In a woefully under reported story, HP has signed a global agreement with Polycom for Visual and Unified Communications solutions. This is an important signing for HP as they continue to be on a collision course with Cisco. While Cisco’s purchase of Tandenburg was a coup, many outside the industry had to research the company and their products. Polycom is a different story, as it feels like their equipment is found in just about every conference room across the globe.
Per Polycom’s press release, “Under the expanded agreement, Polycom video and voice solutions for unified communications and stand-alone operation will be sold and delivered through HP as part of the company’s Unified Communications and Collaboration Services portfolio. This will enable organizations to leverage HP’s global presence for evaluating, designing, implementing and supporting communications systems that deliver a consistent, high-quality experience between all locations to ensure maximum benefits and rapid return on investment. The companies will also deliver interoperability between Polycom’s line of standards-based telepresence and video conferencing solutions and HP Halo telepresence.”
Translation, we’re going to kick Cisco’s butt by leveraging our customer relationships, services division, and powerful sales channel. We may have lost LifeSize to Logitech, but we aren’t going to lose Polycom to anyone. Hello, IBM, are you watching this?
Additionally, Polycom announced an expanded partnership with Microsoft. They are going to jointly develop and deliver “an extended portfolio of unified communications solutions. Why is this important? Since Cisco is aligned with EMC/VMware for their UC platform, HP is indirectly playing their trump card in Microsoft. Who has a stronger relationship with Microsoft; Cisco or HP?
If the partnership between HP and Polycom takes-off, then I’d expect Michael Hurd to open the M&A wallet once again. After all, HP must counter Cisco’s moves.