Channel chat: Greg Tierney, Exertis

Greg Tierney, head of AV and UC at Exertis

Julia O'Reilly hears how team-based systems are usurping big board rooms

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23 March 2021 | 0

There’s no denying it: Covid-19 has had a vast impact on the workspace. When kitchen tables rapidly morphed into office desks last March, the way we work was wholly transformed. One year on, we’re still adapting to the change, albeit, more seamlessly, and companies are deciding how they will operate in the post-Covid world.

Usage models are changing, says Greg Tierney, head of AV and UC at Exertis: “Going forward, collaboration will be a mesh of remote workers and people on site coming together to make decisions. People are moving away from the idea that an elaborate boardroom is the place to do a video conference. Instead, we’re seeing companies equipping smaller spaces for casual, quick, interactive meetings. Many want a smaller, less expensive team-based system in all their meeting rooms, as opposed to having one big, expensive board room set up.”

Exertis, which is part of DCC Technology, is a distributor of technology products and specialist services with a well-established presence in Ireland.

 

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The distributor had long relationships with Plantronics, which manufactured headsets. When the two merged to become Poly, its portfolio covered all the remote working essentials: “From headsets to IP telephony, through to video conferencing or large immersive video conferencing type setups, and everything in between,” says Tierney.

If that product offering appears timely, it’s no accident. “Yes, it’s fortunate,” says Tierney. However, Poly has long been aware of the potential of the field. For a number of years, Poly has been paying keen attention to where trends in VC and UC were moving, and it anticipated a shift from more traditional bespoke devices.

Solutions for office and home

“We all take it for granted now, because we’ve lived it for a year,” says Tierney, “but Poly recognised the potential of Teams, Zoom, or GoToMeeting and in response, it developed solutions within that space. It has a good vision of what’s happening in the market and they have adapted to its changes with solutions for the office and the home.”

The Polycom Studio, for example, was designed with a huddle room environment in mind. “The plug and play conferencing bar can covert a laptop or desktop into a small meeting space by extending and improving the audio and visual capabilities,” says Tierney.

Its video conferencing bars, the Studio X30 and Studio X50 rid users of the need to bring a laptop to the meeting room, and seamlessly replicate board-room quality audio. Poly recently announced devices for the home user with the P Series. This range will include personal video conferencing devices that users can run out of the box.

Exertis itself has been growing its AV business for a number of years and is well known to the resellers in the market. Then, when Plantronics and Polycom merged, Exertis took on the Polycom VC and UC portfolio as well. “We’ve been working with Poly on opportunities in that space ever since,” says Tierney.

Space is a commodity

“As for what we are able to bring to the channel, one way we add value is through space. We have a 55,000 sq. ft facility and we’re expanding that at the moment. Storage space is a real commodity these days, and we have the capacity to hold a lot of stock – both locally and globally.”

 “We also offer European fulfilment, so if a partner makes a sale and wants to have something shipped to Brussels or Frankfurt, or wherever it may be, we can facilitate that. This is something that we do day-in, day-out,” he explains, before adding that Brexit has made stockholding all the more valuable.

With ample storage comes greater control of distribution. “Many companies are revaluating the way their meeting rooms operate. We’ve seen a lot of large projects that can be unwieldy to manage.” What Exertis can do is hold stock for a partner, and then drip feed that as required. “We’re not going to land pallets of stock to a site in one go,” says Tierney. “We deliver in stages. With construction not happening right now, we’re holding project stock for a number of clients. When things get up and running again, they know it’s here to get them back on track.”

One-stop-shop

Exertis itself is a one-stop shop for clients looking to upgrade their meeting spaces. “As a video conferencing solution, Poly will get you 80% of the way there, but there are still other things you’ll need for your space. You’ll need a professional display for example, and a bracket to hang that professional display. If a systems integrator or a reseller comes to us and says: ‘We’re doing a medium sized room, can you provide X, Y, and Z?’ We can offer them the complete package.

“Sometimes people ask: ‘What’s the value of the middleman?’ And as we can see, there’s quite a lot of value in distribution. Right now, Exertis has expanded the team, we have a specialist AV team, and with the arrival of Shane Humston, we have a dedicated Polycom specialist of over 10 years’ experience. That’s what we’re able to bring to the party.

“We’re very lucky that Poly choose us as its distributor,” adds Tierney. “We’re so pleased with the partners we get to work with, and we’re privileged and lucky to be in a market that’s in growth.”

For further information, or to get in touch with a member of the Exertis AV team, click here.

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