RealPresence Clariti – Polycom’s Move to Software and Services
At the TEAM Polycom event held in Nashville, TN, January 12-14, Polycom unveiled its RealPresence Clariti cloud collaboration platform and its cloud bursting capabilities. Essentially, with Clariti, Polycom has the makings of a collaboration Platform as a Service (PaaS) offering that can be extended and embedded in other applications. A gem also in this announcement was RealAccess, the analytics reporting tool, which comes with every sale of Clariti. RealAccess analytics has the potential for being a launch pad for a myriad of business consulting services. This gives Polycom the foundation for a software and services play that that will require focused execution to be successful.
Getting Clear on Clariti
RealPresence Clariti is a cloud collaboration infrastructure offering that supports HD voice, HD video, content and web collaboration. It’s modular so other capabilities can be added on. So according to the licensing structure, enterprise planners have the flexibility to choose which components they want to deploy. It comes with add-on options such as analytics by way of RealAccess and video content management among others. Enterprise users can turn on the Hybrid Cloud Bursting service to scale. Polycom RealPresence Clariti Deployment Services can also be added on as well. Professional Services will be key for Polycom here.
Clariti integrates with other UCC platforms including Microsoft Lync and Skype for Business. Being what I consider more of a Collaboration PaaS, Clariti has SDKs that can enable customized integrations. Open APIs will enable developers to take Clariti capabilities and embed it into business applications and processes. Polycom refers to this as a Sandbox for developers. That is the critical piece for Polycom. If successful and the ecosystem develops around it, Polycom, from an infrastructure perspective can play the role of connective tissue in collaboration enabling a myriad of business applications. In that light, a thousand Polycoms can potentially bloom in many different environments.
Channel Partners and the Move to Services
Polycom showed a strong focus on their partner channel and admittedly recognizes the need to bring on more system integrator partners. I believe for Clariti to succeed, SIs and a developer ecosystem around it will be critical. A part of Polycom’s go-to-market around Clariti is a joint services delivery methodology with partners. With its new direction towards software and services, Polycom will be challenged with channel partners who are not ready for the move. This will consist of hardware minded partners who just don’t want to innovate towards software and services. We anticipate there will be some fall off among those partners.
The big opportunity for Polycom as it moves to software and services is the potential ecosystem that can be created around its cloud platform. The challenge will be in attracting developers. Messaging will have to be crisp and solutions focused around users. Which was the exact sentiment Polycom CEO Peter Leav was stressing in his opening keynote. Peter Leav stressed that Polycom’s solutions were designed to support the workplace of the future and user experiences. That was a major theme at the event. As collaboration buyers shift towards lines of business leaders, the solutions focused and people-centric message has a better chance of resonating.