Video calls make up most of my day: Marco Landi, President EMEA and APAC, Polycom

By Shayan Shakeel
Thu 22 Mar 2018 10:27 AM

Polycom is on a mission to bring video calls and other solutions to conference rooms. Marco Landi, President EMEA and APAC, and regional chief of one of the most innovative companies in the space, tells us about how he gets the job done each day.

What is your decision-making process when trying to navigate risk and uncertainty in such a fast-paced industry?

Initiatives and tactics come later; I start with the priority items to remain focused on my objectives and the company’s overall strategy. The one who does the research reaps the benefits, and research comes handy not only for prioritising and strategising but also for navigating risk and uncertainty. At Polycom, we like to say that we are ONE team – we lay a lot of emphasis on being strategic in our approach as a well-defined strategy helps the company grow consistently across all our regions.

What are some technologies/disruptions/developments that you are most excited about in the future?

The digital transformation in the audio collaboration sector due to the analogue to IP migration itself is expected to grow the global UC market to over $57 billion in 2024. In addition, as the new generations enter the workplace, we will see them driving more and more innovations in workplace technology. Boosting productivity and having workplace flexibility is on the younger generations’ priority lists and we need to listen to them as they are the future.

The UAE is a fast-moving market and adoption of technologies such as cloud and Artificial Intelligence (AI) is already being discussed here in great length. We already have cameras, such as the Polycom EagleEye Director range, that do active speaker-tracking and framing, and use analytics to deliver a seamless experience to the meeting participants and ease the pressure on the IT departments. Amazon’s Alexa for Business recently collaborated with Polycom to showcase the concept of the voice-activated workplace of the future. Polycom has a lot of exciting new stuff in the works for its customers.

What's the single biggest challenge facing your industry today?

Digital Transformation is on everyone’s mind and there isn’t a better time for businesses than today when it comes to finding the right technology. However, the challenge arises when it comes to bridging the connectivity gap between the newly adopted and legacy technologies as you wouldn’t simply throw it all out if it’s still working. The industry has given customers a lot of choices by shifting away from what used to be a dedicated application to a unified collaboration approach to bring together all communication technologies, such as Instant Messaging (IM), content-sharing, recording and streaming video for trainings, etc, for the benefit of customer. This movement is having a profound effect on businesses’ workflows and processes – for instance, unified collaboration technology is enabling companies to speed up their decision-making process. With digitisation comes the move from analogue to digital – a trend we are seeing on the audio collaboration side, and telecom providers are driving this change in the industry. While it is not a big challenge for all, businesses need to start thinking and preparing for the change now to keep up with the competition.

What is the most important/biggest decision you've ever had to make for your company?

My most important decisions at Polycom largely involved making investments, whether we were investing in our people, our products or our business. On a personal level, one of my biggest decisions was accepting the offer of my manger and our CEO, Mary McDowell, to lead both the EMEA and APAC regions. I strongly believe that the diversity and vibrancy of the combined geography brings us many opportunities in driving growth for our business.

What does a typical day look like for you?
My day starts very early with a bit of exercise as I am quite passionate about training and staying fit. At Polycom, I spend most of my time connecting with my team based across the world through video conferencing. I rarely resort to doing just phone calls all the time, as video has become the ideal office communications tool for me. I use it for both internal and external meetings. Due to my role, I also get the opportunity to travel a lot around the globe. I happen to be always on the move so being able to communicate with my team regardless of time and location is very important to me.

How do you encourage creative thinking within your organisation?
Fostering creative thinking at the workplace is vital to any company’s success. At Polycom, we encourage this by having an open policy so our employees can speak their minds. We eliminate barriers and hierarchy so everyone is free to express what they think and how they feel about the current business matters. Personally, to encourage an open working environment, I not only talk to my direct reports but also to their direct reports. We measure our success and assess our performance in line with the company’s vision and mission. I encourage my team to think about the areas that we can improve on and new ways of doing things differently for the better good of the business and our customers.

What do you enjoy the most about working for Polycom?
Our work culture – I am very proud of it! We drink our own champagne – we connect with each other using Polycom’s own unified collaboration technologies when we aren’t working from the same office locations as our colleagues, and that fosters a strong sense of teamwork to drive the business forward together. We are in the business of making the technology that really works and anyone of us can vouch for that in front of our customers.

What would you say to a new employee about the culture of your organisation?
People are the key to any business’ success, and Polycom is a company that puts its people and customers first. We encourage team-spirit across the organisation to motivate our workforce and help people carve out their professional career paths through training and reward programs. The one thing I always say to my team is that we spend 80% of our lives working and interacting with each other, so we need to like and believe in what we are doing.

What are three characteristics that you believe every leader should possess?

  • Listen: Every good leader must be willing to listen to their employees and other stakeholders so they can make the right decisions for the business.
  • Build relationships: A good leader builds and nurtures relationships with their people. It is important for leaders to be able to recognise the difference in opinions to be able to unite everyone for achieving the common goal for the company.
  • Be genuine and open: People can tell when you are not being genuine and open, and can end up closing that flow of creative ideas you need to maintain your competitive edge.

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Subscribe to Arabian Business' newsletter to receive the latest breaking news and business stories in Dubai,the UAE and the GCC straight to your inbox.