Bob Aoun, Regional Sales Director at Poly talks to Channel Post MEA on how they expect to aid their customers with wide range of products and solutions as hybrid working becomes the ‘new normal.’
How would you evaluate Poly’s journey so far and where do you stand currently in terms of your product portfolio, channel base and geographical spread in the region?
Our product portfolio is vast as there are many products available to meet the current needs of the employees. Our headsets, video and audio-conferencing products, desk phones, analytics software and services are beautifully designed and engineered to connect people with incredible clarity.
Currently, in this region, we recently launched the Poly Series which includes the Poly Studio P5 webcam, the Studio P15 video bar and the Sync 20 USB/Bluetooth smart speakerphone. This is in addition to the Voyager family that includes Voyager Focus 2 stereo Bluetooth headset and the latest addition to the family Voyager 4300 wireless headset.
As for our channel base, we have several channel partners ranging from the United Arab Emirates to Morocco. As we happen to understand the region, we are willing to expand further and be able to provide more products that are relevant to this part of the world.
In your view, where is the regional market heading and how do you intend to grow in the region?
The MENA region involves a differentiated approach because of the number of cultures and languages within the region. The approach needs to be adapted to meet the legal demands of every country, negotiate the challenges of making products available locally, and ensure that the messages are delivered by respecting the values and morals of the country. It’s a rewarding learning experience when it gets right, but of course, it comes with its complications.
However, with the increase in the growth of spending in the technology market from 2.7% to 4.5% from 2020 to 2021, based on Gartner, Poly aims to penetrate the market with innovative products. We regularly conduct surveys, to be able to identify which products are making headway within the specific region and ensure to source products accordingly to the market.
The pandemic has changed the entire outlook of workspace environments. How is Poly aiding its customers in the Hybrid workspace?
COVID-19 has been a critical catalyst to change working habits, and a massive accelerant to the digital transformation already reshaping the working world. As hybrid working becomes the ‘new normal’, the range of solutions to communicate will continue to expand. Work is no longer a place, it’s what you do and how you do it. Therefore, we aim to find solutions for the dilemma of work from anywhere by creating equity between those in the offices and those who aren’t. We have a responsibility to keep up with the technological developments and the uses of each technology, react to new demands, provide feedback to solutions providers and guide customers in their choices.
As most offices remain closed and many people work from home, the biggest impact of the pandemic has been the rapid increase in demand for personal communications. At Poly we’re seeing a huge requirement for headsets and webcams to help people work more effectively from home. The market grew rapidly and the entire industry ran out of solutions very quickly. In order to address the special needs of the pandemic, we implemented enhanced safety precautions at our facilities and took steps to ensure continuity of supply to meet the heightened customer demand. In addition, we also worked on strengthening our existing relationships with our channel partners and IT providers to help our customers move forward with the distribution of endpoint technologies.
What are the major technology trends witnessed as a result of rising popularity in hybrid working environments?
A major trend of 2021 has been the fast acceleration of unified communications and cloud-based video – remote working moved leaps with everyone accepting it as the way to stay connected. While not all jobs can be performed at a desk, the surprise to all of us was that most types of work can be completed from any location. The sudden and urgent need to find new ways of connecting the hybrid workforce may have compromised the quality of interactions for some of us as not everyone was ready for remote work.
However, cloud video services are built right into devices for seamless access, so no PC or Mac is required, and wireless content sharing lets us collaborate from our devices with no need for any cables. Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) offers crisp audio and automated speaker tracking to benefit our colleagues working internationally or from home so they can easily follow the conversation. This trend will continue through and beyond the global pandemic
What are your expectations from this region in the next year?
The MENA region happens to be a great home for growth and innovation and specifically the UAE. As it’s already known as a hub for technology and innovation in the region. This initiative combined with the plethora of others announced in recent times makes it a very interesting, dynamic and lucrative market for investors and brands. The region provides the right incubator environment for such businesses along with a great lifestyle and culture. The high adoption of technology and WFH initiatives makes it a unique market and perfect for young and dynamic entrepreneurs and businessmen.