VoiceCon: Polycom makes a stand with HP partnership

I suppose there’s some brewing sentiment about facing off the 800-lb. gorilla — no, not that one in Seattle, but the one in San Jose, Calif. — in the video conferencing market, especially after it made an announcement to bring TANDBERG into its troop. Polycom has decided to round up a few Cisco competitors to form global strategic partnerships in order to keep the Cisco-TANDBERG behemoth in check.

HP, after a long relationship with TANDBERG, is now joining the alliance to resell Polycom’s video products. I’m thinking the HP-TANDBERG partnership kind of soured given this comment from an HP executive:

“What’s changed in the relationship is we’ve now chosen to go with Polycom,” said Richard Skoba, director, Worldwide Strategy Unified Communication and Collaboration, HP Services.

Yikes, makes me wonder who dumped who. I’d hate to see the actual “Dear John” letter.

The official press release from Polycom:

PLEASANTON, Calif. and VoiceCon Orlando – Mar 22, 2010 : Polycom, Inc. (Nasdaq: PLCM), a global leader in telepresence, video, and voice communications solutions, today announced an expanded global agreement where Polycom’s complete portfolio of voice and video technologies, including joint go-to-market activity and future joint technology development, will be sold by HP.

Under the expanded agreement, Polycom video and voice solutions for unified communications and stand-alone operation will be sold and delivered through HP as part of the company’s Unified Communications and Collaboration Services portfolio. This will enable organizations to leverage HP’s global presence for evaluating, designing, implementing and supporting communications systems that deliver a consistent, high-quality experience between all locations to ensure maximum benefits and rapid return on investment. The companies will also deliver interoperability between Polycom’s line of standards-based telepresence and video conferencing solutions and HP Halo telepresence.

“Adoption of visual communications is growing rapidly and teaming with HP will increase the global market presence for Polycom’s standards-based solutions that combine market-leading performance with flexibility and investment protection,” said Bob Hagerty, CEO of Polycom. “We are excited to expand our relationship with HP and to leverage the synergies with other Polycom Open Collaboration Network partners to deliver seamlessly interoperable UC solutions and services to customers.”

The agreement furthers existing relationships between both companies and unified communications providers such as Avaya and Microsoft. Specifically, it includes Polycom’s integrated voice and video solutions for Avaya and Microsoft UC environments, as well as an expanded portfolio of Polycom VoIP phones for Microsoft Office Communications Server “Wave 14” also announced today.

“To address the challenges of operating globally, organizations are looking to visual and unified communications solutions to help them be more efficient, productive and competitive,” said Mark Golden, vice president, Network Services, HP. “With the addition of Polycom technologies to our portfolio, HP can provide clients around the world with a complete range of open voice and visual communication solutions that simplify business communications while speeding collaboration with clients and key partners.”

According to industry analyst firm Gartner, total demand for visual communication solutions and services is projected to reach $8.6B, with a compound annual growth rate of 17.8% between 2008 and 2013.1

About the Polycom Open Collaboration Network
Polycom’s strategic relationship with HP supports Polycom’s Open Collaboration Network strategy, providing open and interoperable collaboration solutions that give customers greater flexibility and investment protection for their UC environment. By working with HP and other leaders in unified communications, Polycom is able to deliver its productivity-enhancing and cost-saving telepresence, video and voice collaboration products as an integrated part of core unified communication environments, making the technologies easily accessible as part of the everyday workflow within a comprehensive solution that is easy to deploy and manage.

About Polycom
Polycom, Inc. (Nasdaq: PLCM) is the global leader in telepresence, video, and voice solutions and a visionary in communications that empower people to connect and collaborate everywhere. Visit www.polycom.com for more information and follow us on Twitter @AllAboutPolycom .

1 – Gartner, “Video Conference Products and Services Market Forecast, Worldwide 2007 to 2013,” Sept. 28, 2009.

© 2010 Polycom, Inc. All rights reserved. POLYCOM®, the Polycom “Triangles” logo and the names and marks associated with Polycom’s products are trademarks and/or service marks of Polycom, Inc. and are registered and/or common law marks in the United States and various other countries. All other trademarks are property of their respective owners.



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