Poly Lens will eventually unify all the endpoint management solutions from both the Plantronics and Polycom sides of the house.
The week started off poorly for Poly, the company formed in 2018 when headset maker Plantronics acquired unified communications vendor Polycom. On Monday, Joe Burton, the former Plantronics CEO who had been a forceful advocate of the consolidation, stepped down as Poly’s President and CEO. On Tuesday, however, the company looked to regain momentum with a significant new product announcement made at Integrated Systems Europe 2020. Poly Lens is designed to bring all of Poly’s endpoint management solutions into a single solution, starting with their new G7500, and X30 and X50 video devices.
“This gives a unified path for Poly customers going forward,” said Beau Wilder, Poly’s vice president and general manager of infrastructure, cloud and analytics.
Previously, both Plantronics and Polycom had multiple sets of management software, depending on the product set. The goal of Poly Lens is to provide a single unified management solution going forward, for legacy products of both companies, and for different cloud solution lines wherever their origin.
“Poly Lens will replace all of our cloud management products over time,” Wilder indicated. “Lens is a unified cloud service that provides device management and insights to optimize workplace experiences. Instead of having a swiss cheese offering, we needed to deliver a unified experience for our customers now that we have the best UC portfolio in the industry.”
Wilder said that this unified cloud experience has become a necessity because of the momentum behind cloud.
“We will continue to offer our RealPresence Resource Manager for our cloud-averse customers, but the world has transitioned to cloud,” he stated. There are 33.2 million huddle rooms worldwide. Frost and Sullivan says that 75% of important workloads, including video, will be moved to the cloud by 2021. 67% of companies are also forecast to adopt VaaS [Video-as-a-Service] by the end of 2019.
Poly Lens provides two specific capabilities – device management and intelligent insight. The device management capabilities, which include frictionless device onboarding, setting configurations, map-based inventory management, and software upgrades, are free and will remain free. The insight capabilities will be free during the present commercial preview stage, after which there will some type of paywall for their use.
“We think that the device management part of it is now table stakes,” Wilder said. “Managing devices from a single pane of glass is important to customers, and that’s a core part of Poly Lens’ value proposition that we will give away for free. These do have value. The friction-free onboarding for customers and partners, is out of the box. As you power on, it prompts you to sign up and pairs you uniquely to a tenant within a couple of minutes at the most.
“But what we are providing above that is solving higher level problems with insight that has typically been in premium products, and bringing it down to a democratized price point,” Wilder stressed. “Competitive products gather data and expose them in charts and graphs. We will crunch the data for them and turn these data feeds into prioritized actionable insights.”
Wilder emphasized that Poly Lens is able to prioritize actionable insights through an intelligent news feed that puts the most important insights at the top.
“Within weeks we will be adding room-based insights,” he said. “For example, if a call starts late, it will indicate if it was because some people were not there, or if there were configuration issues, or something product-related that could be improved. We think this is just the beginning, that with this we are future proofing our customers’ investment at a pace that hardware can’t move at.”
Poly Lens is agnostic in supporting VaaS platforms, and also supports accessing third party cloud services through APIs.
“Many customers use multiple platforms,”Wilder said. “Lens lets you future proof not just the device, but the data in your Lens cloud.”
Poly Lens is available now worldwide as a fully supported commercial preview at no charge. It launches with initial support for the G7500, and X30 and X50 devices, and the plan is to add Trio devices and desktop phones soon.