Polycom sees room for resellers in video, despite telco advantages

Polycom sees room for resellers in video, despite telco advantages

As video as a service gathers steam, partners can win on close customer relationships

The adoption of managed voice services suggests an uptake of similar video services, especially with the build out of broadband, according to Polycom's ANZ managing director, Gary Denman.

Organisations and service providers in Australia are building out their architectures to support video, Denman says, as broadband there, and the wide adoption of devices, creates more opportunities around the video conferencing room.

New Zealand, he says, is slightly behind the trend, but, speaking to Reseller News from the floor of Microsoft Tech Ed in Auckland on September 5, Denman says that resellers should start to think about where they want to go with video in the next few years.

"Voice has been a service for some years, but video is still growing out as UFB gets rolled out," Denman says. "As that happens more people will have capability because the capacity will be there on the network. Once the bandwidth is there we will see the adoption of services. And that’s what we’re seeing people do right now."

And while telcos will have the network and ability to offer catalogued services, Denman says the VaaS opportunities will be there for the organisations which are most intimate with their customer needs.

"The telcos may own the core infrastructure but we know that customers don’t always want to buy that way," Denman says. "The small business relationship still exists today."

Service providers are already "building their architecture, building their go-to-markets, they’re segmenting customer base and they’re trying to ID what their proposition is versus the competitors. So now is a good time for planning" a video as a service offering, Denman says.

"If I were a partner right now I’d be thinking about where I want to go and what the UFB means to me and what are the opportunities that this creates and what are the barriers," says Denman.

Resellers that understand their customers are in a good position to make a case for where video services fits with their client's business, Denman says, and innovations in delivering video services are as likely to come from smaller, niche partners than perhaps the telcos or others selling out-of-the-box solutions.

"The smaller providers know their customers and they try to sit down with them and get them to plan how does video change the business and the way it’s run internally or externally," Denman says.

"This is much more of a consulting discussion rather than a pure, integration and procurement relationship. The shifts will happen. There’s still a few years to go clearly."

Denman says that, counter to market predictions, the uptake of devices has not obviated the need among companies for a video conference room, but has actually increased the demand for video room integration. Other areas partners can add value to are the delivery of concierge services, training and consulting on how to integrate video as a service with business processes.

Denman sees the importance of Asian markets to New Zealand exporters as a potential driver for the uptake of video services.

"For New Zealand to focus on Asia, video becomes a great mechanism to connect," Denman says. "Within that context, the more time you spend face to face, even video versus phone, the better."

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