In an exclusive interaction with Dataquest, Amit Jain, President and CEO of Prysm, Inc., divulged on how the collaboration solutions provider is enhancing its offerings with Prysm Visual Workplace and its plans to move ahead in India.
How is Prysm positioning itself? When there is competition in the collaboration space especially in the traditional line of solutions. In what ways Prysm is different from them and what value does Prysm bring to the customers?
When we look at the term collaboration, it is a widely used word. If one is doing video conferencing; doing a phone call, using a chat tool, working together on a whiteboard, sharing an email or doing a WebEx, then collaboration is happening. Even using a Dropbox is also collaboration. There are hundreds of companies out there which are doing collaboration in one way or the other.
We at Prysm believe in the concept of Visual Workplace. Anything we do, the experience moves along from meeting rooms to huddle rooms, a laptop to mobile phones and tablets. We provide a standardized experience across the board by offering a platform that allows you to do all of this, from video conferencing to content sharing on the same platform. The most important feature of our solution is that everybody can simultaneously add, edit, remove and annotate the content without passing out controls to each other.
Our solution allows one to freely interact, edit content and walk away, the data gets automatically stored and one can start where he or she left off. Also, Prysm is an agnostic platform, it is compatible with all hardware systems. So, all the investment that a client has already made, be it for video conferencing from Cisco or Polycom, our software works with it. Prysm brings all of this together which is not the case with anyone else.
You started some 10 years ago. Was the visual workplace concept in place ever since the inception?
The visual workplace is relatively a new concept. The first invention we came up with, was a display technology called the Laser Phosphor Display. With this, our focus was to create a video wall of any size, any resolution with any brightness level. 10 years ago, we had sensed that LCD will move on from 40 inches, 80 inches and 90 inches size. We ensured a breakthrough in this space and began offering screens from 100 inches and above. Now we offer display screens ranging from 100 inches to 200 inches with 100 feet and more.
So, this led to an inception of Visual Workplace in 2014 and since then, our solution has been agnostic in nature where the client can buy display screens from us or can also integrate with its own devices.
How true is that your solution is not to replace any other product in the market but to enable them? In what context are you taking it to the customers?
One of the major challenges that many enterprises have faced is that they already have deployed existing collaboration technologies. In addition, there is a lot of information and data that needs to be managed through advanced collaboration solutions. To cater to them, we have announced integration with existing technologies. For example we have launched integration with Microsoft OneDrive for Business and Office 365, making it easier for our clients to work with Microsoft Corp. tools and applications. With this integration, enterprises are not only able to leverage their existing Microsoft investments but remain confident that their shared data is safe, secure and accessible where one left it.
In the current enterprise market, we are witnessing the entry of a number of apps in the collaboration space. What is your take on that?
We truly are witnessing so many new entrants and announcements happening every day. For instance, apps like Slack have really gained popularity in enterprise space, Cisco has come up with Spark and Microsoft is also experimenting a lot of features in the collaboration space. Similarly, DropBox, Microsoft One Drive, and Google Drive are also offering multiple and huge cloud storage options. No one is thinking about collaborating these solutions with visual content & applications. We at Prysm have gone beyond the usual, we are not competing with them rather enabling them to collaborate cloud with not just content but also applications, visuals, and chat features etc. We are connecting with all.
How do you see the organization evolve in India? Are you planning to enhance your reach and gain more customers in the near future?
The IT environment in India is getting adapted quickly to ever changing technologies. In this conducive environment, the industry is witnessing productivity, new applications, use cases and it has become easy for an enterprise to start with a certain number of licenses.
For us, the focus has been enterprise customers who are multinationals in India or large Indian companies who have a base globally. Majorly our operations are based out of Bangalore and we are expanding in a significant way through sales and hiring. We also have a dedicated team in Delhi-NCR (Gurgaon) and Mumbai for upcoming demo centers in these cities. We are also looking at some other satellite cities.
Additionally, we are also planning to enter the mid-sized company’s market and focusing on how we can assist the government operations in India. In the US, we are already providing our solutions for government projects. For an instance, NASA has extensively deployed our solutions, also top 5 government institutions are using our solutions.
As you mentioned channel partners, have you signed any channel partners to take you further.
We have signed with a couple of channel partners in India and globally. Most of the fulfillment is done through channel partners, but we also have some direct customers. Recently, we signed with WWT, $8 billion dollar Channel Company and one of the largest channel partners in our business. We are also working with some other premium channel partners like AVI-SPL, Impianti, Pentatel, Polymedia, Smart AV and Yorktel.
Is there any direct competition to Prysm right now?
Our direct competition is the legacy. For an instance, when we entered display solutions segment, our competition was projectors, LCDs. We have been known for replacing legacy solutions.