The News: SANTA CRUZ, Calif. – October 14, 2020 – Poly (NYSE: PLT), today unveiled the Poly Sync family, a new line of smart, USB and Bluetooth speakerphones, at Zoomtopia 2020. These Poly devices use proprietary microphone technology to track the talker, not the noise. The Poly Sync 20, Poly Sync 40 and Poly Sync 60 speakerphones are designed to enable today’s need to work from anywhere. Poly Sync speakerphone’s USB and Bluetooth® connectivity options offer flexibility, while its intelligent microphones can easily detect voices throughout the room to enable crisp audio quality for both work and entertainment. For seamless voice integration, connect Poly Sync speakerphones to your Siri or Google voice assistant and check even more off your to-do list without lifting a finger. Read the full release from Poly.
Analyst Take: Covid-19 turned work, school and just about every part of our lives upside down and one of the most notable shifts that came as a byproduct was a 9x growth in remote work. This led to an explosion of growth for the likes of Zoom, Microsoft, Cisco and others that offered easy to use collaboration tools.
Zoom’s meteoric rise from exciting collaboration upstart to one of the hottest stocks (and tools) in the market may make it the darling of 2020, if there can be such a thing. Its technology quickly became the Kleenex of video meetings, and its trajectory is now seemingly etched in stone.
If Zoom gets the credit of being the darling of 2020, it is Poly that has quietly earned a series of much deserved stripes for its wide line of hardware solutions that span from room based integration technologies for video to ultra-portable video solutions and bluetooth headsets that have been irreplaceable in enabling students, employees, municipalities and families to keep in touch during these these unprecedented times.
As Zoomtopia takes shape, there will be a lot of excitement about Zoom’s contributions to the collaboration ecosystem, but I would be remiss not to look at some of the key peripheral technology providers that have been deeply engaged with Zoom to build robust and easy to use tools that allow users to get more from their Zoom subscriptions.
Poly and Zoom have an Expansive Partnership
I have continued to be impressed by the deep engineering partnerships that have been developed between Poly and Zoom. While Poly is diversified and serves a number of collaboration platforms, the company has been aggressively expanding its offerings to meet diverse use cases for remote Zoom users, but also a path to returning to work with a comprehensive offering for larger conference rooms and auditoriums. This is important to note as video is here to stay long after the pandemic subsides.
Ahead of Zoomtopia, the company already had the key headsets, speakerphones and video peripherals for Zoom–but has chosen to expand its offerings and is using Zoomtopia as a moment to introduce its new Sync offering.
Poly Sync Line to Simplify Meetings Including the Zoom Certified Sync 20
I still remember the Polycom Star phone that used to sit in what felt like every conference room on the planet. These devices became synonymous with conference phones. Poly, would fare well to find its next every room solution and I believe that is the direction that the company is heading with its new line of Sync devices.
While the devices span from personal and portable in its Sync 20, the line expands to larger spaces that will scale up well as we return to the office.
For Zoomtopia, the company diligently worked side-by-side with Zoom to gain Zoom Certification for the Sync 20. The device is setup to be pre-programmed for one button Zoom integration for extraordinary ease of use.
Having had early access to test and use the Sync 20, I was very impressed with the ease of use from setup to call connectivity. I could see the Sync 20 finding its way into the offices of millions of remote workers looking for the best of voice based integrations with collaboration. It is worth noting, while the Sync 20 is certified for Zoom, it isn’t only Zoom friendly as it also works with Microsoft Teams, Webex, GoTo Meeting and more.
These strategic partnerships put Poly in a strong position to be a key peripheral provider in remote offices and workspaces over the coming years as we shift to a hybrid work model with more continued video, but a certain increase in physical collaboration spaces.
Poly Delivers Hardware as a Service on Zoom
Another interesting move that Poly has made is its strategic tether to Zoom’s growing investment in delivering hardware as a service based upon the Zoom platform.
I am not only fond of the tie-up with Zoom, but also the scaled up sales channel that Poly is benefitting from by having Poly hardware attach to the expanding investment in Zoom by Zoom’s customers. The continued certification and engineering partnership between Poly and Zoom will stand to benefit both companies with volume scale for Poly being the desired outcome.
Overall Impressions of Poly Zoomtopia Launch, the Sync 20 and Poly’s Future
With a future of work that will undoubtedly be more hybrid and involve a continued volume of collaboration even beyond the pandemics impact on work, it is going to be imperative for enterprises, schools, governments and municipalities to invest in the hardware that makes collaboration function more seamlessly from better voice quality, to AI enhancements for noise cancellation and simple integration to various platforms as we are all bouncing between meetings on Zoom, Microsoft, Cisco and more.
In short, Poly has a continuously evolving set of hardware offerings and has been very strategically aligning with Zoom. This has led to the company being able to tout one of the largest product portfolios for the Zoom platform. With the introduction of the Sync family, this portfolio continues to unlock better meetings and Poly has positioned itself well to meet the short term remote work needs with the Sync 20, which isn’t only a sound product in both form and function, but is among the first to receive Zoom’s Personal USB Speakerphone certification.
Poly is turning a corner, and has wisely partnered with Zoom to scale more rapidly. Its partnerships beyond Zoom certainly don’t hurt either. The future is looking brighter for Poly and I expect a positive response from the market as it rolls out its new solutions in the coming week.
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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Daniel Newman is the Principal Analyst of Futurum Research and the CEO of Broadsuite Media Group. Living his life at the intersection of people and technology, Daniel works with the world’s largest technology brands exploring Digital Transformation and how it is influencing the enterprise. Read Full Bio