So the week of 5th October was exactly as I described it in a recent EMEA Town Hall – a huge week for all of us at Polycom! I started the beginning of my week at our bi-annual offsite with the EMEA Sales Leadership Team – using that time to brainstorm ideas, meditate (yes you heard me) and to review progress on my all-important EMEA plan both this year and into next year.
Then the 25th anniversary celebrations began. On the Wednesday evening (EMEA time) Peter Leav kicked off the first event in NYC marking the start of our 25 hour product launch and celebration. It was at this event that Peter, Michael Frendo and Ashan Willy unveiled truly game changing products for us at Polycom. Once NYC had started proceedings, to mark the occasion and to provide the link between the different sites, we passed the ‘25th Anniversary Time Capsule (Time Capsule)’ through each event.
Moving through APAC, and then onto EMEA, when it was our turn there was a real buzz in the air from not only our partners and customers but also employees too. Moscow marked the start of the celebrations in EMEA after meeting with the team in India to receive the Time Capsule. There, the local team celebrated before handing over the Time Capsule to Paris. In Paris, they celebrated in true style, with customers and partners enjoying live music and 25 ‘Gateau’.
The Munich customer and partner event was up next, in which we all enjoyed seeing the local team dressing up in traditional Bavarian outfits to mark the occasion. When it was London’s turn to take over proceedings, I had the ‘pleasure’ of accepting the Time Capsule from Jens Bauer, our ASVP for Central Europe who had truly got into the swing of things and was wearing his lederhosen!
Our launch event in London gave all our employees outside those regions the opportunity to hear the unveiling of our new solutions EMEA style, and we also invited along a special guest panel including UK analyst house MZA, and two customers to add a third party dimension to our the story.
The panel, including, one seasoned video user from the Royal College of Music - talked about how they had used video since 2003 and were now pushing the boundaries and using video for their actual performances. Our other customer panelist, Pearson, is a new customer who is implementing the ‘future workplace’ right now. A toast from me and an extra item for the time capsule (a Welsh rugby shirt – courtesy of Jeremy Keefe, ASVP for UK&I and Benelux) later, signified the end of the EMEA leg before moving back to the US and back round to where we started in NYC.
It was a day of firsts for us at Polycom. Not least attempting a 25 hour launch, it also meant for the first time we are able to offer to our customers a depth and breadth of new solutions, regardless of business size, sector or budget, and this is something we have never been able to do before.
For Polycom and me personally, it is an extremely exciting time, as the new solutions make us even more compelling to potential and existing customers. As work has drastically changed from a place we go to, into something people do, the office of the future is about ‘people’ and our latest solutions will simply enable people to collaborate more effectively across a broader array of workspaces. So, here is to the next chapter and the exciting things it will bring.