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Plantronics has reached an agreement to acquire video conferencing equipment maker Polycom for $2 billion.
The transaction is likely to close later this year. The two companies say the acquisition will enable them to pool their equipment offerings. Both companies provide voice and video communications equipment, and combining the two product ranges will enable them to streamline and find efficiencies. Plantronics says the acquisition broadens its portfolio, expands the market opportunity, and augments its services business. The combined resourced of the two companies will also enable faster development of new analytics, video and audio offerings. Joe Burton, president and chief executive officer, Plantronics, says: "With the addition of Polycom’s solutions across video, audio and collaboration we will be able to deliver a comprehensive portfolio of communications and collaboration touch points and services to our customers and channel partners. “This will put Plantronics in an ideal position to solve for today’s enterprise collaboration requirements while capitalising on market opportunities associated with the evolving, intelligent enterprise.” Mary McDowell, chief executive officer, Polycom, says: “Polycom has returned to growth by focusing on building strong ecosystem partnerships and delivering innovative, smart solutions for our customers and partners. “Bringing Plantronics and Polycom together will broaden the breadth of solutions available to customers and partners and create a consistent end-user experience across many collaboration applications and devices. “As one company, Plantronics and Polycom will make it even easier for all customers to solve big-business problems through human-to-human connections.” Video conferencing – or unified communications as it is sometimes referred to – has been seeing many improvements in recent years, with new companies and technologies entering the market. Perhaps the most significant of the developments in the past few years has been the acquisition of Skype by Microsoft. Microsoft has monetised Skype and is said to generate $2 billion a year in revenue from it. But perhaps the key to growth for this sector is the increasing integration between different platforms and applications, enabling users to bring their own preferences to the video conferencing meeting table. Read the EM360 article on video conferencing for more details.