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Polycom Continues Boosting User Experience

Polycom has long been known for delivering unparalleled levels of audio and video quality -- one reason why the star-shaped Polycom speakerphone is a de facto standard in conference rooms today. Unfortunately, usability, like with much of the rest of enterprise communications, has lagged.

Historically, I could sum up the usability of most of these products in a single word: "Meh." If you're not familiar with that term, then this description should help clarify: It's something that my teen kids seem to use whenever I ask their opinions. For example, the answer to "How was school today?" is typically "Meh."

In Googling the word, I found out that "meh" means "uninspiring or unexceptional" -- so, yes, a perfect descriptor for the usability of Polycom products over time. For Polycom, product quality has long earned a big thumbs up, but usability a "meh."

But of late, as I pointed out in a No Jitter post earlier this year, the company got religion and has begun focusing on human factors, user experience, and ease of use. Each recent release not only has been about product innovations, but also about user-experience improvements aimed at making those offerings usable by average workers and not just the smart folks in Polycom's labs.

Polycom today announced three new solutions that continue its shift from engineering-led to user experience-led backed by great technology. They are:

As an industry watcher, it's good to see the vendors in the UC space focusing on making products easy to use. This market has been filled with terrific innovation over the past decade and a half but adoption has been light -- partially because most workers won't use stuff if doing so requires an engineering degree. This set of innovations and products are proof points that Polycom continues to walk the "easy to use" walk.

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