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Sat 13 Jun 2009 04:00 AM

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The bottom line benefits of collaboration technologies

What solutions does Polycom provide to those organisations struggling to reduce costs and environmental impact?

The bottom line benefits of collaboration technologies
Steve Leyland is the Polycom Managing Director EMEA.

What solutions does Polycom provide to those organisations struggling to reduce costs and environmental impact?

Polycom is unique in its breadth of solutions to allow teams within organisations to work together regardless of location. The Polycom offer starts with the great voice products, offering much improved voice quality compared to normal telephones.

We can then introduce a High Definition video component to the solution, whilst maintaining the ease of use of the telephone. We can support the largest meetings, with hundreds of people joining a call, and our solutions will allow a mix of voice only and video participants in a meeting, so that no matter where you are, or what communication device you have in your hand, you can participate in the meeting and share your expertise over distance.

Can you give some examples of companies using your solutions to reduce cost?

One interesting example is from the UK, where the customer was concerned about the level of travel between their UK offices, the lost productivity and their travel related carbon footprint. Through the use of conferencing technology, they have taken many tens of tonnes of carbon from their footprint whilst providing a 150 man-week productivity gain from a small deployment of solutions. That's three man-years of productivity gained by the organisation, and a conservative estimate of the value would be in the range of $300,000 so $400,000.

So, we think it is clear that the solutions have an increasingly significant part to play in today's business climate, where particularly the conservation of cash whilst still chasing business growth is a primary concern. Couple this focus with the requirement for an environmentally sustainable implementation of business practices and the case for examining the Polycom solutions becomes even more compelling.

What are the benefits for companies looking to enable a more dispersed workforce in order to improve both their bottom line and their environmental footprint?

Companies want solutions that yield very significant cost savings whilst allowing the reduction of travel related carbon footprint.

Allowing your workers to work from the location they choose, close to customers, and in a manner which is sympathetic to the family and caring responsibilities is important. The daily slog along the highways and city streets to the office is becoming more and more unattractive, and with the advent of new technologies, more and more unnecessary.

Now, the most progressive, and the most attractive companies (from an employee's perspective) allow this sort of flexibility and gain great benefits in recruiting and retaining the best talent. The tools that Polycom provide allow the flexibility that many organisations and their staff demand, whilst providing the means for team relations to be built so that the team continues at high performance, despite the barriers of distance.

Some large organisations have started to factor in the attendance rate of staff at the office when planning their real estate, and are finding that office space requirements, and of course car parking space requirements, can be reduced when you drive up the percentage of people who can work remotely from the office.

Getting people to use the technology appears to be a challenge, how have you addressed this?

We have literally made it as easy to use as a telephone. We have engineered our phones and video conferencing systems to allow a user to start a video conference as a simple phone call, and for the phones to then invite the user to add video, if they wish and as an added bonus the voice quality increases at the same time.

For those people who want to have absolutely no interaction with the technology, we also have a solution!!! Polycom can now set up the whole conference remotely for the user, so that user does not have to touch a single button, and the only skill required to attend the conference is finding a seat!!!!

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