May 30, 2023: Meet David Danto, Director of UC Strategy and Research on the Thought Leadership Team at HP | Poly

Hello USDLA friends! We hope you had a wonderful Memorial Day weekend. To start off the week, we are happy to introduce you to David Danto, Director of UC Strategy and Research on the Thought Leadership Team at our sponsor, HP I Poly.

In our Q&A below: David tells us what has been happening at the organization since March 28, 2022, when HP Inc. (NYSE: HPQ) acquired Poly (NYSE: POLY), a leading global provider of workplace collaboration solutions, in an all-cash transaction for $40 per share, implying a total enterprise value of $3.3 billion, inclusive of Poly’s net debt. David explains how the acquisition accelerated HP’s strategy to create a more growth-oriented portfolio, further strengthened its industry opportunity in hybrid work solutions, and positioned the company for long-term sustainable growth and value creation. Don’t miss it!

Also, below, you’ll find information on two upcoming Free Friday Webinars:

  • June 2, 2023, 1-2 pm Eastern: Tech + SEL = DigiCit with presenters Seth Fleischauer, President, and Courtney Dayhuff, Director of Curriculum, Banyan Global Learning
  • June 9, 2023, 1-2 pm ET: Onboarding — It’s more than 1-n-done for success with presenter Bill Ryan, Founder & Principal Consultant, Ryan Consulting, LLC

As a reminder: Our USDLA National Conference in Orlando, FL is coming up fast, July 17-20: Click here to book your spot!

We’ll talk again on Thursday when we bring you our weekly USDLA Brief. — Pat Cassella, USDLA Executive Director

Q&A with David Danto, Director of UC Strategy and Research on the Thought Leadership Team at HP Poly

USDLA: Tell us about your company and its history. And please share with our members the need it has fulfilled in the distance learning industry.

David: Poly, an HP company, is a global communications company that provides the highest quality audio and video solutions. Poly has a powerful unified communications and collaboration portfolio that enables organizations to connect, communicate, and collaborate effectively in various hybrid settings.

Poly was founded through the merger of Plantronics, an audio communications equipment manufacturer, and Polycom, a leading conferencing and collaboration solutions provider, which brought together the expertise to create global communications solutions for all.

Our involvement in the distance learning industry has been instrumental in transforming how education is delivered remotely. By leveraging its audio and video solutions expertise, Poly has offered educational institutions a wide range of products and services that enhance the distance learning experience.

Poly’s video conferencing systems and collaboration tools have helped facilitate virtual classrooms, enabling teachers and students to connect and engage in real time, regardless of their physical locations. These solutions have played a crucial role in breaking down geographical barriers, expanding educational opportunities, and fostering interactive learning environments.

USDLA: What have been your organization’s biggest challenges? 

David: One of the largest challenges with distance learning has been creating a solution that allows students to look and feel their best in a virtual environment to mimic the presence in a classroom on-site. We can overcome these obstacles by evolving our technology as the modern classroom has evolved.

Poly solutions have been specifically designed to address educational institutions’ unique challenges during the transition to distance learning. Some of the biggest challenges that our organization has recognized and aimed to overcome include connectivity, student engagement, teacher training and support, and accessibility and inclusion.

Poly addresses these challenges by creating reliable connected solutions allowing seamless experiences from anywhere, regardless of network conditions. With a large portfolio of adaptive technologies and intelligent AI algorithms that optimize video quality based on available bandwidth, we have ensured a smooth experience that allows students to feel represented in virtual environments. This next-generation technology is accompanied by valuable training, resources, and dedicated technical support to help educators navigate the transition confidently and easily.

USDLA: What are the company’s big wins? 

David: Poly has achieved significant milestones and successes in the education industry throughout the years, delivering impactful solutions and driving positive outcomes for educational institutions. With solutions that enable real-time communication and dynamic collaboration, we’ve facilitated learning experiences that capture students’ attention and enhance their comprehension. Each year, we can increase our portfolio of offerings to bridge the digital divide and provide seamless integration with popular learning management systems (LMS) and other educational tools.

A great example of this work was our partnership with Chapman University to create a reliable, flexible solution that facilitated communication and provided Poly gear for its nearly 10,000 students and staff during the early days of the pandemic. The transition to remote learning helped the university create a safe environment, support diverse needs and better prepare for the future.

USDLA: Who is your ideal client, and how has the business grown in recent years?

David: Poly has customers in many parts of the education industry, ranging from K-12 schools to higher education institutions and vocational training. We cater to diverse clients, including schools, colleges, universities, and educational service providers seeking innovative and reliable solutions to enhance distance learning capabilities. In recent years, Poly has experienced significant growth in the education sector. As the demand for distance learning solutions has surged, our business has expanded to meet the evolving needs of educational institutions worldwide. The COVID-19 pandemic certainly accelerated the adoption of remote learning, leading to a rapid increase in clients seeking our expertise. However, demand has shown a continued need for these solutions, allowing us to expand our product offerings to support distance learning and hybrid environments.

USDLA: How has USDLA been helpful in your efforts?

David: USDLA aligns with Poly’s vision of providing more accessible technology solutions for all. We are happy to be a provider that advocates for advancing and promoting distance learning practices and fostering collaboration. We’re grateful to the organization for helping spread awareness and increase the adoption of Poly’s technology.

USDLA: What does the future look like for your organization? 

David: The future for Poly in the education industry is filled with exciting possibilities. As a leader in audio and video solutions, we are committed to shaping the future of distance learning by continually innovating and expanding our offerings to meet the evolving needs of educational institutions.

In the coming years, we envision a future where our solutions play a pivotal role in creating immersive and engaging virtual learning environments. We will continue developing cutting-edge technologies that leverage artificial intelligence, machine learning, and data analytics to personalize the learning experience, ensuring each student receives tailored content and support.

Collaboration will remain a key focus as we strive to enable seamless communication and teamwork among students and educators. Our solutions will facilitate interactive discussions, virtual group projects, and real-time collaboration, fostering engagement and creativity in the digital classroom. We also anticipate closer integration with learning management systems and educational tools, streamlining workflows and enhancing efficiency for educators and students. This integration will enable seamless content sharing, grading, and data management, enabling a cohesive learning experience across various platforms. Through these commitments, we aim to shape a future where our solutions empower educational institutions to deliver high-quality, engaging, and inclusive distance learning experiences that prepare students for success in a digital world.

About HP: HP Inc. (NYSE: HPQ) is a global technology leader and creator of solutions that enable people to bring their ideas to life and connect to the things that matter most. Operating in more than 170 countries, HP delivers a wide range of innovative and sustainable devices, services, and subscriptions for personal computing, printing, 3D printing, hybrid work, gaming, and more. For more information, please visit

About Poly: Part of HP’s portfolio of hybrid work solutions, Poly creates premium audio and video products so you can have your best meeting — anywhere, anytime, every time. With Poly, you’ll do more than just show up, you’ll stand out. For more information, visit

June 2, 2023, 1-2 pm Eastern: Tech + SEL = DigiCit

Presenters: Seth Fleischauer, President, and Courtney Dayhuff, Director of Curriculum, Banyan Global Learning

Session: Today’s youth average 6.5 hours per day of screen time. They are effectively citizens of two worlds — the flesh and blood and virtual worlds. As tech makes the world smaller, creating a culture of belonging is more important than ever. In addition to course and skill-specific content, educators must prepare students for responsible citizenship in both worlds. Self-awareness and relationship skills are as important in the virtual world as IRL.

Educators are responsible for furthering the whole child’s development in both worlds. SEL and technology can combine to foster good citizenship in both. Content-driven, tech-infused classrooms often pose challenges to regularly incorporating SEL into the curriculum. Participants will have opportunities to discuss their successes and challenges. Presenters will share research-informed ways, methods, and best practices they use to leverage technology to help students develop social-emotional skills and become responsible digital and real-world citizens. This interactive session will allow participants to practice some of these methods. Learn more at

About Seth Fleischauer: A graduate of Princeton University, Queens College School of Education, and the New York City Teaching Fellows Program, Seth taught in NYC public schools before founding Banyan Global Learning in 2008 and establishing its unique distance learning model. Seth lives in Portland, OR but still loves the New York Mets.

About Courtney Dayhuff: Since earning a degree in Multilingual/Multicultural Education from Arizona State University, Courtney has worked in ESL/EFL classrooms in the U.S., Costa Rica, Taiwan, and China. She oversees Banyan Global Learning’s unique daily transpacific distance learning program (Learning Live), including facilitating feelings-forward international student collaborations. When not in the classroom, Courtney enjoys playing music, traveling, adventurous outdoor activities, and time spent with family, friends, and her dog Wallace.

Click here to register for the June 2 webinar!

June 9, 2023, 1-2pm ET: Onboarding — It’s more than 1-n-done for success

Presenter: Bill Ryan, Founder & Principal Consultant, Ryan Consulting, LLC

Session: Remember your first day at the new job? Remember the data dump of benefits, medical plans, payroll and tax forms, CEO’s video, and amazing day, right? And then the email was working, your supervisor’s ready to talk and get you oriented to everything, right?

With the transition to a remote workforce, this is the opportunity to reach out and begin the process by engaging the person in advance of their start date, whether they’re new or an existing employee moving to a new role. A structured onboarding program is key to the person’s long-term success and involves a strategic long-term plan.

In this session I will share a process that combines tactical training targeted around the needs of the role using the 4 ‘C’s’ +1 model that centers on constant communication, feedback, and performance measurement – all factors that impact employee retention and engagement. We’ll explore the employee lifecycle for mentoring and development and how connecting people together builds the internal network and supports collaboration. Onboarding is more than a 1 and done session, it’s a process that prepares people to be successful for the long-term performance.

About William J. Ryan, Ph.D.: The Founder & Principal Consultant with Ryan Consulting, LLC, Bill uses learning as a strategic business tool to develop and impact people to improve retention, engagement, and performance. He has a demonstrated record of corporate and industrial management experience leading performance support and instructional design teams globally, including government (Dept. of Energy), high technology (IBM & Westinghouse), and health-related industries such as home health care and insurance (Humana). Recent client work included developing a strategy on a page (SOAP) as well as a leadership development plan for a national financial firm, a comprehensive talent staffing and development plan for a manufacturing concern, an implementation strategy for a Hiring for Competency model used by the National Retail Services, and a state initiative focused on workforce development helping businesses retain and develop employees. Additional work has supported a nationwide clinical start-up focused on improved neonatal techniques for clinicians and a blended leadership and coaching program for a multi-state manufacturing concern. Bill holds an M.S. from Ithaca College focused on Instructional Design and a Ph.D. in Computing Technology in Education from Nova Southeastern University. For more information, please visit, send an email to, or call (502) 797-2479. Bill is active on switter (@WmJRyan) or welcomes connections on LinkedIn.

Click here to register for the June 9 webinar!