Ankur Goel, India Channel Head, Polycom, shares the company’s channel directions for 2019
Key highlights 2018 and opportunities for 2019
2018 was an exciting year for the industry – there was a massive shift in how technology was implemented and used in the workspace. Some of the key highlights include:
- Interoperability went mainstream: Interoperability i.e. the real-time data exchange between systems without middleware became mainstream for end customers. In 2018, Microsoft and Skype for business became interoperable. Polycom launched Real Connect O365 service for native inter-operation between Microsoft and Skype for business and teams with video-based endpoints. There was a concerted effort on the part of solution providers to have their systems and services interoperate with systems and services of other solution providers.
- Adoption of technology-enabled huddle rooms: There was a growth in the number of technology-enabled huddle rooms or small meeting spaces which helped a wider pool of employees collaborate with each other and with the outside world. This was driven by the fact that today’s workers increasingly depend on technology to achieve high levels of productivity as they expect to connect instantly, work smarter, produce outcomes and drive results quicker. Technology-enabled huddle rooms satisfied this need for real-time, productive collaboration.
2019 would be a great opportunity for the IT channel industry to stitch together the collaboration cloud services with intuitive audio and video devices, seamless content sharing. And acoustics to provide best in class experience to the customers, thus making conference room and huddle room meetings richer in experience and thereby improving business productivity.
Top tech trends for channel community
Collaboration will move beyond calendar invites and go towards a culture of enabling collaboration everywhere. While the notion of working from 9-5 has long evaporated in a world where connectivity and productivity are possible from even the most remote locations, the calendar invites still rules where and when we get together. This will change in 2019 – we will advance collaboration as more enterprises adopt web-based collaboration tools, and device technologies take advantage of advances in Wi-Fi connectivity and compute power to get more done, better, faster – together.
- Artificial Intelligence (AI) will revolutionise the modern workplace: Cameras are becoming more intelligent with technologies like speaker tracking, facial recognition (AI) and advanced analytics providing organisations with invaluable insights, helping them enhance the overall experience and the productivity of video conferences. This trend will grow in 2019 and facial recognition technology will prove to be instrumental in the modern workspace.
wCloud for SOHO; hybrid for enterprises: While video cloud services are becoming the first choice for small/home offices (SOHOs), enterprise customers are still looking at on-prem and hybrid environments. The enterprise customers with investments in legacy hardware and software still face security concerns while adopting the pure cloud environment.
Channel directions for partners
We want our channel partners to:
- Focus on experience: Channel partners should invest in enhancing the overall ‘Experience’ of the end customers. “Video is the new voice” goes the thinking in many organisations today, where employees are increasingly working remotely from home offices, satellite offices, client sites, and the road.
- Focus on customer service excellence: The partners should invest in enhancing customer service excellence. They should focus on investing in technology infrastructure to handle deployments of all sizes and complexities, integration of technologies in the customer environment, and training users to improve adoption, and finally to maintain the deployment.