At a time when most enterprise customers are focusing around increasing the productivity of their workforce, while at the same time, reducing travel costs – Polycom is clearly a trend setter in terms of delivering the right video conferencing solutions for its customers not only in India, but at global scale.
Minhaj Zia, Managing Director, Polycom India & SAARC speaks with Zia Askari from TelecomDrive.com about the upcoming technology trends in year 2016 and how Polycom is going to drive innovations ahead.
How was your year 2015? What were some of the big achievements for year 2015?
If I look back at the year I can say that in APAC, India has continued to be one of the key markets for video and UC solutions. Polycom has been keeping pace with the industry momentum and aiming to enhance its customer base across various vertical industries like healthcare, manufacturing, education, IT/ITes, government and others.
The primary focus for most customers today is increasing the productivity of their workforce to reduce costs and enable their people to come together as dynamic teams, no matter where they are located. According to Frost & Sullivan, Polycom led the video conferencing systems and infrastructure segment in India, with a 44 percent market share in 2014. Polycom received the award based on a variety of parameters including revenue and market share growth, portfolio diversity, unified communication integration, and go-to-market strategy.
How are you looking up to year 2016 now?
Today, collaborative technologies are the way to go. An increasing number of businesses are trying to manage customers and provide the best experience through use of technology. The Make in India is an initiative that needs infrastructure that will make Indian more competitive, and be able to gain investment into the country. The challenges of manufacturing are also to do with lack of collaboration, so that is where I think technology innovation is headed.
I believe, improved collaboration and visual communication technology can provide skill development, introduce more virtual classrooms and extend education to rural areas, initiate remote healthcare services via telemedicine, and implement e-governance and smart city programmes.
And that is also where we come in. Video collaboration is useful across verticals, especially where distances are involved.
How will year 2016 be different from year 2015 for your organisation?
We believe our key achievements in India have been to grow the video-collaboration market, by creating competitive solutions that continue to cater to the emerging trends in the market and we will continue on the same route in terms of developing future-ready solutions.
Our aim is to make video and voice collaboration simple to use and available to everyone through open, standards-based software that connects people securely across any network, protocol, application or device they want to use. This could be delivered on-premises or from the cloud. We will align closer and invest more with our partners, so we can jointly share the successes of our go-to-market and expansion plans.
What could year 2016 bring for the technology sector? What are some of the big trends that you believe will rule the tech sector in 2016?
According to Geoff Thomas, President, Polycom Asia Pacific, “technology will move to the centre of the room”. In a recent article Geoff explains how throughout history, natural human collaboration and interaction in most social settings are conducted ‘in the round’ – conversations around dinner tables, team huddles before a game, brainstorms to solve problems and create new ideas. However, traditional video collaboration systems have participants seated side by side at a rectangular conference table, leading to a ‘tunnel vision’ style of interaction.
The far-end and in-room experience is now changing; by putting cameras and displays at the centre of a workspace, smaller groups of people can draw together into a collaborative circle. New solutions are developed with this in mind, with human-centred design for use in open space environments as well as traditional meeting rooms. They will also incorporate features such as intelligent 360-degree video, automatic muting and noise blocking, and advanced camera technologies which frame the active speaker, ensuring natural human instincts are a key consideration for improving collaboration tools.
How are you as an organization gearing up to play an important role in these trends?
Polycom has been at the forefront of tapping into emerging trends and bringing effective solutions that cater to enterprise needs. With BYOD emerging as a strong trend, we have already launched a range of initiatives that allow employees to connect from where ever they are, whenever and through whichever mobile device they may own. According to a recent Polycom global survey, video conferencing is expected to be the world’s preferred business communications tool, ahead of email and voice calls by 2016.
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 fact that tablets are also expected to surpass desktop and laptop shipments by 2015 growing to just under 3 billion by 2017 is also suggestive of the fact that people are moving from smaller and more portable devices. With video technology software available on tablets and mobile devices, secure, enterprise-grade, face-to-face collaboration has moved far beyond the office and will continue to actively transform the ways in which we work.
What could be challenges that lie ahead to realize the full potential of these tech trends?
One of the challenges in the widespread adoption of these solutions is the lack of interoperability between different platforms and no vendor being able to offer the complete solution. CIOs need to choose solutions that are interoperable and work seamlessly with each other. Platforms with an open collaboration platform that can work with different types of devices from different vendors bringing them together to collaborate seamlessly are available today.
Polycom visual communication solutions provides a complete, Ultimate HD experience – HD video, HD voice and HD content sharing making the experience much more seamless and life-like. End-to-end comprehensive solutions that eliminate, or reduce issues of compatibility and interoperability between disparate platforms and vendor solutions are also making serious headway and gaining in popularity.