Last week, Polycom held its annual channel partner event, TEAM Polycom, in Nashville. The theme of the event was “Changing the Game,” which in Polycom’s case is actually a triple entendre. Polycom is hoping the event is a springboard to put it in a position to punch back and regain some of the share it lost to arch-rival Cisco, give its channel partners the ability to accelerate sales, and enable customers to use its technology as a core component of their digital strategies by creating new ways of collaborating and working (disclosure: Polycom and Cisco are both clients of ZK Research).
Polycom certainly needs to change the game to accomplish all three goals. The company has great technology – market-leading in many cases – and spent the better part of 2015 rolling out a number of new products, including the Star Trek-like Centro product that I profiled last year. However, despite its technical prowess, Polycom has struggled to keep any kind of sales momentum going over the past few years. Much of the reason for this is that Polycom technology, while state of the art, can be complicated to deploy. Also, the premises-based nature creates a high upfront price point, limiting the appeal to large companies.