Polycom buys HP's videoconferencing business for $89M, establishes cloud service initiative

Polycom is bolstering its videoconferencing arsenal by acquiring Hewlett-Packard's (NYSE: HPQ) videoconferencing business, including its Halo product line and managed service business, for $89 million.

After meeting necessary regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions, Polycom expects to close the acquisition in Q3 2011.

While HP is selling off videoconferencing business, it's not completely leaving it altogether as will resell the products through a partnership with Polycom. By maintaining the partnership with Polycom, HP will be able to expand the unified communications (UC) solutions it offers its customer base.

At the same time, HP's move is viewed by analysts as one way HP's CEO Leo Apotheker vision to get the company back on a road to profitability by focusing more on providing solutions versus hardware.   

"It looks like HP might be pushing away from videoconferencing," Kelleher said. "It's partly that Leo Apotheker really wants to focus on this being a solutions company."

In related news, Polycom is working with 12 major service providers including AT&T (NYSE: T) and Verizon (NYSE: VZ) to create the new Open Visual Communications Consortium (OVCC) to establish greater harmony amongst carriers and vendors to deliver videoconferencing and telepresence services.

While videoconferencing is still arguably a nascent market opportunity, establishing a set of best practices to deliver the service on a global basis will make it easier for businesses to integrate videoconferencing and telepresence into their daily operations.  

For more:
- Here's FierceVoIP's take
- Bloomberg has this article

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