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Updated: Telepresence Industry Professionals (TIP) Linkedin Discussion: Cisco Buys TANDBERG- What does everyone think?
October 7, 2009 | Chris Payatagool
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I left this on another thread as well.
See my opinion here
This sounds like bells of opportunity ringing for Life Size, and any new mid to high end manufacturer. The channel; VARs, resellers and integrators and distributors have been treated poorly by both Cisco and Polycom (until the last two weeks of a quarter) for some time.
With this consolidation, many resellers and integrators are wondering where they might find a simpatico manufacturer. Any new or existing player that chooses to focus on building and supporting the channel first and foremost could end up a real winner in this new environment.
Remember when being a "good a partner" meant more than simply placing the order the manufacturer needed to make their quarterly numbers? Anyone prepared to invest in the "good partner" strategy of the not too distant past could make hay given the consolidation.
J D Vaughn
Cisco does not develop technology, they buy a company and brand it Cisco. this is Cisco's way of getting into Standards based VTC. I think it is hilarious. They push Telepresence down their customer throat and then go buy a Standards based company. GO LifeSize!!! way better quality for less price and less bandwidth, no brainer to me!
"A Small Step for Cisco, a Huge Step for Unified Communications and Collaboration"
From now on the world will never be the same. With the acquisition of Tandberg by Cisco, Unified Communication and Collaboration became a REAL market and the rules that apply are the rules of a 1st league industry. The change which is coming will be far above and beyond traditional players 'expectations. This is a drastic change!
Just take a look back 3 years ago, before Cisco entered the market and created the marketing buzz around Telepresence and Collaboration, the videoconferencing market was very small and UC was almost non-existent. Three years later UCC is a 1st league market. Looking back, all the traditional video conferencing players benefited from market growth. Now, with the rules of a "real industry", the ball game is going to be very different. It will become a big player's game with only "niches" for the smaller players.
The new set of rules is very simple: either you belong to one of the big boys' ecosystem or market place or you will have to find your own niche market (or vertical market) to survive.
Who will really benefit?
The customers are the winners. As the UCC industry becomes really unified, thanks to the network, the productivity gains that can be achieved are going to be enormous. With more big players entering the game including the Service Providers, UCC will be also available soon as a service which most customers are demanding for lots of good reasons that I will not explain in this paper.
The consultant community will play a very important role as we will start to see big tenders and large deployments for which a specific expertise will be mandatory to drive projects to success. Without mentioning the move from an IT focus towards an end-user focus, from technologies to applications.
The traditional partners / channels will have to adapt themselves to this new world by moving up the value chain and offer more value added services. The big box movers will capture the box business very quickly but the value added resellers will become more critical as the projects scale up. Even though there will be more business opportunities, the channel will have to change and focus on their strengths, their knowledge of the UCC market and their skilled resources. Their downfall will be to keep focusing on pushing boxes instead of moving toward solutions, applications and projects.
The IT channels will benefit from the move as long as they are willing to put their hands up and train people in UCC. Skilled resources could be the bottleneck this industry will face and will be the most critical success factor. Traditional vendors will face tremendous opportunities if they adapt and address the niche or vertical industries therefore becoming complementary to the big players. The other opportunity will be to partner or if lucky enough, get acquired at a very good price. This is really the time to get acquired. The window is wide open and it will not happen twice at that price. Big players will have to move quickly to react to Cisco's major play in the UCC market.
Service Providers now have a huge opportunity to launch UCC as a service. Initially, it may not be comprehensive but the first step could be a TP service, desktop UC service, videoconferencing as a service etc...
What is still missing?
The world went global but the true globalization did not really take place in this industry.
Ask any end user who has had a real global project how much of a nightmare it has been to get the same solutions across the different countries without mentioning the pricing. Also, I'm not even talking about services across the globe. This weakness has to be addressed as a first priority to secure large deployments.
After over 15 years in this industry "le jour de gloire est arrive". We all know that we finally convinced the world that this technology is just incredible!!Thanks to Cisco people to have made it real.
The acquisition is super News for Polycom.
Every body must be happy to know Polycom is happy with the acquisition.
So we are all happy!!!!! have a great day.
I can't wait for all the candidates to come onto the market.
Polycom Benefiting and the Dollar Collapsing
So sometimes I get so focused on telepresence that I get tunnel visioned about the other aspects of Polycom's product portfolio. I was talking with Ira Weinstein after I published my article and he pointed out that Microsoft, Avaya, and the other UC competitors to Cisco will now be cuddling up with Polycom as well as Polycom becoming the major counter-weight to CSCO/TAA for large enterprise customers that don't want to put all their eggs in one basket.
Interestingly a couple of days after I discussed the reasons why the declining dollar was likely a factor in CSCO making an acquisition of TAA, it has come out in the Guardian that the Gulf States, Russia, France, and others desire to move away from the USD as the currency of oil transactions. There have been two legs to USD hegemony:
1. The dollar was the world's only reserve currency which is now under assault as countries openly diversify from the USD as a reserve currency with the UN calling for an alternative, the IMF creating/proposing Special Drawing Rights (SDRs), and the Gulf States discussing a gold backed Dinar among a few USD alternatives being proposed.
2. The dollar is/was the only currency of global oil transactions. All oil transaction on the NYMEX/ICE were priced and sold in USD which meant that oil importing countries have to/had to keep their reserves/ oil accounts in USD which soaked up a large amount of our inflation.
The article from the Guardian yesterday that oil producers were moving away from the USD as the currency of international oil transaction would/could unleash as wave of USD selling as countries no longer have to keep their reserves in rapidly depreciating USD but could move to more stable currencies. The article in the Guardian discussed a 9 year time frame but just the discussion of this will pressure countries/companies/individuals to move more rapidly in diversifying out of their USD reserves (Such as buying companies like TANDBERG). While Fox News is reporting that the Gulf States are denying any plans to move out of the dollar the market didn't believe them and the USD has fallen over $.50 when measured against a basket of six foreign currencies on the USD index while Gold is up over $24 an ounce to $1041.60.
What does this mean to the telepresence and visual collaboration industry? It means that smart companies will begin getting their "Economic Disaster Recovery" plan on which should include the ability to effectively do business globally with partners, vendors, and customers in a world of inflation,expensive and inconvenient physical travel, airline collapses, etc.
Marc Trachtenberg, CEO of Teliris jumps in with his thoughts via his Blog: Discover Telepresence
On the recent news of Cisco's acquisition of Tandberg, I wouldn't want to break tradition and stay silent, what fun is there in that? I won't deny its big news for the videoconferencing industry and as with any announcement there is an upside and a downside. To start on a positive note, and of course with a slightly selfish and possibly smug comment - I couldn't help but sit back in my chair, look at the wonderful view of NY harbor from my office and breathe a sigh of contentment because when I read the news, my very first thought was wow, the small industry that I jumpstarted way back in 1999 has just been truly validated! This acquisition has helped prove telepresence is more than just a fad, it is here to stay. Not that i didnt know this already or that my customers haven't told me continually how Teliris Telepresence has changed their business, saved them money and dramatically increased productivity. WE already knew this, but now EVERYONE can see it as clearly as I always have.
Now for the BIG BUT...(you knew I couldn't spend this entire commentary being positive, right?). The big glaring hole here is in the details of this acquisition. This not only shows Cisco's inability to innovate but also highlights the many inconsistencies between the two companies that will take years to reconcile. Cisco and Tandberg are stuck in the heavy, monolithic, high priced 'video mainframe' infrastructure mode and will find it very difficult to compete with Teliris 6G - a light software-based approach to telepresence. How can Cisco and Tandberg reconcile their ideas of how telepresence should work? Cisco's switched video versus Tandberg's MCU-centric view will present serious integration and migration challenges for both Cisco and Tandberg customers. Will Tandberg customers migrate to Cisco, or Cisco customers to Tandberg? Either way this will not be simple, especially when you consider the required change in direction which will inevitably conflict with promises both companies have made to their customers. Lastly, how far we have come since the days of Cisco's declaration that there was no need for interoperability. With this acquisition, it will have to become front and center! Not to rub it in, but Teliris started interoperating way back in 2007 and made it clear that it would be of ultra importance. Of course, this is just a short synopsis of my thoughts, so click on my video and get all the details.
If anyone has any other thoughts then please join the discussion at Telepresence Industry Professionals on Linked In.
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