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TMCnet's Unified Communications Week in Review

November 20, 2009

It was another busy week in the Unified Communications industry as more businesses are realizing the value the services offer. Here’s a recap of some of the interesting stories unified communications reported in the UC field this week.

Cisco Systems made headlines this week when it announced it upped its bid to acquire video conferencing gear maker TANDBERG by about $400 million.
The world’s largest maker of computer networking gear is now offering $3.4 billion for TANDBERG. Officials said the revised offer “remains consistent with the principles of prudence and financial fairness.” If Cisco doesn’t achieve the desired level of acceptance representing 90 percent shares, the firm said it would withdraw the offer and consider other ways to expand its activities in the video communications market.
The new offer comes after Cisco’s initial bid received weak support from many Tandberg's shareholders, who felt the $3 billion offer undervalued the company.
And one analyst told unified communications that Cisco’s new offer comes as no surprise.
Ira Weinstein, analyst and partner, Wainhouse Research, said TANDBERG, which is considered a video conferencing industry leader, has fared well in trying times. He said the market leader likely wants “additional bonuses for shareholders.”
“We’re not surprised by this at all,” Weinstein said. “Cisco did the right thing by upping the ante.”
In other news, rival Polycom, a provider of telepresence, video and voice communication solutions announced it has joined the Cisco Developer Network Program. Under the partnership, the Pleasanton, Calif.-based company will be part of the program’s Unified Communications technology category.
The Cisco Developer Network links Cisco Systems with third-party developers of hardware and software to deliver tested interoperable solutions to joint customers.  Program members are required to undergo interoperability testing based on Cisco’s criteria. 
This is one example that shows more companies are discovering the benefits of unified communications and partnerships. As organizations wait for the economy to rebound, executives are still keeping a watchful eye on their budgets. One solution that is gaining in popularity amid the budget crunch is telepresence technology.
As unified communications reported this week, Uyemura International Corp., a supplier of chemical finishing technology solutions that specializes in PCB, announced it is using telepresence and video conferencing technology from a Huntington Beach, Calif.-based company to connect its geographically dispersed sales and technical team members.
The company selected BrightCom’s telepresence and video conferencing infrastructure for its Uyemura USA division. With it, Uyemura USA plans to connect its technical and sales teams that are spread across the nation to its Ontario, Calif.-based headquarters and its Technical Center in Southington, Conn.
In addition, Uyemura wants to use the technology to give customers a channel to speak with the company’s sales and technical teams for project management. Businesses like Uyemura today are searching for cost-saving options to keep their operations functioning and running more efficiently. As a result, telepresence solutions are playing more of a role in those decisions.
Be sure to check out the latest UC news on unified communications.

Amy Tierney is a Web editor for unified communications, covering business communications Her areas of focus include conferencing, SIP, Fax over IP, unified communications and telepresence. Amy also writes about education and healthcare technology, overseeing production of e-Newsletters on those topics as well as communications solutions and UC. To read more of Amy's articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Amy Tierney

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