Amid much speculation that Polycom was on the selling block, with HP being the primary possible acquirer, Polycom made the following announcements this morning:
- Polycom acquired the Visual Collaboration Unit from HP, which includes all of the Halo products and managed services
- Polycom and HP inked an agreement where HP would use Polycom as it’s exclusive partner for Telepresence and video UC solutions
- Polycom announced the creation of the “Open Visual Communications Consortium” with a number of service providers including AT&T, BT conferencing, Global Crossing, Orange Business Services, Telefonica, Verizon and other service providers to drive B2B and B2C adoption of video
- Polycom and Microsoft announced an expanded partnership that includes two products but at the time of press release did not announce any details on these products
These announcements are an interesting twist in growing saga that is corporate video conferencing. About a year ago, Cisco closed on the acquisition of Tandberg creating a tremendous amount of speculation that Polycom would be acquired as well. The logic being that, in an environment where video is becoming a core component of UC, it would be difficult for a video pure play to exist. Names like Silver Lake (Avaya), Gore Group (Siemens) and Dell were tossed around as possible acquirers, but HP appeared to be the front-runner. HP made some sense for a couple of reasons: (1) It had its own niche video unit (Halo) and Polycom would bolster it; and (2) HP could use Polycom to close the product gap with Cisco, who HP appears obsessed with from a competitive standpoint.