In this piece, Ole Mygind, Nordics Area Sales Vice President, talks about his first year at Polycom, the milestones and the challenges
So, Polycom, one year later… was it everything you anticipated?
When joining a company, often your expectations versus reality can be different but in this instance I am pleased to say that everything was as I anticipated. I had already had the opportunity to work with the Polycom EMEA President Marco Landi at one of my previous firms, so it was nice to join a business that was being led by a truly experienced individual. We have successfully executed our plans and achieved our targets this year, and that showcases the strength of our regional success.
Have you made many changes since you joined?
Polycom has a vast experience of working with channel partners across the Nordics and our network continues to grow. The team and I have been paying attention to our audio visual partner network to understand the pain points of not only our partners but their customers too. Enabling customers to drive voice and video adoption is a primary focus for Polycom, as is our Microsoft partnership and solutions offering.
In 2015, we made major extensions to our partner portfolio and welcomed the likes of Net Nordic, Cygate, Atea and Net Design to our network. The newly added partners are a great match for Polycom as they are extremely passionate about unified communications and collaboration technology as well. Even though the Nordics market is very mature when it comes to video, I see a huge potential for Polycom here. Not only that, we also expect to see the same results for our voice business as well, and for both video and voice we can jointly succeed by working closely together with our key channel partners.
One of the other primary changes I made included hiring the new talent in the industry. We are growing fast as a business in the Nordics and therefore we have decided to grow our talent pool by making senior country level hires. We recently appointed Peter Salmon as Channel Business Manager for Nordics and Chi Peng as Country Manager for Finland, and I am looking to strengthen my team further this year.
Do you have any highlights from 2015 you want to reference?
Polycom’s 25th year anniversary celebrations were particularly enjoyable and memorable. Events were held across all regional offices simultaneously as a part of the 25-hour around the world event. We connected with colleagues over the industry leading Polycom® RealPresence® Platform. In addition, we unveiled a range of new voice, content and video collaboration products that have been designed to address all price points and customer demands, and to allow us to better meet the needs of current channel partners as well as open the door to relationships with new service providers and integrators across the region.
What has been the biggest challenge? Has anything in particular surprised you?
As with any business of this scale, we are always looking for ways to streamline our activities and simplify our processes, which is particularly important as we continue to grow both our product base and company size. Often it is very easy to over-engineer things which might reduce the number of opportunities we could leverage for the business. I am working on a new strategy that allows us to work with new types of partners across the region so we don’t restrict ourselves to who can share, sell or invest in our products. This is helping us start new partnerships and provide our solutions to the customers in the specialist areas which we didn’t directly deal with before. In addition, I encourage the team to to take initiative and think about creative new ways of achieving their goals. In the previous year, we took the initiative and worked on some new opportunities that others may see as a risk, but I am pleased to say that our projects were successful and this is mainly due to the excellent cross-collaboration across the regional team.
What is on your hit list for the region in 2016?
I am focusing on maintaining consistent revenue growth for the Nordics business and growing our footprint in the region. My team will continue to secure net new customers and onboard new partners, so we can assist customers who are looking for the best-in-class solutions for their daily business needs. We provide tailored solutions for Skype for Business environment which is extremely popular amongst our customers. They are always very keen to learn more about Polycom and Microsoft connectivity so they can explore the new ways of working. Together with Microsoft we deliver a bigger and better experience to our customers.
What is the one thing you want to achieve most in 2016?
My priority is to expand our partner portfolio taking the business users’ needs into consideration so we can help customers resolve their business challenges swiftly. This is our new vertical-focused approach and we are already seeing great traction here. My team is well-versed in dealing with specific verticals and are fully trained to provide the much needed support to the customers and also partners as they are our extended team. Financial Services and Government sectors are extremely important for us across the Nordics countries. This is because Polycom solutions not only help businesses boost their business process productivity but also allows them to speed up the go-to-market plans for their own products and services as a result and deliver a better experience to their customers. One such example is a local tax office who have invested in Polycom solutions for one reason only – to be able to provide even better tax services to the citizens.
What’s your favourite thing about the company culture at Polycom?
Prior to joining I wasn’t accustomed to the video culture at all and now I cannot imagine a life without video. I only have a few face-to-face meetings as most of my colleagues are based in geographically dispersed locations. Video culture is helping us move forward as a business; it is irreplaceable. If I cannot meet a colleague in person, I can still walk away with the same personable experience and instant understanding of the meeting objective that audio alone cannot always achieve. The workplace of the future very much exists here at Polycom and I’m certainly excited to be a part of it.