November 24, 2021
A new program for trading in and purchasing refurbished Poly phones aims to ease supply chain constraints and fulfill return to work expectations.
The provider of telephones, headsets, and audio and video conferencing systems quietly started testing its Poly Renew program last month. Now Poly is rolling the new refurb program out to its entire partner community.
In the coming months, Poly intends to ramp up marketing of the program to its channel partners. Poly Renew is the company’s first authorized program for buying and selling refurbished devices.
The program initially includes Poly’s CCX and VVX phones. Partners in the program can facilitate the return of the phones to Poly, which will issue rebates for other products.
A phone voucher calculator on Poly’s website will let customers see how much they can receive for each model. Currently, a VVX 301 will fetch $15, while Poly will pay $60 for a CCX 700. Customers must contact a partner to receive an RMA and shipping information.
After the phones go through Poly’s refurbishing processes, partners can resell them at discounted prices.
Poly’s Nick Tidd
“Poly until this point has not had a Poly-authorized refurb program,” company channel chief Nick Tidd told Channel Futures.
However, there are a vast number of unauthorized providers selling refurbished Poly equipment, Tidd said. In some cases, equipment on the market from unauthorized parties may have violated Poly’s trademarks, he noted. And in other instances, customers are requesting support for products registered to others.
“We want to clean up that element at the request of our partners who have said, ‘you need to get control of the refurbish market,’ and that’s going to be one of the outcomes of this program,” Tidd said.
Demand Growing for Refurbished Gear
While there are always some customers that shop for refurbished hardware, Tidd said demand has accelerated during the past year. The two key drivers are companies with return-to-work initiatives, and shortages of new hardware due to supply chain disruptions.
“We are finding as people are returning to the office, they are looking to have that same experience they had at home,” Tidd said. “That experience included having personal devices like headsets and 4K cameras, and they’re finding themselves going back to cubicles with desktop phones.”
Many of those employees do not want to go back to using those desktop phones, he noted. Meanwhile, Tidd added that there are others who can’t find those phones due to inventory shortages. He said they are happy to take refurbished ones instead.
“There is a fair amount of demand for these refurbished devices,” he said.
After the program’s first year, Cisco reported that it saw a 156% increase in products returned for refurbishing and reuse.
“We’ve significantly increased the volume of program-related returns,” according to a post by Daren Mallard, Cisco’s senior marketing of strategy for global logistics and supply chain operations.
Poly Renew Program Rollout Plan
Last month’s initial rollout of Poly Renew, made available only to a few partners, allowed the company to test its processes and validate demand. In the current first phase of Poly Renew, partners will send the phones to the company, which will refurbish them in its own factories. Poly will also send overflow to its factory in Tijuana, Mexico.
Poly will recycle any hardware that it cannot repair. The rest will go through Poly’s refurbishment process and then sent to the company’s distributors. Tidd noted that Poly ultimately plans to start endorsing vendors that it authorizes on its behalf.
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