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Polycom: Unified communications’ top NZ trends

18 Mar 2014

Oscar Trimboli, Polycom ANZ partner and channel director, talks visual collaboration.

As technology continues to evolve, we are constantly looking to the future, anticipating the next major development and the impact this will have on the unified communications reseller.

With the consumerisation of technology, rapid growth in mobility solutions, and improved network capabilities driven by ultra-fast broadband we are no longer constrained by bandwidth and that creates opportunity for the channel.

We are seeing significant demand from customers for visual collaboration solutions rather than video communication solutions.

Customers want to do more than just talk - they want to share content and collaborate in real time and we expect this to accelerate. The Canterbury and West Coast District Health Board is a great example of how a visual collaboration solution is being deployed to deliver healthcare services and expertise into remote locations.

Here are the four key trends we are currently seeing in New Zealand:

1. Technology budgets outside IT

As customers’ needs change, so too do the ways we respond to them. Think about the customer’s broader business environment beyond IT and the specific business issues that video collaboration can solve. It’s about working with the business through IT to develop a holistic approach, rather than focusing purely on the technology.

Sales, marketing, human resources and operations functions are embracing technology in new ways to enhance how they communicate with their customers and stakeholders.

2. Video-as-a-Service

In New Zealand, with our high concentration of SMBs, we expect Video-as-a-Service to continue to accelerate. VaaS is a simple offering which protects your customer base as a reseller.

We are seeing partners with larger customer bases taking advantage of this and building new revenue streams, while protecting their installed base from new competition.

3. BYOD and the cloud

This trend will continue to evolve as customers demand solutions that embrace mobility and the cloud. A recent Polycom global survey found that by 2016, video conferencing is expected to be the world’s preferred business communications tool, ahead of email and voice calls.

In light of this, the continued growth of mobility and mobile workforce strategies, BYOD policies and cloud-based technologies are all set to forge the way.

The opportunity for resellers is to develop security and identity management capability and assessment services offerings to assist customers in their journey to the cloud.

4. Content is King

Users want to do much more than simply project a static presentation during a virtual meeting, and participants want to interact with the content they receive. Recording content, storing and searching past video conferences helps video become more relevant and compelling across all business functions in diverse vertical industries.

For example, we are seeing designers and architects amending drawings in real time, trainers annotating a presentation to emphasise key points, and finance departments sharing Excel spreadsheets in real time and dynamically adding data.

Realising the opportunity

There is plenty of low hanging fruit for partners within unified communications over the next 12 months. Resellers who look beyond the IT department and start having conversations about the value of video with customers working in areas like sales, marketing and human resources will reap rewards.

With the leaps that video collaboration and mobile technology have taken in recent years, you now have an exciting opportunity to educate the individuals and teams who can benefit from these new tools on a day-to-day basis.

This article was originally published in the March 2014 issue of The Channel magazine.