‘Customers are relying on our collaboration tools for business continuity’


With the onset of COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent lockdown, Poly has not only witnessed an increase in the adoption of its remote working solutions but also growth in the usage of its collaboration solutions. In an exclusive interaction with CRN India, Ankur Goel, Managing Director, Poly India shares insights into how the enterprises across sectors are leveraging the company’s technology to collaborate effectively

How do collaboration technologies help organisations stay connected and ensure continuity of their business operations?

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way we interact, and our lives have moved online in an instant. In these challenging times when social distancing is the norm and the well-being of the workforce is of paramount concern, remote working is being encouraged and there are more employees working from home than ever before.

Organisations are investing heavily in technologies to enable their employees to work remotely and businesses have suddenly become reliant on technologies that allow them to operate as normally as possible to ensure business continuity. In this situation, collaboration technologies like video conferencing and employee communications and collaboration tools such as ‘Teams’ are playing a major role in bridging the gap and bringing the employees together to help them stay connected and productive.

At Poly, we have a wide array of solutions that allow employees to work remotely. Our range of headsets, desk phones, audio and video conferencing solutions can be used by remote workers to ensure that business continues as normal.

How has Poly transformed the current crisis into opportunities for growth?

Customers are using our solutions now more than ever and our teams have worked quickly to move Poly products from our manufacturing points to our customers’ hands. From hospitals to government agencies, many customers are relying on our collaboration solutions for business continuity.

In terms of growth, we have witnessed:

  • An increase in adoption of our remote working solutions – there has been a huge demand for our remote working solutions and our products are helping employees turn off distractions and recreate the ‘working in office’ experience at home. We have seen an increase in adoption of our remote working solutions such as Eagle Eye Mini, which are USB cameras developed for business-class performance in personal/small room environments and our range of Voyager headsets which have very useful features such as active noise canceling which blocks out background noise so that customers can concentrate on their work or on their call. We have also seen a surge in the speaker phone business, wherein our speakerphone product Calisto 3200 turns any environment into a professional-sounding space; this product is easy to use at home and its simple plug-and-play USB connectivity helps deliver high-quality sound.
  • Growth in usage of collaboration solutions in sectors such as education and government – prior to COVID-19 pandemic, these verticals were hesitant to adopt collaboration tools such as video conferencing as they preferred in-person meetings. However, due to the way the world has changed in the last few months, we have seen that they have increased their adoption of collaboration solutions. We have had many customers that were earlier hesitant to be on video tell us that they are very comfortable with video conferencing now and when things settle down, they would turn to video conferencing rather than in-person meetings; they are realizing that with the right technology in place, meeting a person virtually is as effective as being there in-person and it also saves them time and helps them be more productive.

As a leading provider of collaboration solutions, how far have you been able to support different vertical industries in the country? Please share a few use cases where Poly solutions have proved effective in these challenging times?  

Many sectors are using Poly technology to collaborate effectively. In the Healthcare sector, Poly solutions are supporting more than 25,000 patient encounters per month around the world—saving, time, money and, most importantly, lives. Many hospitals in India are turning to Poly’s collaboration solutions to enable tele-health and bring healthcare providers and remote, home-care, and quarantined patients together face-to-face for consultation, evaluation, and monitoring.

Secondly, government agencies across the country, courts and justice department are huge adopters of Poly’s collaboration solutions. For instance, National Informatics Center (NIC) is one of the most prestigious customers of Poly and our technology has been extensively used by NIC to connect different government departments and agents to communicate and collaborate on how to mitigate and manage the pandemic.

We have a fair play in the education sector as well. Universities and schools all over India are currently conducting online classes to keep its students engaged and they are turning to collaboration tools like video conferencing to enable this shift. They are also using speaker phones like Calisto 3200 as it delivers high quality sound and clarity. Sanjay Gandhi Postgraduate Institute of Medical Sciences (SGPGIMS) in Lucknow is a huge adopter of Poly’s video conferencing solutions, wherein they are using our technology for medical education and other tele-health purposes.

Has this called for realingment of your GTM strategy for the Indian market?

Yes, we have had to move swiftly as Poly’s technology, especially our video conferencing devices are being used by world leaders to discuss how they can mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic; leading hospitals and medical institutions are using our conferencing technologies to interact with their peers and provide consultation. Therefore, customers are reliant on our solutions more than ever before. We had to change our GTM strategy by focusing on daily prioritization of shipments – for instance, when customers are identified as medical first responders, they are given top priority.

Our product and operations teams have been driving the logistics of moving Poly products from our manufacturing points to our customers, while securing hard-to-find supply. In terms of supporting partners, we are providing a few of them with financial support on case to case basis and have expanded their payment terms.

Industry reports suggest that remote working is going to become the new normal. In such a scenario, what are the best practices that your customers should adopt? What’s your preparedness to handle such situation in the future?

The culture of remote working is in Poly’s DNA and we have always supported and encouraged our employees to work remotely. We have also ensured that they have the right technologies and tools to make sure that they can work from anywhere.

In order to ensure remote working is productive, customers can adopt the following best practices:

Make meetings interactive – Create online meeting environments that promote video conferencing and collaboration by allowing all participants to interact face to face, share and review documents, screens and work on ideas as a team in real-time. Meetings that can be set up quickly and empower such collaboration via video also means that ideas can be worked on whenever creativity is sparked. This will lead to faster decision making, as teams can review, discuss and consider multiple aspects at the same time, resulting in more interactive and productive virtual meetings.

Ensure focused discussions through high-quality audio when working from home – Invest in headsets with Active Noise Cancelling (ANC) technology to block out background noise, so employees can stay focused and immerse themselves in a meeting. Good quality headsets will also ensure that the users’ voices can be heard with perfect clarity, making sure their contributions come across loud and clear to other participants (without the background noise).

Provide tech that integrates effortlessly – Don’t make technology compatibility an issue when your workers are looking to communicate with customers, partners or anyone outside of the business. Not everyone will be using the same video conferencing set up, so make sure your chosen platform integrates with the full range of unified communications and collaboration technologies.

Don’t forget image quality – As much as 80% of communication consists of non-verbal and visual cues, such as body language and facial expressions, so don’t compromise on video quality in virtual meetings.  A low-quality camera will make images appear grainy to other attendees and they will look particularly bad on larger screens. Make sure you are equipped with business-class cameras and remove the reliance on low-quality, older laptop versions.


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