SHARE



ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Zeus Kerravala
Zeus Kerravala is the founder and principal analyst with ZK Research. Kerravala provides a mix of tactical advice to help his...
Read Full Bio >>
SHARE



Zeus Kerravala | January 14, 2016 |

 
   

Polycom Aligns RealPresence With the Digital Era

Polycom Aligns RealPresence With the Digital Era Unveils RealPresence Clariti, cloud-first collaboration infrastructure software that features flexible pricing model and deployment options

Unveils RealPresence Clariti, cloud-first collaboration infrastructure software that features flexible pricing model and deployment options

Over the past couple of years, Polycom, like many of UC vendors, has pivoted its product strategy to be in alignment with the "workplace of the future." Digitization is at the heart of that future workplace, as businesses of all sizes look to harness the power of digital information to move with speed.

Make no mistake: Digitization brings Darwinism to the business world. Competitive advantage no longer means having the best product or the most resources. Rather, it means the ability to adapt to market changes faster than peers.

Polycom has designed its RealPresence platform with this in mind. It allows users to connect with one another quickly, from anywhere and on any device. Now workers can collaborate with the people they need to, both inside and outside the company, over a variety of mediums to make decisions at digital speeds.

However, while Polycom has done a great job of aligning its product strategy with the digital era, the same hasn't been true of its pricing and consumption model.

As is the case in much of the UC industry, infrastructure deployment typically requires understanding a complicated web of different products resulting in high upfront costs. Also, one of the challenges the UC industry has had is in calculating return on investment (ROI) for technology deployment. Once a business deploys the technology it can then build new processes. UC becomes a technology they can't live without, but building the ROI story is difficult to do without having that knowledge beforehand. Consequently, "sticker shock" combined with murky ROI has been one of the largest inhibitors to UC deployments, including for Polycom.

This week at the home of the Johnny Cash Museum in Nashville, Polycom is holding its reseller event, TEAM Polycom. It's "walking the digital line," as Cash himself might have said, with its announcement of RealPresence Clariti, collaboration infrastructure software aimed at dramatically simplifying the selling, purchasing, and implementation of RealPresence.

Typically, to deploy a Polycom video solution, customers would need to purchase a number of discrete components, including audio/video bridging, call control, integration tools, and other items, and then pay for everything upfront. No matter how powerful a solution is, it's hard to ask a customer to pony up hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars for a technology project.

The cloud-ready Clariti software comes with a simplified licensing model that includes subscription and "perpetual" pricing. The software bundles include all the infrastructure required to deploy a Polycom solution, which makes it easier for resellers to bid and customers to buy the solutions. Customers have multiple options for deploying Clariti as well -- on premises, via hosted infrastructure as a service, or in hybrid deployments.

One particularly interesting and unique feature is something the company is calling "cloud burst." With this capability, if a customer needs more capacity, it can just burst to the Polycom cloud. When deploying infrastructure, customers typically must choose between the lesser of two evils -- buy for peak utilization and have the system sit idle most of the time or buy for normal operations and have performance degrade during peak times. Now customers can buy what they need today, and then burst when required.

With Clariti in place the process to quote and buy has been simplified down to the following three steps:

  1. Determine the number of users. Clariti uses a per concurrent user-pricing model through which an organization can add more licenses at any time.
  2. Choose the appropriate license model -- either CapEx or OpEx.
  3. Select the best deployment option -- on premises, basic implementation, or advanced. The advanced option includes features such as analytics, remote management, and API/SDK support.

I talked to a number of Polycom channel partners at the event, and I can bucket their opinions into three general groups. The first group is on board with Clariti and looking forward to getting started with it. Those in this group tend to be systems integrators or partners with existing software/cloud businesses.

The second group is interested but concerned that Clariti has the potential to make deal sizes smaller for the same amount of sales effort. I believe this audience is thinking about Clariti incorrectly. The idea isn't to cut the partner revenues (or Polycom's). Rather, it's about using Clariti's low initial price point to bring UC into accounts where they previously haven't had access. They can also use Clariti to open doors with new buyers, such as line-of-business managers.

The last group has a surprisingly large amount of fear in changing to a recurring sales model as it completely changes sales compensation and the way the reseller interacts with the customer. I understand the fear with this kind of change, but the industry is moving toward pay-per-use pricing so partners can either embrace the change and lead it or go the way of voice reseller.

I think the Clariti launch is a strong step forward for Polycom. Last year the company spent launching a number of new products. In 2016, it must focus on sales execution to monetize the new products and simplifying the pricing model will be a big step in doing that. Clariti shows that Polycom is looking past just building a great product and aligning the purchasing and consumption of its products with the digital era.

Follow Zeus Kerravala on Twitter and Google+!
@zkerravala
Zeus Kerravala on Google+





COMMENTS



Enterprise Connect Orlando 2018
March 12-15 | Orlando, FL

Connect with the Entire Enterprise Communications & Collaboration Ecosystem


Stay Up-to-Date: Hear industry visionaries in Keynotes and General Sessions delivering the latest insight on UC, mobility, collaboration and cloud

Grow Your Network: Connect with the largest gathering of enterprise IT and business leaders and influencers

Learn From Industry Leaders: Attend a full range of Conference Sessions, Free Programs and Special Events

Evaluate All Your Options: Engage with 190+ of the leading equipment, software and service providers

Have Fun! Mingle with sponsors, exhibitors, attendees, guest speakers and industry players during evening receptions

Register now with code NOJITTEREB to save $200 Off Advance Rates or get a FREE Expo Pass!

December 13, 2017

The two major vendors in the Unified Communications space, Cisco and Microsoft, are both strongly promoting their cloud UC deployments. If cloud UC is on your enterprises roadmap, but you dont want

November 29, 2017

As video conferencing use rises in the enterprise, businesses are looking for ways to bring this technology out of traditional conference room and make it more broadly accessible. That's made the h

November 1, 2017

Your customers (internal and external) demand that you offer them the ability to connect by any means. With the adoption of cloud communications tools you now have access to an expanded portfolio o

November 30, 2017
With a ruling on the FCC's proposed order to dismantle the Open Internet Order expected this month, communications technology attorney Martha Buyer walks us through what's at stake.
October 23, 2017
Wondering which Office 365 collaboration tool to use when? Get quick pointers from CBT Nuggets instructor Simona Millham.
September 22, 2017
In this podcast, we explore the future of work with Robert Brown, AVP of the Cognizant Center for the Future of Work, who helps us answer the question, "What do we do when machines do everything?"
September 8, 2017
Greg Collins, a technology analyst and strategist with Exact Ventures, delivers a status report on 5G implementation plans and tells enterprises why they shouldn't wait to move ahead on potential use ....
August 25, 2017
Find out what business considerations are driving the SIP trunking market today, and learn a bit about how satisfied enterprises are with their providers. We talk with John Malone, president of The Ea....
August 16, 2017
World Vision U.S. is finding lots of goodness in RingCentral's cloud communications service, but as Randy Boyd, infrastructure architect at the global humanitarian nonprofit, tells us, he and his team....
August 11, 2017
Alicia Gee, director of unified communications at Sutter Physician Services, oversees the technical team supporting a 1,000-agent contact center running on Genesys PureConnect. She catches us up on th....
August 4, 2017
Andrew Prokop, communications evangelist with Arrow Systems Integration, has lately been working on integrating enterprise communications into Internet of Things ecosystems. He shares examples and off....
July 27, 2017
Industry watcher Elka Popova, a Frost & Sullivan program director, shares her perspective on this acquisition, discussing Mitel's market positioning, why the move makes sense, and more.
July 14, 2017
Lantre Barr, founder and CEO of Blacc Spot Media, urges any enterprise that's been on the fence about integrating real-time communications into business workflows to jump off and get started. Tune and....
June 28, 2017
Communications expert Tsahi Levent-Levi, author of the popular BlogGeek.me blog, keeps a running tally and comprehensive overview of communications platform-as-a-service offerings in his "Choosing a W....
June 9, 2017
If you think telecom expense management applies to nothing more than business phone lines, think again. Hyoun Park, founder and principal investigator with technology advisory Amalgam Insights, tells ....
June 2, 2017
Enterprises strategizing on mobility today, including for internal collaboration, don't have the luxury of learning as they go. Tony Rizzo, enterprise mobility specialist with Blue Hill Research, expl....
May 24, 2017
Mark Winther, head of IDC's global telecom consulting practice, gives us his take on how CPaaS providers evolve beyond the basic building blocks and address maturing enterprise needs.
May 18, 2017
Diane Myers, senior research director at IHS Markit, walks us through her 2017 UC-as-a-service report... and shares what might be to come in 2018.
April 28, 2017
Change isn't easy, but it is necessary. Tune in for advice and perspective from Zeus Kerravala, co-author of a "Digital Transformation for Dummies" special edition.
April 20, 2017
Robin Gareiss, president of Nemertes Research, shares insight gleaned from the firm's 12th annual UCC Total Cost of Operations study.
March 23, 2017
Tim Banting, of Current Analysis, gives us a peek into what the next three years will bring in advance of his Enterprise Connect session exploring the question: Will there be a new model for enterpris....
March 15, 2017
Andrew Prokop, communications evangelist with Arrow Systems Integration, discusses the evolving role of the all-important session border controller.
March 9, 2017
Organizer Alan Quayle gives us the lowdown on programmable communications and all you need to know about participating in this pre-Enterprise Connect hackathon.
March 3, 2017
From protecting against new vulnerabilities to keeping security assessments up to date, security consultant Mark Collier shares tips on how best to protect your UC systems.
February 24, 2017
UC analyst Blair Pleasant sorts through the myriad cloud architectural models underlying UCaaS and CCaaS offerings, and explains why knowing the differences matter.
February 17, 2017
From the most basics of basics to the hidden gotchas, UC consultant Melissa Swartz helps demystify the complex world of SIP trunking.
February 7, 2017
UC&C consultant Kevin Kieller, a partner at enableUC, shares pointers for making the right architectural choices for your Skype for Business deployment.
February 1, 2017
Elka Popova, a Frost & Sullivan program director, shares a status report on the UCaaS market today and offers her perspective on what large enterprises need before committing to UC in the cloud.
January 26, 2017
Andrew Davis, co-founder of Wainhouse Research and chair of the Video track at Enterprise Connect 2017, sorts through the myriad cloud video service options and shares how to tell if your choice is en....
January 23, 2017
Sheila McGee-Smith, Contact Center/Customer Experience track chair for Enterprise Connect 2017, tells us what we need to know about the role cloud software is playing in contact centers today.