Team Polycom 2016

This past week, I had the pleasure of attending the Team Polycom Partner Conference in Nashville at the Opryland Hotel. I must admit, I haven't attended this event in the past several years but when the venue is an easy 3 hour drive from Memphis it made for a much easier decision to take the time to participate this year. And am I glad I did! 

This year's conference was literally a worldwide event drawing over 1600 people representing 70 countries (speaking 50 different languages) in attendance. And this year's event was all about "changing the game" at Polycom which was a theme that was reinforced many times in almost every presentation during the 3 day event. And frankly, based on the past few years' financial performance, I believe Polycom HAS TO change their game to survive in today's videoconferencing marketplace.

One way that Polycom demonstrated that they really want to change the game is by presenting solutions that are focused more on a company's workflow and customer "experience" rather than the speeds and feeds of a video device. Makes sense! Among the more impressive demonstrations during the conference was with the RealPresence Trio, Office 365 and the VVX. That was cool! 

Polycom Trio - Speakerphone meets easy visual collaboration

One of my favorite presentations was given by my buddy Ira Weinstein with Wainhouse Research (unified communications/videoconferencing consultants) who spoke about today's effective selling strategies and "spending time understanding their customers businesses." Ira talked a lot about positioning technology sales as "solving business problems" and not selling hardware and software. 

Another presentation that was really interesting was given my an executive from LinkedIn who discussed the power of social media and " social selling" in 2016. Many great insights were presented and definitely reinforced that the game has changed in not only the videoconferencing industry but in the entire world of technology sales. Old-style cold calling and prospecting simply aren't the smartest way to grow a business in 2016. Powerful stuff and great food for thought! 

Without a doubt my favorite presentation was delivered by Captain Chesley"Sully" Sullenberger who is the hero of the famous "Miracle on the Hudson" Captain Sullenberger started off his talk by playing the live recordings (from the cockpit and control tower) when he and first officer, Jeffrey Skiles, made an unpowered emergency water landing in the Hudson River after multiple bird strikes caused both jet engines to fail. 

Captain Sullengerger spoke about how he and his crew had to impose a "forced calm" on the 155 passengers to bring them to safety and how "exposure created composure" He also spoke of how the extraordinary circumstances brought out the very best in his entire crew. What an impressive story and a true American hero! 

The conference wrapped up with presentations about the changing world of work and also about attracting millennials in the workforce (with technology). There were also several comments about the  proliferation of huddle rooms (50 million) and the massive sales opportunity they represent. 

 The conference concluded with a terrific presentation from Scott McKain who talked a lot about creating great "customer experiences" and about how a company should be "obsessing about making it easier to do business with you." Scott spoke about how great customer experiences include clarity, creativity, communication and customer experience focus. Great advice and definitely a sound strategy for both Polycom and ISI to "change the game" in 2016.

Posted by Jay Myers at 5:05 PM