The News: SANTA CRUZ, Calif. – Feb. 2, 2021 – Poly (NYSE: PLT), today announced the Poly Studio P Series, the industry’s first professional-grade personal video conferencing equipment, designed to up the game of today’s remote worker. These personal video conferencing devices deliver the confidence, freedom and professional edge to look and sound your best wherever duty calls. Read the full release here.
Analyst Take: Over the past year, I have seen continued progress from Poly in developing the next set of collaboration tools that will emerge in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
While Poly hasn’t been one of the more outspoken name brands of the Covid era, the company has made strong progress from the appointment of CEO Dave Shull to the continued roll-out of new and innovative solutions like the Sync series, as well as key partnerships with Zoom and Microsoft–all of which, position the company very well for what’s next.
Today’s announcements further solidify the company in an area that I’ve been closely paying attention to, which is around hybrid tools that help make remote work better than just an app on your PC or mobile device. How do we apply next-generation tech like AI and Analytics to hear more clearly, while seeing, feeling, and experiencing meetings better? And when we go back to the office, how do we combine the best of room-based collaboration with a more mobile and flexible normal?
Poly P Series Addresses What’s Next For Collaboration
Today Poly pushed forward with its new line, referred to as its P series. This new lineup of products was clearly developed with the “work-from-home” and remote worker in mind. The series consists of the following new solutions (via Poly release):
- Poly Studio P5 Webcam – Personal webcam with camera optics optimized for video
conferencing. Poly Studio P5 Webcam packs 1080p resolution and 4x digital zoom,
comes with a built-in privacy shutter, directional microphone, and integrated USB
connectivity for headsets for easy audio plug-and-play connectivity.
- Poly Studio P15 Personal Video Bar – Personal video bar with powerful 4K clarity,
automatic camera framing, and a powerful integrated speaker and microphone array
with advanced NoiseBlockAI technology to block outside noise all in a single device.
- Poly Studio P21 Personal Meeting Display – Video conferencing display that includes
everything you need for a premium video conferencing experience, including a 21”
display, camera, and audio all-in-one. Dynamic ambient lighting adjusts to illuminate and
improve your appearance and overall video quality. USB connectivity frees Poly Studio
P21 to work with any video app that runs on a PC or Mac.
- Poly Studio P5 Kit – The Poly Studio P5 webcam paired with your choice of personal
device: A Poly headset or Poly Sync portable speakerphone. Available in four out-of-the-box combinations with corded or wireless headset options from the Voyager and Poly Blackwire families, as well as kits that
include Poly Sync.
Poly Lens and Poly+ Provides a Analytics For Collaboration and a New Revenue Stream for Poly
One area that got my attention in addition to the announcement of the new devices for enhanced collaboration was the focus that Poly brought to analytics and services with the announcements of Lens and Poly+.
Remote work adds complexity and Poly Lens provides enterprise IT and small business
access to a device management service through the new Poly Lens Desktop App. This new set of tools will provide users access to insights and the flexibility to better manage a remote workforce from the cloud. Poly Lens also comes with tools to improve setup, troubleshooting for the best possible lighting and camera placement, and ergonomics for the optimal workspace setup. This stood out to me because with so many remote meetings we have all seen those users that could really benefit from some enhancements to their setup. Optimizing the setup also provides a better work experience, less fatigue, and more satisfaction for employees and meeting attendees. There are even some tools within Poly Lens that focus on wellness for employees/users. I like this type of thinking as it reminds me of our fitness wearables and other devices that can improve our quality of life, if even a little bit. This set of tools comes standard with the new P Series products.
Poly also announced today Poly+, an exclusive personal device support service to provide:
- Enhanced 24/7 tech-support around the world, including phone, chat, web, and live video so you can have your own dedicated IT support
- An extended 3-year product replacement and overnight device replacement
for faster support.
- Single-app support across compatible Poly personal conferencing solutions so you can
control your personal device settings, ensure up-to-date software, and advanced
I see this as a migration into global cloud support and a way to increase Poly’s revenue attachment; something that the company will benefit from greatly, while also building deeper engagement levels from its existing and newly minted customers. A promising development and a nice spin on an old revenue model. I’m anticipating this will be well received, but it will be another area that Poly will need to be aggressive to win meaningful revenue streams as analytics and support continue to be hotly contested marketplaces.
Overall Impressions of the P Series Launch and What is Ahead for Poly
Poly is one for the future. It has had to deal with some consolidation and a bit of a journey away from its more traditional roots. Headsets and room-based video conferencing aren’t the future, but let’s not for a minute pretend that Airpods and Zoom haven’t amassed a fortune. Disrupting the business is the key, and the company is well-positioned right now to do just that and position itself as a leader in providing the tools and services to make remote work a better experience beyond the blur that has been the last 12 months. The products, services, innovation, and key partnerships are all in a good spot to take advantage of the continued remote work trends that will persist beyond 2021.
The P Series launch provides some really nice tools to enable this transition. And the uptake and growth will be a key measurement of the success, and this, of course, will put some pressure on Poly’s global sales and marketing teams to perform. However, from a product performance standpoint, I’m feeling quite optimistic. If the market momentum for collaboration finds Poly’s continued innovative collaboration tools soon enough, this could be the beginning of some significant positive momentum for the company.
Futurum Research provides industry research and analysis. These columns are for educational purposes only and should not be considered in any way investment advice.
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