“Poly’s video conferencing devices are being used by world leaders ”

Poly India Ankur Goel

Poly is a global communications company that powers meaningful human connection and collaboration. Poly combines legendary audio expertise and powerful video and conferencing capabilities to overcome the distractions, complexity and distance that make communication challenging. In an interaction with Manoj Jha, Editor, Smart State India, Ankur Goel, Managing Director for Poly India & SAARC discuss about the Poly’s solutions for remote workers and future innovation.

What role has collaboration technology played during the pandemic? How did Poly leverage the opportunity and how are you supporting your employees and customers?

Collaboration technology has been crucial in ensuring business continuity over the last few months. As work from home mandates where put in place, many people turned to collaboration technologies like video conferencing and platforms like Microsoft Teams and Zoom to ensure business continues as smoothly as possible.

As an industry, we saw a sudden uptake in how collaboration technology was being leveraged – people started getting comfortable with video conferencing and there was a shift in how remote workers were viewed. Organisations realized that when they equip their workers with the right technology, no matter the work location, workers are productive. Therefore, collaboration technology took centre stage in the last few months and has helped ensure businesses continuity.

At Poly, customers are relying on our solutions now more than ever. Poly’s video conferencing devices are being used by world leaders to discuss how they can mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic; leading hospitals and medical institutions are using our conferencing technologies to interact with their peers and provide consultation.

To support our employees and customers we are-

Enabling employees to work remotely by providing them with the best collaboration technologies available– Thanks to advances in communications and collaborations technology over the last few years, we have reached a point where remote working can be virtually as impactful as being there in person.

At Poly, remote working has always been a part of our business culture. We’re a firm believer that our employees should have the freedom to work wherever they feel comfortable and we support them by making sure that they have the right tools and technologies in place to ensure they can get the job done, regardless of location. We use collaboration technologies like video conferencing extensively and our enterprise grade Poly headsets which has features like Active Noise Cancelling allows our employees to be engaged and helps them have more meaningful collaboration. We’ve also ensured that the technologies deployed by our company for employee use—such as laptops, private corporate networks, or even employee communications and collaboration tools—are up to par to support our workforce working remotely for extended periods.

Prioritizing Communication– during tough times like these, communication is paramount be it internally amongst our employees or to our customers. Our managers are having daily check-ins with their teams to ensure that work continues to progress without any hiccups.

Our sales team is engaging in the daily prioritization of shipments – for instance, when customers are identified as medical first responders, they are given top priority. Our product and operations teams have been driving the logistics of moving Poly products from our manufacturing points to our customers, including securing hard-to-find supply

Can you elaborate on Poly’s solutions for remote workers?

Poly has a wide range of solutions that allow employees to work from home efficiently. Our products block out unnecessary distractions and lets remote workers work from anywhere as if they’re working from office.

Some of our remote working solutions include –

  • Poly Studio X30 – The Poly Studio X30 is an all-in-one video bar ideal for small meeting rooms or home offices. It supports 4K UHD video and has built-in wireless content sharing capabilities. The product is extremely simple to use with support for leading cloud video services such as Zoom and Microsoft Teams natively built right in. It does not require PC/Mac to connect and voices are heard crisp and clear; X30’s built-in, wireless content sharing option lets users share from their devices without the need for cables or pucks.
  • Eagle Eye Mini Camera – This feature-rich camera has been engineered for business-class performance in personal and small room environments. The EagleEye Mini camera mounts on the wall or on the top or the bottom of a display, for comfortable eye-contact for everyone in the room. The product features high definition 1080p video, electronic pan, tilt and 4x zoom for an image that remains at the highest capable resolution even when it is fully zoomed. Additionally, EagleEye Mini brings forth true color hue saturation, backlight compensation, and autofocus optimized for smaller environments to provide accurate, sharp, life-like images.
  • Voyager 5200 headset – The Plantronics Voyager 5200 is a compact headset that has hands-free controls, including a simple whisper of “answer” or “ignore” when it comes to calls coming through. A button has also been included to mute or unmute calls, and the Amazon Alexa voice assistant is integrated. The product features WindSmart technology that is geared towards wiping out as much external noise including wind and talking, a crucial element to make outside calls clear. The inbuilt microphone will also adapt depending on noise levels.
  • Voyager 8200 headset- With its contemporary, boomless design and active noise canceling, Voyager 8200 UC blocks out background noise so that customers can concentrate on their work or on their call, in comfort and style. The product features soft ear cushions, 24 hours of listening time and a 3.5 mm audio cable which allows customers to play music whether they’re in the office, home, on a flight or on the go.
What are your focus sectors? How is Poly working with the government sector and helping the Digital India initiative?

Our focus sectors are healthcare, government and education.

Healthcare –

  • Most of the India’s population live in rural areas while consultants and medical professionals live in urban centers -patients in remote and rural areas have less access to medical expertise simply because of where they live. Distance is also a stress on the system due to costly transfers to medical centers for treatment. Therefore, we see this as a huge opportunity wherein we can leverage technology to bridge the gap between patients and healthcare providers. Hospitals in India are turning to Poly’s collaboration solutions to enable this change and bring healthcare providers and remote, home-care, and quarantined patients together face-to-face for consultation, evaluation, and monitoring. In the current pandemic, medical professional across the world can use video conferencing and content sharing technologies to connect and ideate on learnings, thereby making the treatment processes more effective. Not to mention, telemedicine reduces transmission risks to both healthcare workers and patients.

Government Agencies –

  • India is a very large and diverse country. To function efficiently and coordinate efforts to mitigate covid-19 down to a grass root level, it is important that administrators i.e. ministers, government employees, and bureaucrats communicate and collaborate on a regular basis. For instance, ever since the covid-19 outbreak in India, our esteemed Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi has been regularly using video conferencing to connect with Chief Ministers and government bureaucrats across the nation – this helps them in making timely, efficient decisions. In disasters such as the current pandemic, video conferencing also plays an important role in helping the government bridge the urban-rural divide and educating rural citizens on the do’s and don’ts of safe practices to combat the virus.

Government agencies across the country, courts and justice department are huge adopters of Poly’s collaboration solutions; they are using our solutions to bridge the urban-rural divide in the country and increase efficiency and productivity.

Education –

  • Today’s students have grown up using many different types of technologies and they are comfortable with video as a medium to communicate. To keep up with closure of schools and universities during the pandemic, educators are rethinking traditional teaching methods and are adapting to the way that students learn best- i.e. through interactive learning; Universities and schools all over India are currently conducting online classes to keep its students engaged. Online summer camps are also gaining prominence.
  • By leveraging collaboration technology, we can break down the walls of the classroom and essentially move the classroom and the educator’s office to wherever there is internet and webcam access.

What is the future of workplace communication/collaboration?

We believe that the future of work will be hybrid working. i.e. employees will split their time between home offices and office. In the future of work, ‘place’ will be less important than ‘purpose’, and employees will be enabled to stay productive and connected with the right tools, whether working from home, or in the office. In addition,

  • Home offices will be given as much attention as the kitchen – ergonomically organized and crafted into places that inspire;
  • A prevalence of co-working – organizations will invest in co-working spaces in the outskirts of expensive cities to attract talent. Group collaboration and social connections with colleagues and others will lead to cross-fertilization of ideas, with resulting innovation;

Technology will have a big role to play in creating the next normal, powering new workflows between people and places and enabling seamless communication and collaboration so virtual teams are motivated and engaged. If companies respond, redesign and reinvent for this changing hybrid working landscape, they can meet challenges head-on and constantly evolve with any changes.

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