As mentioned yesterday, Polycom hosted their EEC Partner Empowerment event live from Penn Plaza in NYC today. In doing so, the provider kicked off their Executive Experience Center in grand fashion. The event opened up with an introduction from Polycom CEO Andy Miller. In doing so, Miller went on to define the intended applications and uses of the center, as well as whom it would be available to—i.e. everyone. Polycom’s newest center joins the ranks alongside San Jose, London, and Singapore. As such the center is designed as a tool available to everyone including the company itself, its partner community, and for its customers. That being said, the center is designed to showcase both the technologies currently implored as well as a roadmap for future technologies.
From here, Miller went on to introduce Polycom’s Chief Marketing Officer Jim Kruger and Forrester Senior Analyst Henry Dewing. The two explored a conversation that touched upon Unified Communications & Collaboration (UC&C) technology, video adoption, the future of integration, and what to expect moving forward. In doing so, Dewing was able to share a number of insights. For example, upon being asked by Kruger, Dewing explained the importance of collaboration, as well as the processes within the company. Dewing highlighted the benefits and advantages often attributed with UC; however, he also talked about the importance of the the actual process. As such, Dewing stated how it is important for companies to involve everyone in the process—i.e. users, company heads, buyers, etc. In doing so, companies will be able to better build a roadmap of their service (what they need, how it should work, what should be included). Though Dewing and Kruger discussed other points including essential impediments, rate of UC&C adoption, interoperability, best practices, and more, the concept of mapping seemed most crucial.
Typically, users looking to deploy a UC&C solution do not thoroughly discuss the process of collaboration actually working within their business. If users are able to create a detailed outline of how they expect these processes to work, they’re much more inclined for successful implementation. For example, Dewing detailed his experience with one company that had utilized UC&C solutions so successfully it actually affected the hiring process. In detailing the process of UC, and deploying the solution, the user’s employees were able to work more effectively and efficiently while maintaining a natural pace. As a result, this user did not have to stick to the typical hiring schedule they had used. The moral of the story? In thinking about the process of collaboration within your business’s infrastructure you can effectively improve your business.
Dewing and Kruger’s conversation touched upon other subjects (tips for partners and resellers); however, all of this came back to thinking ahead—i.e. mapping out, thinking of interoperability, identifying and accounting for user needs, etc. As Dewing and Kruger’s conversation came to an end, Polycom SVP Ron Myers stepped up. Though Dewing provided expert insights on how to effectively choose and deploy collaboration, Myers addressed a way in which businesses could do this. The answer? The Executive Experience Center.
As CEO Andy Miller stated, the center is for everyone; therefore, customers, users, etc. are all able to come to the center and experience these solutions first hand. In a way, the Polycom EEC will serve like an Apple or Sony store—i.e. users are able to come in, experience the technology first hand, talk with experts, view demonstrations, and much more. This is perfect for businesses looking to deploy collaboration, but feel like they don’t have all the information necessary to do so. Additionally, existing partners and users are able to visit and use the center’s resources. In doing so, partners and customers are able to gain more insights to technology currently available as well as view newer technologies still being developed.
With all this in mind, its clear that the main function of Polycom’s Executive Experience Center is to provide businesses, users, and partners with an in depth look at the provider’s solutions. Sure, everyone can read about the tech, but the EEC gives the unique advantage of hands on experience. Again, as Dewing stated during his conversation with Kruger, the process is crucial to collaboration. The Executive Experience Center allows users to dissect and view the provider’s various processes on a much more detailed and user-friendly scale.
While the first half of the EEC event centered around Polycom executives CEO Andy and Chief Marketing officer Jim Kruger, and Forrester analyst Henry Dewing covering various points regarding UC&C, video adoption, the future of the industry, and more, the second half of the event provided a thorough walk through of Polycom’s new facility. The EEC is composed of a number of rooms, all showcasing different solutions, devices, etc. That being said, the walkthrough showcased the Eagle Eye HD Camera, RealPresence solutions, the CloudAXIS software, and more. In addition to detailing how these devices/solutions work, the company’s experts shared in depth insights through live demonstrations.
Live demonstrations helped show all those in attendance the full functionality of each device/solution. Additionally, experts detailed the potential applications and implementations for each of these devices. For example, Polycom’s CloudAXIS suite detailed a complete video collaboration solution that serves as an extension of the RealPresence platform. As such, the CloudAXIS suite enables users to host or join video conferences with mobile, room, or desktop participants with just a browser. Additionally, the platform includes social network integration described as the “industry’s first global, presence aware directory that integrates contacts from Skype, GoogleTalk, and Facebook.” As such, users can invite guests via emailing a secure link. The link then leads users directly into the conference with a secure and quality connection. The walkthrough also provided live demonstrations that outlined each device’s/solution’s features.
The live demonstrations served to better inform users of exactly what these solutions and devices are as well as what they can do. Again, users can view all this information through the Internet; however, the demonstration provides a much more insightful look.
All in all, Polycom’s event was truly comprehensive. With a roster of industry experts detailing what user’s want, should want, and need with UC&C, the event was both comprehensive and informative. Though 2012 proved a busy year for the provider, Polycom shows no sign of slowing down moving ahead. With new extensive offerings, new solutions on the way, and the EEC, Polycom looks set to seriously progress.