Polycom Channel Leader On 'Proprietary' Cisco Spark Platform And 'Unique' Microsoft Relationship

Polycom is continuing to drive a deeper relationship with Microsoft in the highly competitive unified communications market, with plans to turn up the heat on Cisco Spark, according to Nick Tidd, vice president and leader of Polycom's Global Partner Organization.

Tidd said Cisco Spark is a "proprietary closed platform" while Polycom is increasing its openness and interoperability with industry leaders in the unified communications and collaboration such as Microsoft and Zoom.

"We have a very unique relationship with Microsoft, and it goes back almost 15 years. We are co-developing products. We're developing joint go-to-market strategies [and] we're underpinning technologies together," said Tidd, in an interview with CRN.

[Related: CRN Exclusive: Polycom Hires Juniper Veteran As North America Channel Chief]

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"When you attach a Polycom device -- both video and voice -- to [Microsoft], we're seeing a twelve-times increase in consumption," said Tidd. "We are giving customers choice in how they want to connect."

Tidd also discusses several of Polycom's recent channel investments including the hire of David Bankemper as its new North America Channel Chief. Bankemper, a 28-year channel veteran who was formerly vice president of channel systems North America for Juniper, will be responsible for partner strategy, enablement and acquisition in the US.

Tidd has decades of channel sales leadership under his belt, leading the partner charge for the likes of 3com, D-Link, and Condusiv Technologies. He was hired by Polycom in January 2016 and was named on CRN's 2017 Channels Chiefs: The 50 Most Influential.