Polycom buys out the Halo telepresence product line from HP, and the video industry's top market analyst calls out the winners and losers in this major market shakeup.
--KERRAVALA: Polycom Gangs up on Cisco with HP and Microsoft
June 1 began with a Polycom bombshell. Following is a synopsis of the announcement and some preliminary thoughts on the implications.
1. Polycom will acquire the Visual Collaboration Business (assets) of HP, including the Halo products and the managed services business, and at the same time become an EXCLUSIVE partner to HP for telepresence and certain video solutions, including both resale and internal HP deployments. Polycom will also integrate its video software into HP's WebOS platform. It was reported that the deal cost Polycom $89M in cash, which would be our estimate of HP's annual revenues from Halo products and services.
2. Polycom has established an Open Video Communications Consortium (OVCC) with multiple service providers. This is intended to be an open video exchange cloud--think B2B. At the outset, OVCC includes participation by 14 service providers, including AT&T which, unlike the 13 others, is new to the "open" game. This move is an open shot at Cisco's move to create B2B exchanges focused largely on Cisco's telepresence portfolio. OVCC is yet another consortium that may or may not lead to any real progress in the market or deliver any customer value.
3. Polycom has expanded its strategic relationship with Microsoft. Details here are a bit murky, but the June announcement included mention of "Rally," which we believe is a Lync-compatible, dedicated room system from Polycom. While much of the Microsoft news appears to be delivering on old promises, we hope to go deeper into this area in a future article.
4 The company announced a 2/1 stock split. No comment.
The HP element is by far the most intriguing part of the announcement.
Under the terms of its agreements with HP, Polycom will provide expertise in software technology and UC infrastructure, covering the full continuum of integrated and secure mobile, desktop, room and telepresence solutions. HP will provide its expertise and leadership in go-to-market strategies for UC solutions and will resell Polycom's UC solutions including: personal and group UC devices, UC infrastructure, UC managed services, and audio/video software.
Next page: What I Think; Winners and Losers