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Cisco Buys Tandberg-What it Means

A long time ago, I suggested to a very close friend who works for Cisco that they should buy SightSpeed, as it would have fit into their long term vision of using video, instead of voice in the work place, just at the time when Telepresence was getting going, and before Cisco had bought Pure Digital for the FLIP camera.

Like all LARGE companies, CISCO started to study the potential of a SIP based video company with a network core in the middle, and before anything could get to discussion stage along came an offer from Logitech, which pal Peter Csathy masterfully dealt with and sold off SightSpeed.

There remains not doubt that what SightSpeed had would have played longer term into where CISCO is going, but that's all water under the bridge, but the proof points remain there, especially after the acquisition today of Tandberg, by Cisco, which further moves Telepresence into another and smaller size business and budget arena. It also makes sense to see this purchase as Tandberg is a very high end design company, something that has been lacking with the "look" of Cisco products, that have always been more industrial, and missed the "curb" appeal or "eye friendly" designer look in the executive suite. Tandberg solves that and more, and is also something Cisco is familiar with--hardware. This contrasts with a company like Vidyo, whose software and cloud based server technology for video is more portable and Skype or ooVoo.

Where do I see all this going? Given Cisco owns Linksys, and Linksys owns the consumer space, I fully expect to see one of two things to happen:

Interoperability with Skype video for those on the go


Cisco to buy up a compatible video conferencing solution that will be able to network/cloud connect to their ever expanding solution that starts at the top with Telepresence and weaves it way down to a FLIP like device that's two way, WiFi/WiMax and 4G ready.

Who goes on the video conferencing death watch? In my book it's PolyCom, whose older h.323 and locked in proprietary solution pretty much has them painted into a corner now.

My bet to be bought? CounterPath as their SIP softclient are just the right thing for Cisco.


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Cisco will leverage WebEx for the network to cloud based video interface....all managed through the CUVC server.....from the boardroom to the desktop.


Another hitech company killed by Cisco... a waste of competences and probably job losses... in the recent history Cisco was unable to valorize companies and technologies purchased with their unlimited IOS-centric cash. But this time could be different, good luck Tandberg!

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