Polycom takes on Cisco-Tandberg, arms itself with two key alliances
To counter the stronger competition it has from the Cisco-Tandberg merger, Polycom has come out with two key announcements in the last one week. The first one is a partnership with Siemens Enterprise Communications which will integrate Polycom's telepresence and high-definition videoconferencing products with OpenScape UC platform as part of a global resale agreement. Siemens Enterprise Communications, which recently received new life after the Gores acquisition is aligning its strategy and resources to better compete against Cisco, the combined force of Avaya-Nortel, and Microsoft. Video-enabling UC and integration of all forms of video devices with UC have been a key area of focus for most vendors.
We spoke with Polycom about a second significant alliance. Polycom has teamed up with Juniper to announce integration between Polycom’s video infrastructure systems and Juniper’s policy manager to offer a “conferencing-aware” network solution for carriers and service providers. Specifically, integration between Polycom’s Video Control Platform (DMA) and Juniper’s Junos Space SRC (Session and Resource Control) platform will provide service providers the intelligent bandwidth and policy management capabilities to better utilize converged networks to deliver video, without any need for costly overlay network requirements. The partnership with Juniper better positions Polycom against the synergy that the Tandberg acquisition brings to Cisco i.e. Tandberg’s robust videoconferencing infrastructure and network management tools which are key to any large scale videoconferencing deployment. At the same time it will enable Cisco's rival Juniper to establish a footprint in the video collaboration space.
After the Tandberg acquisition Cisco more than any other UC vendor, has an end to end video strategy all the way from desktop to Telepresence. At the same time, by belonging to the Cisco camp Tandberg may have opened up new doors of opportunity for Polycom. Polycom will continue to build up muscle by looking at all opportunities to bring joint UC and conferencing products to market, offering an alternative to customers that do not want to get tied up in an all-Cisco solution. Expect to see some interesting partnerships emerge in the future.