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Tandberg: Acquisition does not mean free ride for Cisco partners

Tandberg: Acquisition does not mean free ride for Cisco partners

Cisco resellers will still need to go through stringent accreditation process to access Tandberg video-conferencing products.

Cisco’s acquisition of video-conferencing player, Tandberg, will not guarantee its partners access to the vendor’s communications product range.

The networking juggernaut flagged intentions to snap up Tandberg in November in a deal worth $US3.4 billion. It is expected to be finalised mid-year.

Tandberg is set to become a specialised division under Cisco and all staff will be retained. It will be business as usual for both parties in the short term. Despite the pending marriage of the two businesses, Tandberg Asia-Pacific president, Lars Ronning warned Cisco partners will not be given special treatment.

“Our partners are still going to remain our partners and Cisco partners that are not currently qualified with us will still have to go through the same certification and training processes,” he said. “It is not like we’re going to let go and let a whole bunch of new resellers into our channel.”

The company’s local branch is committed to maintaining normal operations. Against a hellish past year globally, Tandberg’s Australian and New Zealand branch achieved annual compounded growth of 12 per cent in 2009. According to Tandberg, the global financial crisis worked in its favour as many companies turned to telepresence to cut travelling costs.

“Cisco has made this acquisition – we have been successful in the marketplace and we can’t let anything change that now,” Tandberg regional director, Philip Siefert, commented. “Some time in the future, you can see it coming where our sales teams will collocate and work cooperatively with Cisco, but my strategy remains the same.”

The vendor is also focused on maintaining a modest sized reseller base as Tandberg wants to continue its hands-on approach with partners. It has 26 resellers across Australia and New Zealand.

“We’ll bring on partners, not aggressively, to cover new territory, especially in Western Australia. That may bring on a new customer base such as the mining sector,” Siefert said.

Tandberg appointed its first local distributor, Express Data, mid-2009. While there have been offers from other distributors, the vendor is not interested in bringing on another at this stage.


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