New Polycom Phone Line Hits Sub-$100 Price Point, Adds Cloud Management For Service Providers

Polycom is making a play for value-conscious small business buyers with its updated line of VVX Series Business IP phones.

The new portfolio beats competitors in the price-and-features game, the company said, and it goes hand-in-hand with Polycom's new Device Management Service for Service Providers.

The cloud-based service offering streamlines provisioning, management and troubleshooting for service providers by integrating those capabilities into their own services and dashboards, the company said.
[Related: 2018 Annual Report Card Winners: Solution Providers Give Top Marks To Key Vendors]

With a starting price of $89, the new VVX phones represent an effort on the part of Polycom to put some daylight between itself and its competitors in a fast-paced market.

Sponsored post

"It's a highly competitive space," said Shawn Puddester, Polycom's vice president of global service provider. "We do really well wallet-share wise with service providers. The devices at the prices we came out with really helps us separate ourselves in the marketplace."

San Jose, Calif., service provider 8X8 has already certified the new VVX line, and Samuel Wilson, 8X8 senior vice president of small business and ecommerce, said the new line makes Polycom a legitimate option in a segment where it has been overlooked in the past.

"Up until the VVX 50 line came out, [Polycom phones] were a little expensive," Wilson said. "Some of the competitive products, particularly the ones built by foreign manufacturers, were lower priced. I would argue they were lower quality also, but that sometimes is a difficult argument to have with a small business owner who views it as a piece of plastic. This price point makes them super competitive with the foreign competition."

For Wilson, the phones, along with the cloud services could help spur more small businesses to adopt concrete cloud strategies.

"For small business, U.S. cloud market penetration is below 20 percent," Wilson said. "Every day we close dozens of deals that are on-prem PBX replacements. Most have proprietary hardware attached to them. From a cost perspective, we say cloud is cheaper than on-prem, and they say, yeah, I know. The problem is you have to switch out all your phones at $200 a phone, for a small business that's not an insignificant amount of money. When Polycom comes in and says super high quality, feature rich device and instead of being $200 it's $100, that's a big deal."

Polycom, which was acquired by Plantronics this year, is releasing four new VVX IP phone models: the VVX 150, 250, 350 and 450. The company has also begun certifying service providers for the new PDMS-SP cloud service, which allows service providers to include Polycom device management and analytics in their customer portal.

Polycom is also planning the release of an API that allows service providers to customize which services and analytics they need from Polycom for each customer.