Gary Denman’s first job as Polycom’s managing director in Australia and New Zealand was to open the company’s new office in Auckland in early May.
Denman had just moved from Microsoft’s enterprise sales team in Malaysia where he says the conversations he had with customers often circled around the emergence of unified communications. So the move to Polycom, with its relationship with Microsoft was a right fit, he says.
Now back in Sydney, the London native sees ultra fast broadband in Australia and New Zealand as a major business driver in the coming years.
How the UFB plays out for resellers in the expansion of UC and video service remains to be seen. On a global scale, Polycom recently went through a rebranding that Denman explains is a refocus of the business on software solutions and away from hardware. Denman says that in New Zealand, the question is about getting partners with different areas of expertise to see the bigger picture.
“I think some people need to see it demonstrated to see how video has developed so much and how it integrates with voice, especially with some of our traditional voice partners who want to know how to move into this new opportunity in an evolutionary way, not revolutionary way,” Denman says.
The centre in Auckland is used to demonstrate the vendor’s capabilities. Denman says he met with 20 or so reseller partners during the grand opening. The gist of the conversations according to Denman was: 'If a reseller is good at voice, how do they become good at video as well?'
Denman says that after the rebrand and the opening of the centre, the thrust of Polycom is to “evolve existing channels.” This will take time, but could include opportunities for partners to collaborate on projects.
“A lot of partners wonder how to develop their platform and customers, cross- or up-sell into existing bases. This is the phased approach to the way we’re delivering our platform that underpins our business,” Denman says.
“The best way to build that is to put it on top of the existing competency. We have excellent partners already so it’s a matter of taking advantage of that. Certainly in the office it was clear that there were partners talking about working together.”
Polycom’s shift in focus from hardware to software fits in the larger trend as more parts of the IT world become commoditised.
“It’s not that hardware isn’t required, of course it is,” says Denman, referring to the Polycom rebrand. “But with the agility software brings, the discussion is how you can go and build services to integrate video into the existing infrastructure. It could be you’re in a call centre and you can embed it into your call service or embed it in workflows, or internal sign offs. It’s software now, you can embed in connections through APIs.”
Denman says the company relies on the team at Westcon to help with resellers in New Zealand.