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Poly CEO: ‘There’s No Going Back’
Over the last year, we’ve seen some users begrudgingly accepted remote work at first, only to love it unequivocally in the end. One such convert is Poly CEO and president, Dave Shull, who went from “abhorring remote working environments to fully embracing the video revolution,” as he shared this week during an Enterprise Connect Virtual thought leadership presentation (register for free on-demand viewing).
And while many workers have woken up to the “video revolution,” we really were already well on our path toward changing communications and collaboration well before the pandemic, Shull reminded attendees. “Normal was already disappearing thanks to step changes in data infrastructure capabilities, the ongoing digital transformation of enterprises, and a corresponding increase in the volume and sophistication of communications,” Shull said.
Cloud services from providers like Microsoft, Zoom, RingCentral, 8x8, and others were all available before COVID-19, Shull noted. However, the pandemic “lit a rocket booster” under the adoption of these services — and nobody should expect a return to normal working models post-pandemic, he added. While the percentage of workers who will remain remote post-pandemic is up for debate, Shull said he believes a sizable portion of the workforce will keep working remotely indefinitely. He cited Gartner research that stated “remote workers will represent 30% of all employees worldwide” by 2024.
This prevalence of remote working will have a ripple effect elsewhere in the enterprise, affecting everything from space utilization to business travel, Shull went on to say. Enterprises with large centralized headquarters will likely downsize or relocate those facilities, and many will have multiple smaller offices in areas where the real estate is less expensive or near a talent pool, Shull said.
But the shift to a hybrid work environment doesn’t come without its obstacles, Shull noted. One of the main challenges facing enterprise leaders is how to create an equitable work experience for office workers and those who continue with remote work, Shull said. Different work schedules can contribute to an uneven workplace; as an example, he suggested that 9-5 workers might receive more IT support and attention as opposed to employees working at night.
The solution to all of this is, but of course, is technology, Shull said. Poly’s answer to the needs of hybrid workers comes in part with its recently announced personal video device line, the Studio P Series. The portfolio of USB devices includes the Studio P5 webcam, Studio P15 personal video bar, and Studio P21 personal meeting display. Each device is compatible with leading videoconferencing services, such as Microsoft Teams and Zoom, and available online from Poly.com, Amazon, or Poly channel partners, Shull said.
The hardware industry is at a critical inflection point, Shull concluded, with vendors such as Poly needing to offer the flexibility to work at home, in the office, and anywhere.