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June 1, 2011
If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em. That’s apparently the tack HP is taking by selling its Visual Collaboration business to conferencing and collaboration powerhouse Polycom. The deal, which is expected to close in the third-quarter of 2011, will shift all of HP’s visual collaboration technology, including its Halo products and managed services business, over to Polycom’s side of the fence.
Polycom and HP also have struck up a partnership under which Polycom will become the exclusive partner for HP telepresence and video UC solutions. Under the terms of the agreement, Polycom will provide its expertise in software technology and UC infrastructure, while HP will resell Polycom’s UC solutions including its personal and group UC devices, UC infrastructure, UC managed services and audio/video software.
What’s more, Polycom’s video applications will be made available for the HP WebOS platform, adding to Polycom’s mobility presence.
At first glance, such a deal is a win-win for both companies. Adding HP’s technology to Polycom’s lineup bolsters its product set and reaffirms the company’s growing dominance in the communications and collaboration space. HP, meanwhile, is shedding a technology serving a market it found to be almost impenetrable – which could be the result of poor marketing on its part. (Show of hands if you knew HP had a visual collaboration lineup.)
Both companies’ channels also should see benefits from this deal. HP’s partners probably will have an easier time selling a name synonymous with conferencing and collaboration, and Polycom’s partners will have the benefit of being able to sell from a larger product set. Plus, the addition of HP’s managed services to Polycom’s portfolio introduces another go-to-market strategy Polycom’s partners previously didn’t have.
It’s also worth noting that the deal also will make it much easier for both partner sets to introduce networking into their customer conversations.
There’s no word yet on the price tag attached to the sale, or how soon the new strategy will trickle down to partners. But an update to the deal is definitely merited, so stay tuned.
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