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Polycom appoints VP for EMEA

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Polycom has appointed Keith Carter as the telepresence company's vice-president for channel partners in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA).

Carter has been assigned to develop the company's channel strategy and partner programme across the EMEA region, as well as meeting Polycom's growth targets.

The appointment comes after Polycom hired Andrew Miller as the company's president and CEO last month, taking over from Robert Hagerty.

According to Carter, Polycom EMEA is bullish about driving its Open Collaboration Network, which enables customers to leverage their existing infrastructure to interoperate with different technologies.

The Polycom Open Collaboration Network was established earlier this year to incentivise its partners to deliver unified communications solutions to large, medium-size, and small enterprises across across all industries.

The Polycom Open Collaboration Network partners include Avaya, BroadSoft, HP, IBM, Juniper Networks, Microsoft, and Siemens.

Carter says: “My key objective is to make sure the channel base we've established has the direction to take advantage of the unified communications (UC) market opportunity that's been opened through the Open Collaboration Network.”

In terms of opportunities for Africa, Carter explains UC has existed in the European IT environment for some time, but is relatively new to the African region.

“The market opportunity in emerging regions such as Africa is huge because these markets are generally taking a leap-frog leadership approach, as they haven't had the many technological phases that mature markets have gone through in the past. Customers in Africa want the leading-edge technology and solutions to unify their communications now,” says Carter.

He points out that the biggest challenge facing the communications vendor is that its traditional channel ecosystem had not previously focused on UC. According to Carter, Polycom will equip its partners with the skills, tools and vision to prepare them for the new market.

“Companies both large and small are bringing together e-mail, telepresence, instant messaging and are looking to share content by bringing together different types of communications versus working in silos within the organisation. We're seeing on-demand communication being the biggest driver of UC.”

Carter adds he will drive profitable growth for the company's partners. “We are looking to move our partner community into a services and solutions-led environment which some of them have already been involved in, and some will need to step up.

“Everything we bring to our partner community is driven towards growing their operating margins to bring profitable growth.”

Before joining Polycom, Carter was responsible for the Integration Global Business Development business at Orange Business Services.

Previously, Carter headed up the European Alliances division at Dimension Data and Datacraft in Asia. He has also held other leadership positions across the globe including strategic alliance manager for Cisco Systems in the Asia-Pacific region.

Polycom's first quarter 2010 earning saw net revenue at a record $276 million, compared to $225 million for the first quarter of 2009. Some 69% ($189 million) of the net revenues were generated from video solutions and 31% ($87 million) came from voice communications.

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