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Polycom hitches video trailer to Juniper Networks

Alex Scroxton

Mere days after signing a vendor partnership agreement with Siemens Enterprise Comms, Polycom has ramped up the anti-Cisco rhetoric after allying with network infrastructure specialist Juniper Networks.

The deal provides for both parties to jointly sell and develop video-based services for their joint customer base. The alliance is set to bear fruit by the middle of the year.

The happy couple released preliminary details of a service provider solution to enable managed video services over a converged network, which they claimed will allow the channel to drive costs out of videoconferencing services by maximising the existing capabilities of the customer network. It will be made available through Junos Space, Juniper's partner ecosystem programme.

Juniper executive vice president of strategic alliances, Gerri Elliott, said an "exploding interest" in video had created "an urgent need for a more reliable and cost-effective model for delivering assured quality video services."

Rival Cisco made its name supplying the nuts and bolts behind the network but has expanded aggressively into new sectors in the past 12 months, frequently putting it at loggerheads with its competitors and allies.

It notably upset Hewlett-Packard after announcing its UCS data centre proposition last spring, and CEO John Chambers has been an outspoken advocate of Internet video, complementing its own enterprise telepresence suite with buys into both consumer and midmarket video.

Polycom initially welcomed Cisco's acquisition of Tandberg, saying it proved that the video market had a strong future and validated it sown strategy.

However, it must now react to the perception that it needs to do more to compete with the combined forces of Cisco and Tandberg, and has pledged to cut further, similar deals.


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