Polycom bullish over the future of desktop UC despite mobile’s rise.
Polycom believes desktop-based unified communications (UC) are "in rude health" despite the fast growth of mobility.
The UC device giant has linked its future to that of Microsoft, claiming it provides 70% of endpoint provision for the Lync platform.
And Charlie James, director of Polycom’s Microsoft Alliance for EMEA, said Polycom is seeing a 33% year-on-year growth in Lync handset sales despite predictions that mobile devices will soon replace desktop-based UC.
James told CBR at Connected Business Expo last week: "The desktop’s in rude health. Obviously there’s a whole push to mobile working, to hot desking, so you have to make it easy for people to be flexible in the way they work.
"People talk around the idea that handsets are going to be in decline, that it’s going to be BYOD, it’s going to be mobility. Looking at our figures just totally contradicts that."
His views follow January predictions from cloud-based videoconferencing service Blue Jeans that more than 50% of video conference participants will connect via their tablets or other mobile devices by 2015, as well as Cisco’s November announcement of a mobile-first UC strategy.
Research conducted late last year by mobile managed services platform SpiderCloud suggested that 29% of US businesses would pay up to $19 per employee for a hosted UC service, with 63% of the 500 IT managers surveyed having a BYOD policy in place.
But James said that one advantage desktop UC has over mobility is that the business knows what devices people are using.
"When you get to desktop, it’s still going to be a controlled environment and that’s where we play. That’s why it doesn’t get that out of control."
However, he admitted mobility is of growing interest to Polycom, some of whose customers are supporting mobile workers with tablet devices.
"It plays an integral part," he said. "At the moment we can show integration into Surface, but it’s not just about Surface, it’s about tablets outside of that as well [including iOS and Android support].
"Mobility’s important because we have customers who have field workers, where it’s important to have tablet integration."