Cisco to Buy Tandberg


Saw an email this morning on the Megaconference list and then visited this Blog entry by Stefan.

Please leave comments below and let us know what you think, but, first, here is my opinion:

1. Cisco, in my humble opinion, is very innovative but has not been fully in tune with the existing videoconferencing technology and market.  Interoperability cannot take a back seat, but, seemed to at Cisco.  Many companies, over the years, as large as Intel and as small as Objective and NUTS found out that interoperability, in this industry, is very important.

2. We (at ESnet) had experienced a Cisco takeover (of Latitude) several years ago.  After the initial fear, we found that the MeetingPlace product line (and the people) were kept in place (at least from our perspective as an end-user) and the product evolved very nicely. It appeared to us that:  Cisco buys but keeps the expertise.  Let us hope that continues.

3. Tandberg is great.  Their products are very reliable.  They inter-operate  with other products, and they have the vision and  knowledge of this industry (both history and moving forward).  They are innovators.  More importantly they have the respect of everyone (including their competitors) in this industry.

4. Cisco is now (or will be shortly if this finalizes) a leader in this industry.  I only hope the Tandberg folks will stay and will be allowed to continue to innovate while remaining interoperable with the other products.

TelBitConsulting says:  Now that the world is on the verge of realizing the value of videoconferencing, the last thing we need is for the products to become proprietary.

Interested in what Wainhouse Research says?  Click here.

Here is the announcement on Tandberg’s web site.

Comments welcome!


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  • I think this is a good thing in the long run, bad thing in the short term. Cisco is going to try and get their head wrapped around H.323 so creativity will falter in the short term. Cisco brings Carrier grade to H.323, something that was not present before. This will slow things down, but in the end speed up adoption as things become more stable and predictable. This is a good thing. This will give the smaller players time to develop something to compete with the bigger players. In the long term, everybody will benefit from the stability that cisco will bring. i.e. you will hav e to play nice with Cisco.

    What I truly hope that will happen is that Polycom will get its head from a certain dark place (They have started to) and realize they have an excellent set of products that can compete with Cisco’s VoIP/Video Solution. They just need to figure out how to manage it, bundle it and sell it. Their bridge, the phones, the endpoints, could blow Cisco out of the water if they would just figure out how to manage and scale the solutions.


  • As a Codian MCU owner, I am wondering how the Cisco takeover of Tandberg will affect the Codian product line.

    When Tandberg took over Codian, they pretty much left the Codian name and product line alone. Hopefully Cisco will do the same.


  • Tandberg and Codian are a good fit as they both are more worried about locking in customers and maintaining high profit margins than having the best technology.

    This is good news for LifeSize, Polycom and, to a lesser degree, Radvision.

    Tandberg’s prices, already the highest, are likely to go up and their product will be sold more by non-video sales people who lack the expertise that most VARs have.

    More importantly, this is likely to stall R&D at Tandberg and Cisco as they work on working together, while LifeSize, Polycom and Radvision push the technology forward.


  • ‘Nobody ever got fired for buying I mean Cisco….’