Who knows? Plantronics + Polycom eventually might have worked as an unusual company name, but … on second thought, um, maybe not.
So, after a lot of carefully placed thought and investment, the growing IT peripherals company has decided shorter is better. Santa Cruz, Calif.-based Plantronics, which acquired Polycom a year ago for $2 billion, simplified its image to a mere four letters by renaming itself Poly (meaning “many”) March 18 and rebranding itself with a new identity logo.
Poly’s continued mission will be to utilize the accumulated audio and video expertise of both Plantronics and Polycom along with its warehouse of smart endpoint devices. These devices—unified communications packages, headsets, microphones, keyboards, video conferencing systems, virtual PBXs and many others--connect across platforms to reduce the distractions, complexity and distance in workspaces.
“For a long time, the business model was that you’d join a company, and they’d say: ‘There’s one PBX, here’s your PC, here’s your phone, and that’s what you’ll use,’” Vice-President Shantanu Sarkar told eWEEK. “Not so much anymore. It’s symptomatic of the way things are. Now you pick your phone, your laptop and the service you use for conferences. This one might be Skype, but your next one might be Zoom and the one after that Webex. That’s just life; you have many choices, many ways of connecting. That’s really what we want to enable.”
Four Pillars of the Company
Sarkar said Poly will focus on four specific areas of IT innovation:
- Making workspaces intuitively work for everyone. The modern open office has introduced distraction and noise into the work place, leading to lower productivity and employee satisfaction. Poly offers solutions to address audible distraction in open spaces as well as technologies that make huddle rooms (meetings for 3 to 5 people) as powerful as traditional board rooms.
- Helping people collaborate on their own terms. People are now using three or more collaboration solutions in a given day and need endpoints that work with and across those solutions. Poly claims to offer a wide range of solutions to meet this growing need.
- Designing solutions that are mobile-first for the modern workforce. Whether it is using a personal smart phone as a “business phone” or navigating through a day where personal and business blend, workers need voice and video capabilities that move with them. Poly’s recently announced Elara 60 recognizes this is the new normal and joins Poly’s award-winning mobile headsets to give people high-quality tools to be productive from anywhere.
- Advancing cloud services that help IT pros and users get more out of their devices. As the macro trend of end user empowerment continues, IT pros are more challenged to know what is being used, and where. Poly said it is focused on making easy-to-use solutions also easy to manage.
In addition to launching the new name and image of the company, Poly also took the opportunity to launch some new products and versions of products. Starting March 18 at Enterprise Connect 2019 in Orlando, Fla., Poly introduced the following new products and services:
- Polycom Studio, an easy-to-use video USB bar that upgrades huddle rooms to business class and works with services like Microsoft Teams, Zoom, Skype for Business, Google Meet, Cisco Webex, or Amazon Chime. eWEEK will have a deeper-dive look at this product soon.
- Plantronics Elara 60 Series, the mobile phone station designed for the increasingly mobile-first worker and provides users with a one-touch Microsoft Teams experience.
- Eagle Eye Cube, a video conference camera with 4k sensors for crystal clear image quality as well as rich sound to upgrade meetings in small to mid-sized rooms. Eagle Eye Cube is designed to work with many existing solutions including Polycom Trio with VisualPro and Group Series.
- Blackwire 7225, an intuitive UC headset designed for concentration in open offices with a sleek, boomless design. Blackwire 7225’s active noise cancellation allows for focus so people can work, listen to music and sound professional on calls from a PC or Mac.
- The Plantronics Status Indicator, a wired presence indicator that sits on a desktop and connects with whatever communications platform you’re using to let others know if you are available, on a call or away from your desk. Visual and audio alerts sound for messages and calls.
- Plantronics headsets and Polycom phones provide end users “better together” functionality, allowing basic and advanced headset features to be easily changed directly from the desk phone touch screen interface, without the need for a connected PC.
- The latest version of Plantronics Manager Pro, v3.13, that gives IT pros the confidence of knowing what devices they have, what’s working, and what’s not – and what to do about it.
- Polycom Device Management Service for Enterprises, which now supports and manages Polycom Studio as well as added API functions for better control and management of large deployments.
“Today feels like my first day as CEO of a new company,” CEO and President Joe Burton said in a media advisory. “We see limitless opportunity for how people communicate and collaborate. With advancements in AI, machine learning and new technologies, we see a future where Poly makes the connection, then quietly steps out of the way to become the one thing you don’t notice in the meeting.”
For more information, go here.