Arik Hesseldahl

Recent Posts by Arik Hesseldahl

Polycom’s Videoconferencing Business Unfazed by Ambitious Startups, CEO Says

jetsonsIf indeed the ambitious videoconferencing startups of the world, like Vidyo and Blue Jeans Network, were supposed to have messed up the business plans of established players in that world by now, you certainly couldn’t have proved it by looking at the earnings results just put up by Polycom.

Sales in Q4 at $353 million, while down 9 percent year on year, were in line with analysts expectations, while profits at 17 cents beat expectations by two cents.

I talked briefly with CEO Andrew Miller, who said a recent deal with AT&T will help its competitive stance against rival Cisco Systems in the videoconferencing space. “The AT&T deal really put the industry on notice,” Miller said.

Additional existing deals with IBM and Microsoft, via its Lync service, remain in place, and contributed to the 5 percent rate of sequential growth in the quarter. Polycom has also been battling a perception that its videoconference business has been under attack by startups. The company launched a significant upgrade to its videoconferencing technology in October. “Last year was all about people talking about Vidyo and Blue Jeans,” Miller says. “We think we have the most compelling product, heading into 2013.”

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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik