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September 19, 2019
(Pictured above: The Poly booth at Channel Partners Evolution 2019.)
By Jeffrey Schwartz
Poly is modernizing its portfolio of phones for small organizations with the launch of its VVX D230 wireless IP-based phone system and the Trio 8300 audio conferencing unit. The new hardware, unveiled at last week’s Channel Partners Evolution in Washington, D.C., arrived in tandem with the expansion of Poly’s new device-as-a-service (DaaS) program in North America.
Poly Trio 8300
The addition of the new VVX D230 signals Poly’s re-entry into the market for DECT phone systems, seven years after Polycom sold off its Spectralink business to private-equity firm Sun Capital. Polycom and its new owner Plantronics, earlier this year became Poly. The new company name is the outgrowth of Plantronics $2 billion acquisition of Polycom last year. In 2012, Polycom decicided to exit the wireless handset business to focus on its unified communications and video conferencing offering, including its RealPresence desktop conferencing software.
While desk phones, video conferencing and collaboration remain Poly’s core business, company officials said a full-featured DECT phone offering for small business belongs in that portfolio, based on customer and partner demand. Poly has offered the wireless VVX D60 for a few years, but that’s a handset that users must pair with another VVX desk phone. It’s limited to five lines per handset, four simultaneous calls and five handsets.
“The D60 itself was not really a true phone, but more of an adjunct DECT handset accessory that gave you your phone experience in the DECT handset,” said Jeff Kubick, Poly’s head of global service provider marketing. “In other words, the VVX desk phone was assigned the SIP line [or lines] and the VVX D60 inherited them as a paired device.”
The introduction of the new VVX D230 brings to the mix a standalone cordless IP-based phone system with a dedicated base station that can handle up to 8 SIP lines per handset and 8 simultaneous calls. Each base supports up to 10 handsets.
“In that sense, the VVX D230 DECT IP phone is a phone,” Kubick added.
Here’s our most recent list of new products and services being offered by agents, VARs, MSPs and other channel partners.
During a “Fastball” presentation at Channel Partners Evolution, Darren Knapp, director of Poly’s global cloud service provider group, said customers and partners have requested a wireless IP phone.
“We’ve been asked for it for a long time, and hallelujah, there’s now a standalone DECT solution from Poly,” Knapp told attendees.
Industry analyst Irwin Lazar, VP and leader of Nemertes’ digital workspace and unified communications research practice, said 17% of organizations are increasing their desktop phone deployments.
“The VVX D320 should be attractive for places like health care facilities, automotive showrooms, large retail stores and other locations requiring short-range mobility,” Lazar said.
Based on research from Frost and Sullivan provided by Poly, sales of DECT phones and headsets grew 4.6% in 2018, with revenues of $847.6 million.
The new Trio 8300 audio conferencing phone, also introduced at Evolution, is a smaller version of the Trio 8500 and Trio 8800. It’s intended for meeting rooms with up to five people, while the 8500 is for rooms with six to eight people. The Trio 8300 supports hybrid registration from multiple SIP-based systems or services.
Meanwhile, the expansion of Poly’s DaaS program in North America will let internet telephony service provider (ITSP) partners bundle their telecommunications services with the company’s headset and VoIP-based hardware, which they can offer to small business customers on a per-user, monthly basis.
“What we’re doing is we’re taking the hardware and taking that as a service,” Knapp said. “For instance, you can get this nice color Gig-E phone, our partners can rent it out for $3.89 per month. It comes with advanced replacement warranty and it’s at no-term [contract]; this is the perfect solution for service providers. It’s not just about hardware; it’s about ways to help you guys get to market better.”
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