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Poly channel adapting to a hybrid world

Collaboration specialist has seen the demands on its partners change and a response across its reseller base

The lasting legacy of the pandemic is a change to work and, as a result, a redesign and fresh understanding of what is required in an office space.

Quiet zones, meeting rooms, learning spaces and relaxation areas are now becoming more familiar, and those resellers that visit the Poly Experience Centre in London can get to see what that looks like in practice and demonstrate to customers the technologies being used to support it.

The challenge for any employer, and for the partner supporting them, is to recognise that the days of one size fitting all are over and people need choices in the way they work. Poly has researched this and found there are various personas that need to be catered for.

Technology can help support those individual demands and make it possible to level the playing field so that those in the office or colleagues connecting from elsewhere have the same experience on video, speaker or on the phone.

“As we speak to customers, it’s not a question of which headset would you like to buy or what type of meeting we will have – it’s what’s the workflow of your employees?” said Sof Socratous, vice-president for Northern Europe at Poly. “What do they do? Where are they going to be calling from?

“For more than a decade now, we’ve been invested in understanding and developing personas...understanding workstyles, knowing that one size doesn’t fit all.”

The changes in workplace have also had an impact on the channel and Socratous is urging Poly partners to think about the hybrid workers and ensure they don’t miss out on sales that are happening outside the traditional enterprise locations.

“We have been working with channel partners that have traditionally been B2B with an established motion of selling and there is an acceptance of supply chain, but all of a sudden they are now dealing with a hybrid worker, someone working from home,” he said. “That expectation when you’re working from home is: Amazon can deliver it next day, so why can’t you?

“A lot of organisations are looking at the models of how they serve and continue where they were in terms of the large enterprises delivering to multiple head offices, but also looking at how do we then serve that home office?”

Approaches that have been taken have included giving home workers vouchers that can be spent with the partner as well as making deliveries quicker, but across the channel, Socratous said this was an area many were looking at.

“People are looking at different platforms,” he said. “How do we serve? What vehicles do we require to deliver the product? Those things have changed. The personas have been key, because that’s changed the conversation around what people may have and given details to thoughts [so partners] can add value when speaking to my customers and enterprises, to help them navigate hybrid working themes and solutions.

“What the channel is trying to do today is serve that value in helping guide, helping understand, helping provide the tools, but before that, helping with the design of the configuration of the rooms.”

Socratous added that the hybrid working debate was live and strategies were being devised now and it was a good time for the channel to be targeting this area.

“The market is experiencing exponential growth, so it’s an opportunity, first of all,” he said. “Secondly, for channel partners and for everyone they’ve been serving, all of a sudden it’s a different discussion. How many laptops do you want? How many headsets do you want? It’s about actually, what’s the purpose? Where should we deliver? How are you going to manage them from a security perspective, how are you going to install?

“All of a sudden there are other challenges that they have to overcome. So for channel partners, this is a fantastic, phenomenal space to be in.”

Read more on Audio Visual (AV) Solutions

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