Top of mind for me is to continue to drive growth across all my regions, so I am excited to see how things develop in the Benelux over the next few months. We have made several changes over the past six months within the region and we continue to invest and strengthen our commitment in this market.
The team and I continue to take a positive view of our partner landscape. We also continue to work closely with our partners to understand their go-to-market models and integrate our go-to-market approach with them.
By taking this approach we enable them to be successful with Polycom by creating specific relationship models that are fit for purpose by region. In addition, we continue to work with our distribution partners in the region to ensure we support our partners and use our resources effectively.
What are you seeing in the market place?
One thing that is interesting to me is that we are increasingly seeing end users requiring more in-depth knowledge of what the collaboration solution can deliver, to help justify their investments to the board. For them it is no longer about travel savings anymore; customers are more interested in the business benefits a collaboration solution can offer, for example - better serving their own customers through more agile and flexible business processes.
We are also finding that the professional services and financial sectors are very inquisitive as to how they can use technology differently and are challenging us to come up with different ways of using our technology; namely to support mobile workers, working with clients on different systems and bridging them together. In education and healthcare we are seeing an increased interest in voice solutions optimised for Microsoft Skype for Business.
I have been managing the region now for one and a half years and in that time it has become apparent to me that the Netherlands and Belgium are a nation of early adopters; they are proud of their internet connections and how they can use technology on the go. There is a big appetite for flexible working in the region. In fact, just recently, a new Dutch legislation on ‘flex work’ was agreed which means all employees who have worked for six months or longer at a company can now submit a request for flexible hours and to work remotely if their jobs allows this. A great opportunity for us, as we expect to see a rise in mobile workers across the region.
I find the Benelux region really forward thinking. For example, in highly concentrated traffic areas in the Netherlands, commuters can be paid up to 150 Euros per month if they don’t travel to their work place between 8am -10am. The introduction of a similar idea has been included in the Belgian political agenda several times.
How are you capitalising on these trends?
As we see the requirement for businesses to utilise their current investment and ‘sweat their legacy assets’ far more, they are looking at the integration of their current environment and how they can bring it altogether. A lot of companies with mixed environments, using for example solutions from Polycom, Microsoft and a competitor solution are looking at Polycom to provide the platform to run it all, using our bridging technology to pull multi-vendor environments together. This is delivering many opportunities for us, in fact, in a recent customer site test, Polycom was seen to be the most efficient and effective solution of bridging disparate platforms together.
With the big appetite for flexible and mobile working, we have a great opportunity in the Benelux region and I look forward to seeing this come to fruition in the coming months.