Following last month's acquisition of Skype by Microsoft, many struggled to see sense in the deal, but in the industry itself there ware a surprising number of positive viewpoints suggesting it would be beneficial to the networking channel.
Now the dust has settled, Andreas Wienold, EMEA vice president at video comms specialist LifeSize, looks in more detail at some of the implications of the deal on the video comms market, and for companies like his own.
The announcement of Microsoft's plan to acquire Skype acquisition continues to create something of a stir in the media, writes Andreas, particularly as this is Microsoft's largest spend on any acquisition ever.
Nevertheless, it's clear that the deal will generate significant new business and revenue opportunities and offer some exciting opportunities for consumers, businesses and the channel - particularly as it will almost certainly help drive the video conferencing market forward by ensuring Skype becomes compatible with other providers.
As the only company to have partnerships with both Microsoft and Skype, this approach makes perfect sense to us at LifeSize. We welcome the efforts that both companies have been making to drive industry standards and interoperability in video communication across platforms.
As well as helping to bridge the gap between Messenger and Office Communicator/Lync, this acquisition will enhance Skype's integration into Microsoft's professional platforms such Windows Phone-based mobile devices.
This closely echoes our own drive towards creating an open and interoperable video communication environment that spans the gamut of user scenarios. For too long, this industry has been hobbled by platforms unable to communicate outside their own eco-system, restricting business and consumers within closed systems.
Our vision is to be able to provide HD video communication solutions to workers in businesses of all sizes, anytime, anywhere, regardless of whether people want to work in the boardroom, office, airport or on the road. In the words of our CEO & Founder, Craig Malloy: "Where there is voice, there should be video."
What does this mean for the channel? Simply, that LifeSize delivers a scalable, open HD video framework that offers the lowest total cost of ownership and ultimate flexibility - delivering choice and a strong competitive advantage, both being vital for the channel community.
At LifeSize we continue to drive disruption with our video technology innovation. And whether Microsoft and Skype are two entities or one, our partnership with these platform providers ensures high-quality solutions for business customers to guarantee universal collaboration.
This was first published in June 2011