As you read earlier this week, Polycom has a new channel chief. Even though he’s only been on the job for a few days, I had an opportunity to sit down with Mark Arman, Polycom’s new Vice President of Worldwide Channel Sales, to learn more about his background, vision and top priorities.
Can you please tell me a little bit about your background?
MARK: I grew up in Sydney, Australia, where I spent 12 years with the Australian Air Force as an operational pilot, instructor and maintenance test pilot following high school. I attended business school and afterwards I joined L.E.K. Consulting, a leading global strategy consulting firm, where I helped deliver solutions to some pretty significant business problems for a
number of global Fortune 500 companies and various federal governments.
I went on to found and lead two Australian software companies: the first in video communications and the second in high-speed storage and compression. I moved to California permanently in late 2000 with the first of these two companies. It was in these roles that I first discovered my love for sales and deep solution selling. I joined ShoreTel in 2006, and spent the next seven years in a variety of roles, including business development, strategy, mergers and acquisitions, international sales and global channel. It was at ShoreTel that I gained my deep respect for the critical role our partners play building the UC industry and driving outstanding results for our customers.
What are the three things that are most important to you in your new role?
MARK: My background appears somewhat eclectic, but has some important central themes. Most importantly, I am driven by the need for Polycom and our partners to deliver exceptional customer outcomes. I wake up daily thinking about my customers’ issues, how to solve them, and how to make their lives better. My second priority is to ensure we drive and implement strategy that delivers great outcomes for both customers and partners. The third priority is my hopes and plans for the Polycom team. From the beginning of my career, I have had the good fortune of working with and leading world-class teams. I know what these teams look like, and I am committed to enabling them to become even better.
What excites you most about joining the Polycom team?
MARK: I got to know many members of the Polycom team while leading strategy and global channels at ShoreTel. I developed the deepest respect for Polycom’s culture and people, its product strength and leadership, and the Polycom brand. I’m very excited to be part of this great team.
Could you share your initial observation(s) about Polycom and our partner community?
MARK: I have developed the greatest respect for Polycom’s partners over the years. They are very capable and passionate about the company, its capabilities and its future. That passion is infectious and in the end is what makes hard work enjoyable. I have spoken to many of them and know there are opportunities for further improvement and growth. I look forward to working with our partners to help lead these improvements.
What are your top priorities for Polycom’s channel organization and/or the partner community?
MARK: My first priority will be to listen carefully and intently to our partners and customers. My aim is to ensure we really understand their perspectives in terms of what is working well and what is not. We need to ask what additional opportunities exist for more scalable, profitable growth for our partner community. We need to understand how Polycom can better help and enable these growth opportunities. The Polycom channel team is a strong one, comprised of many exceptional and talented individuals, with decades of experience. I look forward to working closely with them to frame and prioritize these needs and opportunities.
What is your favorite thing to do in your free time?
MARK: I have two small children (Charlie, age 7, and Geneva, age 2). I love to spend as much time with my family as possible. My second great passion is art and oil painting. I spent much of my spare time since moving to the US learning to oil paint in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. I don’t get much time to do that these days, but when I do, it’s a lot of fun.
Where is your favorite place to visit/vacation?
MARK: Positano, Italy followed by Sydney, Australia.