Cisco Systems’ acquisition of videoconferencing vendor Tandberg is driving Cisco’s rivals to Polycom, just as we expected.
When we reported on the Cisco-Tandberg deal in October, Ira Weinstein, senior analyst with Wainhouse Research, told us that the acquisition would force other unified communications and telephony vendors to embrace Polycom in an effort to differentiate their own enterprise video strategies.
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Siemens Enterprise Communications made its move this month, announcing a new videoconferencing alliance with Polycom. As Mike Vizard at CTOEdge pointed out, Tandberg had been Siemens’ go-to partner on video solutions prior to the Cisco-Tandberg deal. Siemens will continue to support Tandberg products with its OpenScape UC products, but Polycom is now its preferred partner.
Yesterday, Polycom picked up an infrastructure partner, too, when it announced a deal with Juniper Networks. In mid-2010, the two companies will release updates to their products that will allow service providers to optimize their networks for Polycom videoconferencing products.
Stacey Higginbotham over at GigaOM says that Juniper’s partnership with Polycom won’t work.
I’m not sure that Juniper and Polycom are an ideal match, mostly because tying the product to the networking gear is a strategy that ultimately follows along with Cisco’s aims. As a smaller rival to Cisco, Juniper can’t win by playing by the same rules as the larger company — it needs to break them.
Regardless of whether Juniper and Polycom’s new alliance works, it’s clear that Cisco’s acquisition of Tandberg has Cisco’s rivals in multiple markets looking to work with Polycom. Not only are other UC and telephony vendors embracing Polycom. Rival network infrastructure vendors are cuddling up to them as well. Competition in the videoconferencing market is alive and well.