Few words are more terrifying to enterprise organizations than disruption.\nThe reasons are obvious. Uber disrupted transportation and left traditional providers in shambles. In lodging and hospitality, Airbnb did much the same. And for on premise technology, the cloud has given way to a virtual onslaught of software-as-service (SaaS) products that continue to devour the bottom line.\nIn short, disruption kills.\nOr does it?\nLate last month, Polycom announced a partnership with video and web conferencing service Zoom. The response has been almost universal shock. Industry observers, in particular, have called into question the sanity of partnering with a business that \u2014 at least on the surface \u2014 seems bent on taking over the very space Polycom depends on to survive.\nSo, why did we do it? Should analysts consider this one more win for disruption? Are we retreating?\nWhile this might seem like an intramural topic, it\u2019s not. In fact, for any business facing an industry in flux, the real question is: Who or what is your competition?\nThe innovator\u2019s dilemma\nDespite pop-culture acceptance, video conferencing in the workplace has yet to cross Clayton Christensen\u2019s infamous \u201cchasm.\u201d Certainly, video technology exists and is used regularly. However, if market penetration is measured by fully equipped conference and huddle rooms, a mere three percent of those spaces contain the kind of technology required to have a truly collaborative, digital experience.\nWhy? Two challenges fill the chasm between early adopters to early majority: the first is technological and the second, cultural.\nTechnologically, full-fledged video systems are notoriously still too difficult to use. Outfitting a single room with the right cameras, speakers, and displays to replicate how people naturally interact requires investment. If done correctly, the end result is an experience that makes contact intimate through small but significant physical cues \u2014 e.g., eye contact, facial expressions, hand gestures, and tone of voice. The technology itself becomes invisible \u2014 but in general, the process of enabling that experience is anything but invisible.\nCulturally, there are generational differences with the comfort level people have with being on camera. For a variety of reasons, many people are still nervous and uncomfortable beneath the spotlight video creates (note how many folks even put tape over the cameras on their PCs and mobiles). Being broadcast on a host of screens throughout multiple locations only intensifies that spotlight.\nWhat does all that have to do with your business? Simple. It\u2019s only by clearly identifying the challenges specific to your industry that you can separate friends from foes.\nThe real competition\nAfter Polycom announced its partnership with Zoom, a host of voices immediately broadcast their disagreement. As experts in physical space, Polycom creates rooms that inspire collaboration. Zoom does the same in the digital world.\nFor both us, however \u2014 and more importantly for you too \u2014 the real competition isn\u2019t some revolutionary alternative; it\u2019s what lies behind the two challenges just mentioned: namely, empty rooms.\nIf people can\u2019t access and use your solution, it doesn\u2019t stand a chance of spreading. What\u2019s the answer?\nThrough internal research at Polycom, we\u2019ve found that when personal devices like phones, tablets, and computers are visually connected to in-house endpoints, the overall use of those visually enabled rooms increases from 10 or 20% to 60\u201380%. More access to visual collaboration equals more use. And more use means greater demands.\nIn other words, if Zoom wins, Polycom wins. A rising tide indeed lifts all boats.\nBy rethinking our competition, we\u2019re able to work with Zoom to overcome both the technological and cultural barriers that block wide-spread acceptance. Rather than trying to convince organizations to invest in a network of in-house meeting rooms with the hope that they will be used, the pervasive use of video drives demand for the rooms based on personal devices not the rooms themselves.\nDisruption met with disruption.\nAs with the spread of any new technology, the real challenge is to make getting in easy. Lower the barrier to entry. Reduce friction. If your product really is as wonderful as you think, once someone gets a taste, they won\u2019t want to give it up. On the contrary, quality becomes the new normal and the old ways suddenly feel incomplete and impoverished.\nThe upside of disruption\nIn the end, disruption doesn\u2019t destroy businesses, but lack of innovation does. Innovation, however, should not be measured in technological terms alone. Sometimes the best technology wins on its own. More often, it\u2019s the technology with a go-to-market strategy that pulls the early majority in ... one effortless click at a time.\nIn an attempt to survive the onslaught of a constantly changing industry, many companies do everything they can to survive, including demonizing the very organizations that could help them most.\nInstead of viewing disruption as a threat to be endured, view it as an opportunity to be challenged \u2014 in your thinking, your product, and ultimately, in the way you do business.