Polycom Has an Extreme Makeover with Wave of New Products
By Jim Lundy
I attended Polycom’s announcement this week in New York City at the Polycom facilities where they announced a wave of new products that will transform the workplace. These products and services are a reflection of a makeover started last year by CEO Peter Leav. This blog summarizes the new products and the beginning of a new Polycom. Reflecting on the collaboration market, we are definitely seeing a sea of change and a new era of opportunity.
The Collaborative Workplace of the Future
Polycom is focusing on experiences, simplicity, innovation, and a push toward a collaborative workplace of the future with devices and cloud. Their workplace-of-the-future concept combines workspace, experience, and workflow.
We believe the workplace of the future, while enabled by digital technology, goes beyond the limits of any one technology. It is a convergence of technologies, people, and processes, dynamically interwoven in a seamless dance that blends the personal and the professional.
Polycom’s New Offerings
Polycom’s new solutions are positioned to support people-centric collaboration, where technology meets people where and how they work. As we sat through demos of the new solutions, one thing was certain: You really have to experience it to truly understand what they do and what benefits they can bring. Also, new use cases will emerge as usage grows.
RealPresence Trio: Of all the products that were announced,RealPresence Trio, a next-generation conference phone that goes beyond its high quality HD voice capabilities. In essence it is a hub metaphor for visual group collaboration. Taking the familiar Polycom conference phone to a new modern design, supporting voice, video, and content sharing. The phone fits into team environments and supports small huddle to larger conference rooms and can be paired to any device.
At launch, there is integration across other UC platforms such as Broadsoft and Microsoft Lync and Skype for Business offerings. Aragon believes that Trio could serve as an App Platform for other services to integrate with it. The mix of high quality voice, video, and content sharing at an affordable price will fill a hole for those businesses who want to outfit huddle rooms cost effectively.
RealPresence Centro: RealPresence Centro maybe one of the more dynamic offerings for people-centric collaboration in an interactive room session. It supports a circle metaphor where people gather around a four-touch-screen design to brainstorm, create, and solve enterprise problems as a group. There is automatic active speaker tracking to bring responsiveness to virtual group interactions.
As with Trio, Centro supports pairing with any device. While there are not a lot of cables to configure here, we believe IT expertise will be needed for conference room and open space deployments from a support perspective.
RealPresence Debut: We believe RealPresence Debut is more of a consumer and down market play for smaller huddle or conference rooms with small and medium sized businesses in mind. It brings visual collaboration with voice and 1080p HD quality video. With a smaller footprint and being cloud-enabled, setup can be fairly easy without the need for deep IT resources. With the advent of emerging, lower-cost cloud video services, Polycom is making a move to insert itself as a leading option with Debut.
RealPresence Medialign: RealPresence Medialign is part of the Polycom Group Series family and brings together several of Polycom’s technologies to bear such as the Acoustic Fence audio technology and the Polycom EagleEye Producer and Eagle Director camera technology.
Polycom’s video, content sharing, and voice technologies form the basis of the solution. This is a full enterprise play and we believe with the support of interoperability and integration across platforms, this will be attractive to existing Polycom customers with RealPresence Group Series investments as well as those on other UC platforms.
Polycom Concierge: Polycom Concierge is a set of software solutions across Polycom products that allows enterprises to personalize a group collaboration room. It can be deployed in large enterprises and allows meeting control from either endpoints or soft clients in use. It’ll automatically connect to personal devices to support people bringing their own devices to meetings. The technology itself will allow connectivity and meeting control to RealPresence Group Series, RealPresence Medialign, and other Polycom room systems.
Buyers Are Changing
Traditional video systems buying centers such as A/V and IT Directors are giving way to those focused on business applications. Lines of business buyers are dictating technology spend more than ever before. The trend is to video-enable business applications and bring collaboration focused on people’s business outcomes. Polycom sees a future in focusing its visual collaboration solutions on people processes.
With these new products and services, it is clear that Polycom has its innovation chops back. The new solutions mark a stark contrast to the traditional ways of just developing technology without thinking through the people issues or getting people requirements for how they like to work.
The bottom line? This is not your father’s Polycom.