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Plantronics, Polycom Rebrand As Poly; Unified Channel Program, Partner Tools Soon To Come

The combined company formed by Plantronics’ $2 billion acquisition of Polycom last year will now be known as Poly, a company focused on connecting people with UC equipment, software, and managed services, which represent a big area of opportunity for the channel, the company said.

Nearly eight months after coming together, Plantronics and Polycom Monday disclosed the combined company is rebranding itself as Poly.

Poly is a "new champion for technology that connects people, not just things," powering authentic and meaningful "human connections," the company said in a missive to partners.

The Poly brand is the result of headset maker Plantronics' $2 billion blockbuster acquisition last July of enterprise unified communications (UC) and videoconferencing provider Polycom.

[Related: 5 Key Points For Partners In Plantronics' $2B Acquisition Of Polycom ]  

In an email to partners Monday, Nick Tidd, vice president of the Global Partner Organization for the combined company, told partners that they will soon have access to "one deal registration tool, one partner portal, and one partner program—In addition to a suite of new partner tools enriching your experience with us."

What's more, Tidd said, partners will receive access to the tools they need to fully migrate to the new Poly brand with Poly "brand usage guidelines, digital assets and answers to all your migration questions."

Gary Berzack, CTO at eTribeca, a New York City-based Polycom partner, said it's critical that the company fully embrace partners as part of the new Poly brand. "It's a crowded market," he said. "Customers are looking for advice and consultation from partners like eTribeca."

Berzack said he is looking forward to more integration around the two product sets in the future around areas such as headsets, huddle rooms and personal video offerings. "To me, it's business as usual with Poly as the new name without necessarily demonstrating a newer consolidated product portfolio," he said.

For its part, the company says the name Poly – a prefix that means "many" – signifies its commitment to provide multiple modes of communication wherever customers need them.

"Both brands have great histories -- Plantronics as a leader in audio quality and headsets and Polycom in enterprise-class conferencing. We wanted to bring those together, and 'Poly' is the embodiment of all the many different modes of communications, in any place," Chris Thorson, senior director of solutions marketing for Polycom, told CRN.

Poly's focus won't solely be centered on endpoints. The UC powerhouse is also focusing on connecting people, regardless of location. To do that, Poly is playing up its managed services and software that can be layered on top of its hardware, Thorson said.

The "big investment" Poly is making in software and services presents a growing area of opportunity for partners, he said. Services accounts for about 20 percent of the company's business today.

"The professional services and managed services side of the business are on the uptick and we are investing in those areas because customers want a more 'hands-off' type of approach," he added.

Another big area of investment that partners and customers can expect will be within the huddle room space, the majority of which don't have audio and video technologies. "We're seeing the growth in that space that we want to leverage," Thorson said.

Also on Monday, Poly rival Jabra said that UC monitoring companies AudioCodes and Nectar have joined its software development kit partnership program to bring data and analytics from Jabra devices into their software tools.

As a result, solution providers and other IT decision makers can now analyze the performance of every Jabra headset from a centralized location and quickly identify the root cause of poor call quality, whether due to a Wi-Fi router, UC infrastructure or the individual user's headset settings, Jabra said in a statement.

Both Poly and Jabra unveiled their announcements at the Enterprise Connect conference taking place this week in Orlando.

Steven Burke contributed to this story

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