Will Tandberg be tied solely to Cisco's call management platform?

Q & A with Mark Roberts - Polycom vice president of partner marketing.

Norwegian news is reporting that Tandberg management received financial incentives directly from Cisco in order to favorably promote Cisco's acquisition offer to Tandberg shareholders (apparently before Cisco's offer to buy Tandberg was made public):

"Before Cisco was bidding for Tandberg, had the U.S. IT giant has already signed a bonus contract with the CEO Fredrik Halvorsen, and eight other leaders in video conferencing company, newspaper Dagens Næringsliv."

It now appears that some Tandberg shareholders are none too pleased! Furthermore, the below Q & A with Mark Roberts - Polycom vice president of partner marketing, reveals that Polycom believes its channel partners are the "actual winners" in Cisco's acquisition of Tandberg: 1. How will the Cisco/Tandberg combination affect Polycom partners?

Mark Roberts: Polycom becomes the only independent provider of collaboration solutions with global scale. This is a huge benefit for our partners because they can now sell Polycom solutions to customers who rely on Avaya, BroadSoft, HP, IBM, Microsoft and Siemens for their UC solution. In fact, Tandberg will be tied solely to Cisco’s call management platform, representing only 11 percent of the global call management market, opening up a significant opportunity for Polycom channel partners to sell into.

2. What does Cisco's acquisition of Tandberg mean for Polycom’s business?

Mark Roberts: This acquisition represents a significant milestone in the unified communications (UC) industry and further validates the market that Polycom serves. By acquiring Tandberg, Cisco is reaffirming that visual communication – from the desktop to the fully immersive telepresence suite - is becoming a mission-critical business tool.

3. How will the new Cisco/Tandberg combination impact Polycom’s go-to-market strategy?

Mark Roberts: Polycom’s go-to-market strategy remains unchanged. We will continue to work with our partners to offer best-in-class UC solutions that deliver an exceptional user experience. Polycom is making significant investments in our partner network including access to online resources, training, and other critical information that will help our partners succeed. Polycom has been a longtime, trusted partner to the industry’s leading solutions providers, and they can expect our continued commitment and support going forward.

4. What's the downside for Polycom and its partners?

Mark Roberts: We don’t see a downside. Polycom remains focused on delivering the best possible solutions and services to our customers and partners. We will continue working with our partners to help address real-world challenges such as globalization, increasingly dispersed and mobile workforces, and the need to reduce carbon emissions.

5. How is Polycom’s business different than Tandberg’s? What are some of Polycom’s strengths over its competitors?

Mark Roberts: As a market leader and innovator, we are significantly different than Tandberg. We have a broader-based communications business with a strong portfolio of voice, video and telepresence solutions. Our strengths include higher revenues, a strong partner ecosystem, a larger installed base of customers, our brand recognition, and the breadth of UC solutions we offer from immersive telepresence to PC-based desktop systems as well as a full portfolio of voice communications solutions.

6. Why do you believe Polycom will be able to compete with the new Cisco/Tandberg combination?

Mark Roberts: Again, repeating my answer earlier to question one, Polycom thinks this will only strengthen our relationship with our key partners, because Tandberg will be tied solely to Cisco’s call management platform, representing only 11 percent of the global call management market. This opens up a significant opportunity for Polycom and its partners to sell into.

Related stories: Will Cisco create a Tandberg channel partner stampede over to Polycom? Did the market for Cisco TelePresence hit a brick wall?


What's your take, do you agree with Polycom that Tandberg will be tied solely to Cisco's call management platform?

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