Arik Hesseldahl

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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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Another gadget you don’t really need. Will not work once you get it home. New model out in 4 weeks. Battery life is too short to be of any use.

— From the fact sheet for a fake product entitled Useless Plasticbox 1.2 (an actual empty plastic box) placed in L.A.-area Best Buy stores by an artist called Plastic Jesus