Polycom’s New CEO and Product Arsenal Promise Digital Success
By Jim Lundy
We attended Polycom’s PACE Analyst Event last week in New York City with the Polycom Executive Team, including Polycom’s New CEO Mary McDowell. She was recently announced after Siris Capital took Polycom private in a transaction valued at US $2 Billion. This blog is about the changes at Polycom, including bringing a new CEO on board, and the opportunity the company has in the Digital Era.
Mary McDowell – New CEO of Polycom
Mary McDowell is a battle tested executive with a history of delivering robust products and services. She was part of team that built Compaq, which was later acquired by HP. She was also EVP of Mobile Phones at Nokia, which had a very successful run over a ten year period. The thing that immediately became clear after listening to Mary is that she is a product and services-focused executive, which is exactly what Polycom needs right now.
Polycom Makeover and Digital EndPoints
Polycom has been in the midst of a product makeover. Its recent 2016 offerings Polycom RealPresence Trio and RealPresence Centro have received high marks from analysts and customers alike. Given the millions of analog Polycom Sound Stations that are still being used everyday in Conference Rooms, one of the opportunities for McDowell is to have aggressive campaigns to get customers to buy the Trio, which has some of the best audio quality we have heard.
Polycom and Microsoft Skype for Business
One of the big successes for Polycom has been its partnership with Microsoft and the Skype for Business offering. Polycom endpoints are optimized for Office 365 E5, which has Skype for Business bundled into that offering. If Polycom does anything, it needs to have a product insertion strategy to leverage the fast growth of Office 365. The recent demo of the Polycom Video Interoperability Service at Microsoft Ignite Conference also represents an opportunity.
Polycom Services and Cloud
One of the biggest opportunities for Polycom and its resellers and partners is to make it easy to subscribe to its services. Polycom took a big step earlier this year with the launch of Real Presence Clariti, its Cloud-based Video Interoperability Service. At PACE, Polycom indicated that in 2016, it has seen a big uptick in sales of Clariti, which is a positive sign. If anything, Polycom needs to double down on its Services offerings, which we think will help it to drive sales of its End Points.
Polycom Can Jumpstart Customers’ Digital Initiatives
McDowell has a tremendous opportunity as CEO of Polycom. With some of the best digital products it has ever fielded, the race is on to convince more customers to go digital with Polycom.