Poly’s Ongoing Optimisation of the UC UX
Merging the brands of Plantronics and Polycom has created unified solutions to meet growing demand from enterprise
6 months on from the coming together of these two respected names, deepening collaboration between the providers is enabling powerful strides in truly unified communications and collaboration. As Paul Dunne, EMEA Channel Director, explained:
“Ourselves and Polycom had been on very cordial terms for many years, because we were all in that space, at the core, selling solutions around collaboration. Plantronics were all about personal audio, and Polycom were around video rooms – it made sense, when you’re looking at a collaboration solution, you need audio, you need a video solution, you need some sort of a platform…It’s like when two people who’ve been together for ages suddenly announce they’re getting married”
Beyond ‘can we all hear everyone?’
And unifying the providers was the key to expanding the conversation and enabling a much broader view of customer needs and expectations in collaboration and communications, moving beyond the functionality to bigger questions.
After 16 years with Plantronics, Dunne is well aware that this is all about timing. “In the early days of UC, all of the questions were around, ‘is this stuff actually going to work?’ Technically, there were a lot of issues. Now we all know it works, so we can talk about the human factors in collaboration – remote working, being part of a remote team, managing a remote team…Dealing with feelings, perhaps of isolation in some cases, how do you cope with all of that? And how do you deal with cultural diversity in managing work, when your team can be anywhere?”
The Three Bs
At Poly, the three key components of any collaboration solution involves talk about Three Bs, Bricks, Bytes and Behaviour. And just being able to take the ‘bytes’ aspect, the tech, for granted is not enough – the physical location needs to be set up for a flexible or agile working, and then you look at behaviour, “which is that whole HR piece”. All three elements need to be optimised, for the solution to be optimised.
So the future for Poly is about that optimisation at the edges, the human interfaces, places where different teams in the enterprise are preferring different tools or apps, really getting to the heart of the user experience and continually refining it – which brings so many business benefits:
“The first 10 minutes of every video call used to be spent with people trying to make the thing work. You start adding up all those numbers, and enterprise customers are wasting months of time. So that, that is a big, big focus for us”
“And huddle rooms…Often by the nature of a huddle room, you’re having short, intense and informal meetings. If you really want to perform well in enterprise you need curiosity, humour, desire to solve problems, desire to work collaboratively across a team, and if there’s friction in the collaboration solution, all of those critical factors start to start to deteriorate.”
Even though we have probably reduced that 10 minutes down to one or two in most cases, the goal is to eliminate the hold-ups completely, not least as Dunne reminded us our expectations are now higher, and attention spans shorter.
A completely connected and unified collaboration space is the goal, and as the tools become better and better, the less we’ll even notice the ‘bytes’ at all.