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Opinion: Collaborative workspace - the opportunity for resellers

Opinion: Collaborative workspace - the opportunity for resellers

Oscar Trimboli writes about the elements that resellers need to think about when speaking to customers about UC.

Organisations globally are increasingly starting to adapt the way they do business so they can empower employees to work more flexibly, and New Zealand is no exception.

Right now we’re seeing an exciting trend emerging in the unified communications (UC) space that is enabling businesses everywhere to defy distance, transforming the relationship between the workplace and how people work. Video collaboration solutions in particular, are playing a major role in transforming offices into smarter, more innovative work spaces.

With so many SMBs and entrepreneurs making up the market, New Zealand is primed for greater adoption of collaborative working environments. The use of hosted and cloud based solutions is becoming more popular, as is the subscription-based, video-as-a-service (VaaS) model that allows organisations to pay for only what they need.

In fact, according to Frost & Sullivan's research, New Zealand Unified Communications (UC) Market 2013, this shift from on-premise to cloud based solutions is opening up new opportunities for resellers in New Zealand.

The beauty of UC is that it brings all communication services – including video - under a single user experience, letting staff engage and work together in whichever way works best for them.

Whether a business is looking at integrating a new UC strategy or future-proofing an existing one, there are a number of areas resellers need to think about when speaking to their customers about collaborative workspaces. These include:

Quality: Resellers are often asked why free video services are not sufficient to support a collaborative workspace strategy, however for organisations looking for enterprise-grade, HD quality video, with the most stringent security protocols available in the industry today.

Beyond deployment: Once a UC strategy or video collaboration solution has been deployed, an opportunity exists for resellers to explore what value-add, professional services they can offer in the form of employee training or consultative support services.

Common user experience: Being able to equip workers with the same tools as those used in a traditional office environment, is critical to the success of creating a collaborative workspace. Hosted or cloud-based video solutions in particular, offer the flexibility required to launch a video call from your tablet or smartphone, or easily host a multi-party call on your laptop.

Ease-of-use: A key part of a successful UC implementation hinges on a simple user interface which speeds video adoption and lowers IT support. This means hosting a video call can be as easy as sending out an Outlook calendar invitation.

Content sharing and recording: Many customers may not know they can enhance their video experience by dynamically sharing content in real-time with participants of a video call. This is a huge advantage when creating collaborative workspaces and more importantly the ability to search and review video content created when you can’t attend the meeting

While many organisations are already starting to benefit from more collaborative workplaces, there is still a major opportunity to educate New Zealand’s wider business community about the overall productivity gains and cost savings of a UC strategy.

Next week’s article will provide a look into consultative sales and how best resellers can assess and recommend solutions for customers.

Oscar Trimboli is partner and channel director for Polycom ANZ. Oscar is responsible for leading Polycom'schannel network with go-to market strategies and initiatives to help partners create competitive differentiation and build their businesses.

Read: Opinion: Assessing and recommending solutions for customers.

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