* To jointly sell, manage videoconferencing
* Both companies face challenge from Cisco-Tandberg
NEW YORK Jan 22 Network equipment maker
Juniper Networks Inc (JNPR.N) and videoconferencing company
Polycom Inc PLCM.O on Friday announced a partnership to
jointly sell and manage video services, to compete with
industry leader Cisco Systems Inc (CSCO.O).
Cisco last year announced plans to buy Norway's Tandberg,
the world's leading company specializing in Internet-based
video communications -- a growing industry that is helping
companies communicate more efficiently with customers and
Analysts say Polycom, Tandberg's main rival, risks losing
market share unless it broadens its sales reach through
partnerships or is acquired.
Polycom Chief Executive Bob Hagerty said the company's
advantage was the openness of its system and ability to work
with a wide range of technology vendors including Microsoft
Corp (MSFT.O) and IBM (IBM.N).
"Nobody really wants to be locked in to one way of working
on a proprietary network with one vendor," Hagerty told
Reuters. "What this allows is best in class, and investment
protection on what you already have."
Polycom is set to announce more partnerships over the next
several months, he said.
The move also comes as companies are looking for more
simple and cost-efficient ways to run their technology
operations. This has put pressure on communications equipment
makers and service vendors to either consolidate or seek sales
Cisco's expansion into a large number of services and
products, including video and consumer products as well as
wireless technology, is seen a key challenge for Juniper, which
is highly focused on network equipment.
The companies said joint services will be available through
global service providers in mid-2010, after beta tests are
performed around the end of the first quarter or early in the
(Reporting by Ritsuko Ando; Editing by Bernard Orr)