In a marketing scheme designed to cook up some chutzpah for a waning video conferencing product, Polycom will be teaming up with unlikely competitor Google (using data from Google’s Street View technology) to figure out just exactly where it should plant its new stores for maximum payback. These outlets will make Polycom’s video conference systems seem more user-friendly and give prospective customers a chance to
experience firsthand RealPresence, to test out the latest RMX devices, UC Board, and mobile apps, and to practice setting up streaming / recording servers. In addition, customers will be able to have all their questions answered by certified video engineers at “the Presence bar” and to buy clever leather accessories for their room and personal video systems
Polycom’s effort is not only expensive, but it’s trying to cover up the limitations of a previously successful but now out-of-date architecture. Infonetics reports that “revenue for nearly all dedicated videoconferencing systems declined in 2012, with some segments falling off significantly.” Even Cisco which still has the lion’s share of the video conferencing market is turning to software to bolster its collaboration offerings rather than depending on a dying TelePresence Room platform. Meanwhile disruptive software-based video conference platforms such as Vidyo and Blue Jeans are growing at a fast pace and making inroads into changing video conference business.
So while marketing makes a great product more desirable, it can’t cover up a product people don’t want anyway. Who wants to deal with the firewall nightmares, complex servers, etc. that go with legacy video conference systems when cost-effective cloud video conference systems are available? Every day that Polycom doesn’t take real decisive action — not just putting out a marketing ploy — means less chance that they can pivot and thrive.
- Cisco Positioning for the ‘Internet of Everything’ (CRN)
- Video Conferencing Disruptors for 2013 (ScienceLogic blog)