IT and Business Insights for SMB Solution Providers

Poly Introduces Conferencing Device, Professional Services, and New Partner Program

The conference room phone (pictured) and other offerings are designed to help end users and channel pros embrace skyrocketing adoption of Microsoft Teams when employees now working from home due to the coronavirus outbreak return to the office. By Rich Freeman

Poly has introduced a new premium conference room phone, added a family of professional services for channel pros who need help designing and implementing Microsoft Teams environments, and launched a unified partner program that brings together its Plantronics and Polycom channels.

Plantronics announced its intention to acquire Polycom for $2 billion in March 2018, and renamed the combined entity Poly a year later.

The new desktop conferencing device, called the Trio C60, is now Poly’s default top-of-the-line option for Microsoft collaboration environments, according to Chris Thorson, the vendor’s senior director of solutions marketing.

“It’s got Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, all the bells and whistles that you would expect from a premium mobile conference room,” he says.

The unit’s MIMO wireless functionality offers up to four times better performance than its predecessor, according to Poly. The unit supports both 2.4 and 5GHz networks, and is compatible with most SIP providers for audio conferencing. It supports native platform experiences for both Zoom and Microsoft Teams environments as well.

Users can “daisy chain” up to three C60s in larger spaces, and use it either stand-alone or to control other Poly products, like those in the Studio X family of video sound bars or the G7500 conferencing and content-sharing solution.

In a blog post, Poly acknowledges the incongruity of releasing an office conference product at a time when millions of offices are closed due to the coronavirus outbreak, but predicts that demand for such offerings will spike when the pandemic eases and many people opt to continue working from home anyway.

“Aside from the usual communication with external stakeholders and teams in different locations, we predict an uptick in collaboration with remote or flex-workers that elect to work from a home office full or part-time,” the company writes.

Poly’s new professional services are designed to help channel pros new to audio-visual solutions generally and Microsoft Teams specifically evaluate and meet end user requirements.

“While they may have a practice of their own, maybe they don’t know the Teams side of the business as well as they would like,” Thorson says. “They can call on our guys to help make sure that they get the planning and design migration from a Skype deployment to Teams.”

Working alongside Poly’s service providers, he continues, will help channel pros learn how to build Teams environments on their own too. “The first one or two deployments you might make on migrating your customers to Teams, it might be a good idea to bring our guys in,” Thorson says. “Then when you’re ready to do it on your own, great, we’ll let you go run and do that on your own.”

There are four professional service programs in all. The Poly Envisioning for Microsoft Teams service helps end users translate requirements into detailed roadmaps for meeting those objectives. The Poly Network Readiness Service for Microsoft Teams performs edge-to-cloud connectivity assessments and delivers recommendations for improving network performance. Poly Adoption Consulting Services for Microsoft Teams help businesses drive adoption of Teams through training and in-house promotional campaigns. The Poly User Migration Service for Microsoft Teams, finally, helps businesses migrate from Skype for Business to Microsoft Teams.

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