Polycom Bets On Alexa And Looks At A Great 2018

Minhaj Zia, Vice President, India & SAARC and South East Asia, Polycom

Polycom has had a history of being on of the key enablers of enterprise collaboration and have been at the forefront of the global way of doing business. Every enterprise that has multiple locations that need to collaborate uses their solutions and they have been early movers in this space. They recently announced a partnership with Amazon to add Alexa with their devices. We caught up with  Minhaj Zia, Vice President, India & SAARC and South East Asia, Polycom  to talk about this. Here are the details

Please comment on the Polycom and Alexa partnership.

The new generation of worker prefers to work in teams to solve business problems, and they prefer simple tools to collaborate with colleagues, customers and partners.

Polycom along with Alexa for Business, delivers this experience for customers.

Alexa for Business, a new AWS service provides every employee with an intelligent assistant to simplify their interactions with the technology around them at work—in conference rooms, at their desks, and around the office. Alexa for Business helps automate tasks like starting conference calls, controlling conference room equipment, scheduling meetings or keeping track of tasks.

As the market leader in making video calls simple and easy to use, Polycom is excited to take the next step with natural language by demonstrating Alexa voice control with our RealPresence Group Series video conferencing products. Now, by simply saying “Alexa, join the meeting,” you will have the ability to easily and simply join a video conference using only your voice.

Please note – at present, this functionality is in limited trials with select customers

What are the industry trends that you foresee for the coming year?

We anticipate that for 2018 and beyond, more workplaces will be open to embracing ‘anywhere working’. This new business-normal encompasses technology-enabled workspaces from the huddle room; to agile workplaces and anywhere working teams that need to work interstate to get the job done.

Below are some of the few trends that I foresee-

  • Cloud Brings Need for Interoperability – The cloud space has transformed, not just our office and workspaces but the way we work. If we look at the next generation of technology – it’s modular, it’s adaptive, it’s solutions based and cloud based. As cloud continues to move into the mainstream, the conversation is no longer about that sub 50 office space, the one-to-three user space is back on the table; and how you bring them into the network with mobile devices, with USB devices, and more will be a priority for businesses of all sizes in 2018. 
  • User experience and ease of adoption reigns supreme – Where we work and collaborate is no longer confined to a traditional four-walled office environment. Today, people want to connect and collaborate with ‘the office’, regardless of their location or device. This growth in anywhere working and geographically distributed workforces mean that businesses will need to find new ways to empower employees with vastly different experiences and relationships with technology, ensuring they can collaborate effectively to drive the productivity.

Users want simple click and join. They don’t want to go looking for a meeting room ID, or a truncated number, or the smart board switch to upload documents for team discussion. We will expect to see end users continuing to demand more intelligent, conferencing solutions that can ‘do it all’ – whether connecting from a meeting room, personal device or third-party platform.

  • Meetings are getting smarter and more mobile – Technology, like the latest intelligent face-detection and voice triangulation cameras, wireless content-sharing, a simple ‘click to join’ meeting interface, AI and advanced analytics will help meetings get smarter and more productive.

In basic terms, it is the convergence of people plus, not versus, technology that are now working together. What’s more, as organisations move to Skype for Business, Office 365 and Microsoft Teams, we expect them to look at removing extraneous meeting technologies and integrate collaboration via these platforms as a means to reduce costs and ensure a consistent user experience.

 What are some of Polycom’s latest products? 

  • Polycom Pano
    • Polycom® Pano™ is the easiest way to share content at work, regardless of location or device. It allows up to four people in the same meeting room to simultaneously share, contrast, and compare content side-by-side, from any device, without the hassle of juggling cables, pucks or dongles. Instead, users can share ideas and visuals of all types – such as videos, live interface, images, documents, and presentations – with the added benefit of interactive annotation and white boarding features, not seen in other wireless content-sharing solutions. Polycom Pano simply connects to any display and enables wireless content-sharing from PCs, Macs, tablets, smartphones, and even live video. 
  • Polycom RealPresence Medialign
    • Polycom RealPresence Medialign enables consistent collaboration solutions across the enterprise without the need to alter the room in any way. RealPresence Medialign has a modern, all-in-one design and is the only solution that features Polycom’s industry leading and patented voice, content-sharing/management and video technology. RealPresence Medialign technology can be quickly assembled and installed without tools and interoperates with the broadest array of UC platforms in the market. Like every RealPresence Group Series solution, RealPresence Medialign features unique NoiseBlock technology, Polycom® Acoustic Fence™ audio technology and Polycom® EagleEye™ Producer and Polycom® EagleEye™ Director camera technology that provide an unmatched experience. 
  • Polycom EagleEye Director II
    • EagleEye Director II adds a life-like look and feel to virtual meetings. Designed for teams to focus on the subject matter and not the technology, this solution eliminates the need for manual adjustment by remote control, with automatic framing and zooming in on an active speaker. Utilising the latest in speaker tracking and facial recognition technologies, EagleEye Director II continually scans the room and commands the cameras to appropriately frame participants. When someone in the room starts to speak, the system seamlessly transitions to an up-close view of that speaker, similar to a TV-production experience.

About Shakthi

I am a Tech Blogger, Disability Activist, Keynote Speaker, Startup Mentor and Digital Branding Consultant. Also a McKinsey Executive Panel Member. Also known as @v_shakthi on twitter. Been around Tech for two decades now.

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