix, Arizona.
The new VVX D60 can be pre-ordered and will begin shipping in December 2015.
Visit PartnerConnect for more details about this solution and special time sensitive promotions. Be sure to download Polycom's Desktop Phones Comparison Guide for details on Polycom’s innovative portfolio
Next week at BroadSoft Connections, Polycom will be demonstrating some of our latest game-changing solutions, including RealPresence Trio and a brand NEW solution being announced at BroadSoft Connections.
Visit us at booth E1 where we will be raffling off three Polycom Real Presence Trios. See any booth staff to be entered into the drawing for a chance to win!
Learn more about our presence at the event >>
Learn more about Polycom’s speakership at BroadSoft Connections >>
Polycom will be hosting a speaker session at BroadSoft Connections 2015. Join us Monday, October 28, during lunch at 11:45 a.m PST. to hear from Polycom’s Patrick Ferriter, VP of Solutions Management Leadership.
Patrick will be discussing the workplace of the future; the changing needs of buyers, influencers and customers as new generations enter the workforce. Patrick will also share some of Polycom’s visions for the workplace of the future and our latest solutions announcements.
Visit us at Booth E1
Polycom’s many solutions offer a look into the workplace of the future, bringing increased freedom and mobility, workflow integration, ease-of-use and more to workers everywhere in companies of all sizes.
Visit our experts in booth E1 for and exclusive demo of Polycom’s best-in-class business phone solutions, including our just announced Polycom RealPresence Trio, our VVX line of business media phones, Polycom’s revolutionary Acoustic Fence technology, and a NEW solution being announced during BroadSoft Connections.
We look forward to seeing you at BroadSoft Connections!
What is top of mind for you right now?
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!
Unified communication vendors, collaboration technology experts, telecommunication executives, solution providers and service providers from over 30 countries will convene in Phoenix, Arizona Oct 25-28 for BroadSoft Connections 2015. Attendees and sponsors alike are laser focused on finding ways to grow share in the lucrative unified communications market.
Polycom’s partnership with BroadSoft spans over 15 years, together we help solution providers and service providers deliver complete UC service offerings to a wide range of customers including small to medium sized companies and businesses with limited IT staff. Recently, Polycom marked its 25 anniversary by launching game changing solutions that will transform collaboration experiences. Polycom® RealPresence Trio™ the first smart hub for group collaboration will be showcased at BroadSoft Connections. This innovative solution transforms the iconic three-point conference phone into a voice, content sharing and video system.
Polycom’s VVX Portfolio will also be on display at BroadSoft Connections:
Polycom will demonstrate:
BroadSoft Connections attendees should stop by Booth E1 to see Polycom innovations that are taking the UC market by storm and powering the workplace of the future.
How Polycom is Transforming Workflow
The Modern Workplace: A CIO’s Challenge & Opportunity
The Many Faces of User Experience
NEW Whitepaper! Why the desktop phone isn't going away
Why Sell Telephone Paging? How to position VVX Group Paging and Push to Talk?
Just when you thought RealPresence Media Suite was a great solution, it just got better. With the release of Media Suite 2.1, Polycom’s easy-to-use recording, streaming and content management solution has added an impressive array of new Pro features and Premium options. In addition, a new entry level offering is available providing the same great ‘all-in-one’ solution with the right combination of scale, features and value for smaller organizations.
With the new Media Suite Pro and Premium options, a new level of control, analytical, and reporting tools are available at a user’s fingertips to enhance their experience and workflows. Here’s a brief look at these cool new features.
All these features and more are available now for customers to expand the possibilities with RealPresence Media Suite. For more information, be sure to check out the following links:
Industry experts agree that the IT channel must anticipate, evolve, and take action to satisfy the needs of the modern workplace. While this is logical in theory, it is challenging in light of today's competitive environment. There is no sure path to success. Next week, several CIO’s, CTO’s and IT executives will head to Orlando for Gartner Symposium/ITXPO. Several progressive minded IT channel executives are set to join them as well. This year the agenda is categorized under six tracks tied to what Gartner refers to as high-impact initiatives. These issues are at the forefront of many of the trends within the IT channel. Here is a summary of the tracks:
The program aims to provide a holistic view of both the challenges and changes required to service and succeed in the modern enterprise. There is also a vertical and industry focus given the rate of change taking place in the marketplace. According to Gartner's 2015 Digital Business Survey, 32 percent of leaders at organizations with $250 million or more in annual revenue said they have a digital business. Also noteworthy, the top priority for digital business front-runners is adopting new technology (70 percent), followed by creating a highly collaborative environment (56 percent) and supporting customer-driven technology changes (53 percent).
These findings reinforce the importance of investing in the right partnerships, people, and competency development. This approach guides Polycom’s channel strategy and enablement program for partners. Greg Pelton, Polycom’s Vice President, Architecture and Advanced Technology, VSG Engineering Management, will be leading The Workplace of the Future Starts Now session in Theater C, Pacific Hall, Walt Disney World Dolphin Resort on Thursday, Oct. 8, 11 a.m. - 11:20 a.m. ET. This session will provide great commentary on industry wide trends.
Also noteworthy, Polycom experts will be onsite and ready to connect with Gartner Symposium ITXPO attendees during the opening reception on Oct. 5, from 5:30 - 7:30 p.m. ET. They will also be available to meet with attendees to discuss trends shaping the industry throughout the day on Oct. 6 and 7, from 12 - 7:15 p.m. ET, and on Oct. 8 from 10:45 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. ET in Booth 727. Stop by Polycom’s booth to take a deep dive on the big issues facing the IT channel, for interactive demonstrations, and a special announcement on Oct. 7 at 4:30 p.m. ET. Follow @Polycom on Twitter and the search the hashtag #GartnerSYM.
Win Bose® - SoundLink® Headphones at Gartner Symposium/ITxpo! Visit booth #727
The Modern Workplace: A CIO’s Challenge & Opportunity
Gartner Digital Workplace Summit: Trends & Transformation in the Workplace
Gartner Digital Business Survey
TEAM Polycom 2016 will take place January 12 – 14, at the spectacular Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center in the county music capital of the world, Nashville, Tennessee USA.
Now in its eighth year, TEAM Polycom continues to receive rave reviews from Polycom’s global network of partners. In fact, when polled, 98% of 2015 attendees said that attendance was a worthwhile investment. Attendees return each year to gain early exposure to Polycom’s strategy and innovation road-map, the ability to connect with thought leaders and countless opportunities to learn and adopt new go to market strategies.
And 2016 promises to be even more exciting. Polycom’s global sales team will be in attendance to provide attendees with even more valuable opportunities to set the stage for success in 2016 and beyond with Polycom Partners.
Check out the TEAM Polycom website and contact your Polycom channel representative for more details.