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Plantronics Acquires Polycom
Plantronic’s acquisition of Polycom late last week caused a significant stir in the Unified Communications and Collaboration (UC & C) industry, giving Polycom a much-needed boost amidst an increasingly crowded competitive landscape. In a deal purportedly valued at $2 billion in a cash and stock transaction, the announcement creates a communication and collaboration powerhouse with deep ramifications across the industry.
Polycom is a leading vendor in the collaboration and communications space, commanding a strong position in the voice and video collaboration market. It is a leading supplier of video conferencing solutions but has faced growing competition in the past three years as the market has evolved. This evolution has largely come in the form of a move from dedicated systems towards web-based and personalised conferencing systems (such as those offered by Cisco, Microsoft, Starleaf, Zoom, etc), with Polycom facing growing competition for control of this market. The purchase by Plantronics presents an opportunity to face growing challenges with renewed financial (and technological) capital.
While the move is overwhelmingly positive for Polycom, it presents an even greater opportunity for Plantronics.
Plantronics is a global provider of audio solutions, with its headset business spanning business and consumer markets. It has an established and enviable B2B portfolio, offering a wide range of audio solutions for businesses with high penetration of its headsets across many Fortune 1000 companies.
The acquisition of Polycom provides significant opportunities for the company, with its vision to deliver a comprehensive range of communication and collaboration solutions clearly central to this. In addition, the move offers a broadening of its portfolio to incorporate Polycom’s position in voice and video collaboration, an expansion of market opportunities with the potential to sell Polycom hardware to a wide range of established Plantronic’s customers, and an enhancing of its services and analytics business, an area Polycom has invested heavily in to build further.
It remains to be seen whether this is part of a larger acquisition strategy that will take Plantronics further into the UC&C space, but the industry will certainly be keeping a close eye on these developments.
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