Q&A with Amy Barzdukas, Executive Vice President & Chief Marketing Officer at Poly

MEDIA 7 | November 21, 2019

Amy Barzdukas, EVP and Chief Marketing Officer at Poly is a marketing and communications leader with extensive experience in setting strategy, shifting perceptions, advising customers, digital marketing, revenue marketing, integrated marketing communications, and public relations in highly competitive product arenas.

Amy is known for her ability to create and execute winning turnarounds on a global scale.

MEDIA 7: What inspired you to get into marketing?
AMY BARZDUKAS:
I was always destined for marketing, even if I didn’t know it. As a child, I collected promotional brochures. I was fascinated by how the words and pictures were used to drive action. My first job was as an advertising copywriter, and I’ve never looked back.

M7: How is Poly redefining the video conferencing experience for modern businesses?
AB:
 We’re in an unprecedented time of change in our industry. Voice and video services are moving to the cloud, and companies are changing how they approach their communications needs. Poly is the largest provider of the devices – video conferencing, audio conferencing, headphones and desk phones – you use to connect to these services so you can collaborate with your colleagues. That uniquely positions us to shape the video conferencing experience, and we’re doing so in four ways.

First, Poly has made both the Zoom Rooms and the Microsoft Teams video conferencing experience better than ever with our radically simple Poly Studio X video bars that deliver these experiences with no PC or Mac required. We’ve got decades of experience in understanding what makes meetings more human – for everyone in the room and those dialing in from other locations – and we’ve packed all of that into easy-to-install, easy-to-manage, and easy-to-use all-in-one powerhouses.

Second, we are bringing the world of AV and video conferencing into the modern app economy. Our Studio X series and Poly G7500 video conferencing devices run a common platform that can be updated and enhanced through a series of regular software updates. This Poly platform, built on Android, can run applications like a smartphone does today.

Third, Poly has introduced innovation that makes any video conference better. Our new Poly MeetingAI features use AI and machine learning to address the distractions that hit your senses in a meeting. We make it easier to hear what’s being said by blocking out the annoying noises that people make while talking, and we make it easier to see what’s going on in the room with the most advanced speaker tracking and framing, and our built-in production rules.

Finally, we are pricing our solutions in a way that completely resets the calculations on what it costs to outfit a room. The Studio X30, for huddle room and smaller spaces, costs just about $2,100, including the Poly TC8 touch controller. All you add is the cloud service and a monitor, and you have a room up and running for under $2,500. That’s easily under the cost of other solutions and with better audio and video quality.


"Baby Boomers and more than half of Gen Z say they are most productive when they were working around noise."

M7: As the CMO of Poly, what were the major challenges in rebranding and transforming two separate organizations (Plantronics and Polycom) under a single brand Poly?
AB:
One of the greatest challenges of bringing together Plantronics and Polycom was doing so in a way that honored their brand equity, history, and positive associations while establishing a new story for the new company. Plantronics was already an audio pioneer– the first headset that transmitted Neil Armstrong’s famous words during the first moon landing. Polycom was the leader in audio and video conferencing – the conference phone used by business leaders and industry captains.
We had to figure out how to build a stand-out narrative in a crowded space for the general market. For customers and partners, we found a way to carry through the legacies and histories of both companies into the new brand. And for our employees, we had to inspire them to believe in the new brand and the new combined mission. These different challenges with different stakeholders took different approaches to confront, but in the end, we brought everyone to the same conclusion that Poly was moving forward, unified and stronger.

And like any acquisition, integration takes time. We’re proud of our accomplishments since rebranding to Poly in March 2019. Since then, we’ve refreshed our video conferencing line of products, broken new ground with a mobile phone station called Elara 60 Series and showcased our continued commitment to expanding the ecosystem with partners such as Zoom, Microsoft, Google, Amazon and more. As Poly, we bring a new level of quality, simplicity, and flexibility so that every communication can easily become a place for collaboration and innovation for the enterprise.


"Gen Z and Millennials came up in an era of digitization, so they are more accustomed to the tools and technology to deal with distractions in the workplace."

M7: A recent study by Poly reveals that employees prefer noisier open offices to closed, quiet spaces. What do you think is responsible for driving these unique demands in the workplace today?
AB:
Our research shows that Gen Z and Millennials tend to prefer open offices compared to Gen X and Baby Boomers and that more than half of Gen Z say they are most productive when they were working around noise. What we’re seeing is that Gen Z and Millennials came up in an era of digitization, so they are more accustomed to the tools and technology to deal with distractions in the workplace. For example, they’re used to wearing noise-canceling headphones to block out the background noise, and similarly at home with video. They’ve been doing it all their lives!

Now that we can work from anywhere – coffee shops, airports, waiting rooms – we are more accustomed to dealing with distractions and working through them. We take that mindset into the office along with the tools we may use to address distraction, from a pair of comfortable headphones with ANC to deciding to do different types of work in different settings.

M7: What features have made Poly Studio win the 'Best of Enterprise Connect' award in the '2019 Communication/Collaboration Device'?
AB: 
Poly Studio is our answer to the need for easy-to-use video conferencing devices for smaller spaces called huddle rooms. Poly Studio is a video USB bar with premium audio and video capabilities. Its standout features include NoiseBlock, which mutes distracting background noises, Automatic Group Framing and Speaker Tracking, which zooms in to focus on the speaking participant. This board-room like audio and video transforms small meeting rooms into a center for collaboration. We’re also pleased that it was recently certified for Zoom Rooms and Microsoft Teams. The device also works with Skype for Business, Google Meet, Cisco WebEx and Amazon Chime, and virtually any cloud-based video collaboration service.


"Poly combines legendary audio expertise with powerful video and conferencing capabilities to help our users overcome the distractions, complexity, and distance, making communication in and out of the workplace challenging."

M7: What traits make Poly a global leader in communications and a leading choice for every kind of workspace?
AB:
Our in-depth expertise, tireless innovation, and emphasis on partnership make Poly a global leader in communications and a leading choice for every kind of workspace.

Poly combines legendary audio expertise with powerful video and conferencing capabilities to help our users overcome the distractions, complexity, and distance, making communication in and out of the workplace challenging. When the world was on a race to space in the ’60s, NASA approached us—Plantronics back then—with a seemingly impossible task: create a headset that would equip astronauts to communicate with Mission Control from the earth to the moon, and back again.

Fifty years later, we share the same mission today: to create powerful connections that unify people the world over. We’re designing technology for the different ways people work – open offices, remote locations, mobile-first workers. We are the largest provider of headsets, video and audio-conferencing devices that you use to communicate and collaborate for your work, whatever that may be. And we continue to innovate with products like Poly Studio X that change how people collaborate.
Through partnerships with industry leaders like Microsoft, Amazon, Google, and Zoom, Poly takes an open-architecture approach that allows users to seamlessly connect across all the best technologies. Whenever and wherever people connect with these services, we will be there to provide the best-in-class audio, video and voice technology to make the experience that much better.

M7: What’s your superpower or spirit animal?
AB: 
My superpower is the ability to read amazingly quickly, thanks to the experimental elementary school I attended. I don’t know how anyone gets through their workload without it, honestly. My spirit animal? I told my husband the other day that I think it is Tom Petty. I’m a huge fan. If you have a problem, there is a Tom Petty song that can solve it, or at least make it more fun.

ABOUT POLY

Plantronics, Inc. (“Poly” – formerly Plantronics and Polycom) (NYSE: PLT) is a global communications company that powers meaningful human connection and collaboration. Poly combines legendary audio expertise and powerful video and conferencing capabilities to overcome the distractions, complexity, and distance that make communication in and out of the workplace challenging. Poly believes in solutions that make life easier when they work together and with our partner’s services. Our headsets, software, desk phones, audio and video conferencing, analytics and services are used worldwide and are a leading choice for every kind of workspace.

More C-Suite on deck

Q&A with Cameron Worth, CEO & Founder, SharpEnd

Media 7 | April 22, 2020

Cameron Worth, CEO & Founder of SharpEnd leads the company’s mission to help brands move closer than ever to consumers by connecting packaging, retail and experiential activity. He is a regular speaker and writer on how to build brands in a connected world. He has spoken at Cannes, the Festival of Marketing, LuxePack Monaco and New York, Ad:Week Europe and New York, DMA, the Connected Consumer Conference, Mobile World Congress and the IoT World Forum. MEDIA 7: How did the idea of “the agency of things” come to your mind? CAMERON WORTH: SharpEnd was created in 2015 as the world’s first Internet of Things focused agency, so there is a slight play on words when we say we’re the Agency of Things. I think the idea of giving things their own agency is an interesting concept, and the strapline fits our capabilities on multiple levels. M7: In what way does technology drive the association of SharpEnd with global brands? What approaches are followed to enable sustainability? CW: Our simple proposition is to help build brands in a connected world, and to do that you must always start with identified consumer needs or pain points and look at technology as just an enabler to deliver an appropriate solution (when appropriate).  Take the issue of sustainability, which is often a pain point for brands that grapple with issues such as how we can reward sustainable behaviour change. One of our approaches to this could be to look at communicating the recycling credentials of the different products. Whilst the consumer can engage with a product as part of a wider consumer experience, the same technology could also house content that could tell you whether the product is recyclable, which type of bin it goes in etc. SharpEnd’s work with Unilever is a case in point. We built a digital product that incentivised recycling through gamification but also served to educate through informing people how and where to recycle in a clear fashion. All users had to do was simply scan their packaging to have all this information at their disposal.

Read More

Q&A with Cameron Worth, CEO & Founder, SharpEnd

Media 7 | April 22, 2020

Cameron Worth, CEO & Founder of SharpEnd leads the company’s mission to help brands move closer than ever to consumers by connecting packaging, retail and experiential activity. He is a regular speaker and writer on how to build brands in a connected world. He has spoken at Cannes, the Festival of Marketing, LuxePack Monaco and New York, Ad:Week Europe and New York, DMA, the Connected Consumer Conference, Mobile World Congress and the IoT World Forum. MEDIA 7: How did the idea of “the agency of things” come to your mind? CAMERON WORTH: SharpEnd was created in 2015 as the world’s first Internet of Things focused agency, so there is a slight play on words when we say we’re the Agency of Things. I think the idea of giving things their own agency is an interesting concept, and the strapline fits our capabilities on multiple levels. M7: In what way does technology drive the association of SharpEnd with global brands? What approaches are followed to enable sustainability? CW: Our simple proposition is to help build brands in a connected world, and to do that you must always start with identified consumer needs or pain points and look at technology as just an enabler to deliver an appropriate solution (when appropriate).  Take the issue of sustainability, which is often a pain point for brands that grapple with issues such as how we can reward sustainable behaviour change. One of our approaches to this could be to look at communicating the recycling credentials of the different products. Whilst the consumer can engage with a product as part of a wider consumer experience, the same technology could also house content that could tell you whether the product is recyclable, which type of bin it goes in etc. SharpEnd’s work with Unilever is a case in point. We built a digital product that incentivised recycling through gamification but also served to educate through informing people how and where to recycle in a clear fashion. All users had to do was simply scan their packaging to have all this information at their disposal.

Read More

Related News

ENTERPRISE MOBILITY

SASE Solutions to Surpass Expectation in Remote Work Connectivity

Fortinet | June 29, 2022

Fortinet, a U.S.-based provider of in broad, automated cybersecurity, and integrated solutions across the entire digital attack surface, data, securing devices, and applications; and Masergy, a pioneer in software-defined networking and cloud platforms for the digital enterprise, released the results of a new Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) research study from CIO. The results demonstrate that recent trends are leading to more investments in SASE systems, with benefits that have been proven to be beyond expectations in five important categories, most notably security performance and remote work connectivity. In 2020, Masergy and Fortinet joined hands in order to deliver a highly distinctive SASE architecture that converges networking and security. The collaborative SASE offering helps redefine what is possible for forward-thinking enterprises by combining Masergy's software-defined networks, industry-leading service level agreements, 24/7 security and network management services, and great customer experience. The Masergy-delivered SASE offering is built by combining Fortinet’s Secure SD-WAN, which coincides with highly scalable SD-WAN, advanced routing, next-generation firewall, and zero-trust network access (ZTNA) into a single solution. “An overwhelming majority of respondents (98%) believe the convergence of network and security is critical or very important.” He further added, “We know that building intelligence across disciplines is essential in a world where work is no longer defined by location. Network and security teams require new ways of working together — across all domains and resources with shared visibility to drive actionable insights. That’s where SASE is gaining steam.” Franz Chavez, Vice President, Solutions Engineering at Masergy, now part of Comcast Business “As employees return to the office and organizations adopt a more hybrid work model to enable employees to work from anywhere, we see more IT teams finding that, for SASE to be deployed effectively, a Secure SD-WAN platform must be at its foundation and consistent across on-premises and in the cloud,” said Jonathan Nguyen-Duy, Vice President, Global Field CISO, Fortinet.

Read More

ENTERPRISE MOBILITY

XL Axiata Partners with Juniper Networks

Juniper Networks | June 09, 2022

Juniper Networks, a leader in security, AI-driven networks, announced today that XL Axiata, one of Indonesia's leading mobile telecommunications companies, will improve its existing network infrastructure with Juniper's Segment Routing over IPv6 (SRv6) and MX Series Global Routing Platforms. With Juniper enhancements, XL Axiata will have a stronger networking base to serve the increased demand for 5G services as well as Indonesia's booming digital economy. By 2026, Indonesia is expected to have 233.53 million mobile internet users. This increase in internet users with access to digital services will aid in the expansion of the country's digital economy, which is estimated to contribute $150 billion to GDP by 2025. The government unveiled the Digital Indonesia Roadmap to advance the country's digital transformation strategy, with major targets include completing 4G infrastructure in more than 10,000 subregions by 2022 and constructing 5G-ready networks. XL Axiata has a long history of constructing high-performance networks in Indonesia, and the company previously collaborated with Juniper to establish the mobile backhaul technology that underpins its statewide 4G LTE network. XL Axiata chose Juniper to implement its SRv6-based transport network, which will underpin the development of 5G services throughout Indonesia, based on this strong partnership and track record. Fadly Hamka, Group Head Network Planning & Design, XL Axiata said that “XL Axiata is thrilled to deepen our long-standing partnership with Juniper Networks and welcome them on board our 5G journey. By leveraging Juniper’s industry-leading routing solutions and SRv6 capabilities, we will be able to experience improved network reliability and scalability, as well as simplified network operations. Alongside Juniper, we look forward to supporting Indonesia’s digital economy and providing our customers with high-speed, on-demand, low-latency connectivity for 5G services.” “It is an honor to be a part of XL Axiata's 5G journey, which will support digital transformation in Southeast Asia's largest economy. This expansion of our long-term relationship is also a testament to our ability to build scalable and operationally intelligent networks. With our experience-first solutions and the capabilities provided by SRv6, we are confident that XL Axiata will deliver superior 5G experiences and continue to provide world-class connectivity in Indonesia for many years to come.” Perry Sui, Senior Director, ASEAN & Taiwan, Juniper Networks With Juniper's SRv6 deployment, XL Axiata's network will have improved control, agility, application awareness, and easier traffic management. As 5G continues to be a key pillar in Indonesia's digital economy and post-pandemic recovery plans, XL Axiata will have built a modern network that is ready for future demands for high quality, scalable connectivity services that provide consumers and businesses with reliable and superior experiences.

Read More

ENTERPRISE MOBILITY

Converge IoT signs Distribution Agreement with Vuzix

Converge IoT | March 23, 2022

Converge IoT is a T-Mobile for Business Channel Partner Program National Distributor/Primary Agent, and will offer Vuzix smart glasses across numerous business verticals on 5G networks of T-Mobile, which is the country's biggest, fastest, and most reliable 5G network. Companies with field technical personnel, such as residential and commercial property maintenance, construction, healthcare, utilities, automotive, and others, are projected to benefit the most from Vuzix smart glasses solutions. Converge IoT strives to be a leader in innovative solutions that utilize 4G and 5G wireless connectivity. The addition of Vuzix to our line-up is the perfect example of how 5G will transform how companies do business today. We look forward to supporting direct customers and resellers to deliver Vuzix smart glasses." Mark Savage, CEO of Converge IoT Paul Travers, President, and CEO of Vuzix said that "We are continuing to increase the number of sales and support options available to North American customers with the addition of established distribution partners such as Converge IoT. Vuzix smart glasses will support their efforts to help T-Mobile for Business customers gain a competitive advantage by using technological tools for the design of digital work processes across production, logistics, retail, field services, and healthcare."

Read More

ENTERPRISE MOBILITY

SASE Solutions to Surpass Expectation in Remote Work Connectivity

Fortinet | June 29, 2022

Fortinet, a U.S.-based provider of in broad, automated cybersecurity, and integrated solutions across the entire digital attack surface, data, securing devices, and applications; and Masergy, a pioneer in software-defined networking and cloud platforms for the digital enterprise, released the results of a new Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) research study from CIO. The results demonstrate that recent trends are leading to more investments in SASE systems, with benefits that have been proven to be beyond expectations in five important categories, most notably security performance and remote work connectivity. In 2020, Masergy and Fortinet joined hands in order to deliver a highly distinctive SASE architecture that converges networking and security. The collaborative SASE offering helps redefine what is possible for forward-thinking enterprises by combining Masergy's software-defined networks, industry-leading service level agreements, 24/7 security and network management services, and great customer experience. The Masergy-delivered SASE offering is built by combining Fortinet’s Secure SD-WAN, which coincides with highly scalable SD-WAN, advanced routing, next-generation firewall, and zero-trust network access (ZTNA) into a single solution. “An overwhelming majority of respondents (98%) believe the convergence of network and security is critical or very important.” He further added, “We know that building intelligence across disciplines is essential in a world where work is no longer defined by location. Network and security teams require new ways of working together — across all domains and resources with shared visibility to drive actionable insights. That’s where SASE is gaining steam.” Franz Chavez, Vice President, Solutions Engineering at Masergy, now part of Comcast Business “As employees return to the office and organizations adopt a more hybrid work model to enable employees to work from anywhere, we see more IT teams finding that, for SASE to be deployed effectively, a Secure SD-WAN platform must be at its foundation and consistent across on-premises and in the cloud,” said Jonathan Nguyen-Duy, Vice President, Global Field CISO, Fortinet.

Read More

ENTERPRISE MOBILITY

XL Axiata Partners with Juniper Networks

Juniper Networks | June 09, 2022

Juniper Networks, a leader in security, AI-driven networks, announced today that XL Axiata, one of Indonesia's leading mobile telecommunications companies, will improve its existing network infrastructure with Juniper's Segment Routing over IPv6 (SRv6) and MX Series Global Routing Platforms. With Juniper enhancements, XL Axiata will have a stronger networking base to serve the increased demand for 5G services as well as Indonesia's booming digital economy. By 2026, Indonesia is expected to have 233.53 million mobile internet users. This increase in internet users with access to digital services will aid in the expansion of the country's digital economy, which is estimated to contribute $150 billion to GDP by 2025. The government unveiled the Digital Indonesia Roadmap to advance the country's digital transformation strategy, with major targets include completing 4G infrastructure in more than 10,000 subregions by 2022 and constructing 5G-ready networks. XL Axiata has a long history of constructing high-performance networks in Indonesia, and the company previously collaborated with Juniper to establish the mobile backhaul technology that underpins its statewide 4G LTE network. XL Axiata chose Juniper to implement its SRv6-based transport network, which will underpin the development of 5G services throughout Indonesia, based on this strong partnership and track record. Fadly Hamka, Group Head Network Planning & Design, XL Axiata said that “XL Axiata is thrilled to deepen our long-standing partnership with Juniper Networks and welcome them on board our 5G journey. By leveraging Juniper’s industry-leading routing solutions and SRv6 capabilities, we will be able to experience improved network reliability and scalability, as well as simplified network operations. Alongside Juniper, we look forward to supporting Indonesia’s digital economy and providing our customers with high-speed, on-demand, low-latency connectivity for 5G services.” “It is an honor to be a part of XL Axiata's 5G journey, which will support digital transformation in Southeast Asia's largest economy. This expansion of our long-term relationship is also a testament to our ability to build scalable and operationally intelligent networks. With our experience-first solutions and the capabilities provided by SRv6, we are confident that XL Axiata will deliver superior 5G experiences and continue to provide world-class connectivity in Indonesia for many years to come.” Perry Sui, Senior Director, ASEAN & Taiwan, Juniper Networks With Juniper's SRv6 deployment, XL Axiata's network will have improved control, agility, application awareness, and easier traffic management. As 5G continues to be a key pillar in Indonesia's digital economy and post-pandemic recovery plans, XL Axiata will have built a modern network that is ready for future demands for high quality, scalable connectivity services that provide consumers and businesses with reliable and superior experiences.

Read More

ENTERPRISE MOBILITY

Converge IoT signs Distribution Agreement with Vuzix

Converge IoT | March 23, 2022

Converge IoT is a T-Mobile for Business Channel Partner Program National Distributor/Primary Agent, and will offer Vuzix smart glasses across numerous business verticals on 5G networks of T-Mobile, which is the country's biggest, fastest, and most reliable 5G network. Companies with field technical personnel, such as residential and commercial property maintenance, construction, healthcare, utilities, automotive, and others, are projected to benefit the most from Vuzix smart glasses solutions. Converge IoT strives to be a leader in innovative solutions that utilize 4G and 5G wireless connectivity. The addition of Vuzix to our line-up is the perfect example of how 5G will transform how companies do business today. We look forward to supporting direct customers and resellers to deliver Vuzix smart glasses." Mark Savage, CEO of Converge IoT Paul Travers, President, and CEO of Vuzix said that "We are continuing to increase the number of sales and support options available to North American customers with the addition of established distribution partners such as Converge IoT. Vuzix smart glasses will support their efforts to help T-Mobile for Business customers gain a competitive advantage by using technological tools for the design of digital work processes across production, logistics, retail, field services, and healthcare."

Read More

Spotlight

Poly

Poly

Plantronics, Inc. (“Poly” – formerly Plantronics and Polycom) (NYSE: PLT) is a global communications company that powers meaningful human connection and collaboration. Poly combines legendary audio expertise and powerful video and conferencing capabilities to overcome the distractions, complexity, a...

Events

Resources