Cisco/Tandberg partners ramp up UC strategies

Cisco/Tandberg partners ramp up UC strategies

Partners of the two vendors claim the deal will push take-up of unified communications (UC)

Australian partners of Tandberg and Cisco are optimistic about their future in the unified communications (UC) space after the acquisition was officially finalised this week.

Cisco flagged its intentions to acquire the Norwegian video conferencing vendor mid-last year, offering $US3 billion. After a hard-fought fight, the networking giant closed the acquisition on April 19 for $US3.3bn.

Dimension Data is a partner of both companies and said the deal had been a long time coming. The integrator will be launching its Australian exclusive visual communications assessment service shortly, which will provide data on a customer’s current video conferencing environment, as a result of the acquisition.

“We’ve all been waiting for this to happen,” Dimension Data converged communications national manager, Rob Weddepohl, said. “A lot of our clients have been waiting for this.”

The integrator has been selling Tandberg products for over five years and saw the acquisition as a glove-fit for Cisco. Weddepohl said the news will instil confidence in clients who were hesitant to invest more in unified communications (UC).

“Some favoured either Cisco or Tandberg solutions so this has given customers more understanding and ease to move on with their strategies,” he said. “Clients loyal to Cisco and Tandberg are feeling more confident in terms of investing in bigger technology.

“We’re in the middle of it, which is great.”

Weddepohl expected the new Cisco and Tandberg relationship would further accelerate the adoption of UC and investment in backend conferencing infrastructure.

Cisco partner, Oriel Technologies, has found marketing Cisco’s large-scale telepresence and camera offerings to mid-sized customers challenging. The Tandberg acquisition had the potential to remediate the issue, according to its general manager, Chris Fydler.

“A lot of our medium enterprise customers are looking for boardroom-type cameras and don’t have a budget for telepresence,” he said. “They look for a middle ground and traditionally they went down the Tandberg or Polycom path to try and supplement that gap.

“What it means to us now is we have one supplier and will hopefully get seamless integration with UC equipment such as IP phones and video conferencing equipment.”

The integrator is also looking to boost sales in UC products but is tight-lipped about expected sales targets.

“We currently don’t do huge volumes of video conferencing, mainly because there is some difficultly with Cisco solution integration with other vendors,” Fydler said. “I would expect to see some growth from a small base.”

Fellow Cisco partner and ASX-listed integrator, Data#3, deals heavily with the networking giant and will now look at how to strategically align Tandberg with the business.

“The reality is Cisco is a big player across networking and you have its branding and alignment next to that,” Data#3 national vendor manager, George Rodgers, said. “Previously, if you had asked me about Tandberg, I would have been a bit cool about it and said we only reached out to it when we needed to.

“But in Australia, I should imagine now there is Cisco branding to Tandberg, it will give the company more credibility and visibility in the market.”

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Tags unified communicationsciscoData#3Oriel Technologiesdimension datatandberg

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