Cisco Completes Tandberg Acquisition

Cisco Monday said it had completed its acquisition of Tandberg and will preserve the full Tandberg product line as part of Cisco's TelePresence portfolio.

The move closes the book on six months of financial and regulatory hurdles dating back to Cisco's Oct. 1 announcement of the acquisition and paves the way for Cisco to have a full product integration road map ready in time for next week's Cisco Partner Summit in San Francisco.

"Today we are celebrating a very important step for our customers in the journey to put people at the center of collaboration and change the way we work," said Marthin De Beer, senior vice president of Cisco's Emerging Technologies Business Group, in a statement. "We strongly believe that telepresence -- the next generation of videoconferencing -- along with Cisco's entire rich collaboration portfolio, powers this new way of working where everyone, everywhere, can be more productive through the pervasive use of video and face-to-face collaboration."

The aggregate purchase price on the deal, according to Cisco, was about 19 billion Norwegian kroner, or $3.3 billion.

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Tandberg's full product line is now part of Cisco's TelePresence portfolio, and former Tandberg CEO Fredrik Halvorsen will become senior vice president and leader of Cisco's TelePresence Technology Group, reporting to De Beer.

Cisco in February had described plans to form the TelePresence Technology Group. At the time, Cisco had also described a plan to create an architecture for supporting Tandberg products and other platforms integrated with Cisco.

One of the related initiatives, according to Cisco, is around Telepresence Interoperability Protocol (TIP), an underlying protocol for native telepresence interoperability. According to Cisco, the acquisition marks the launch of its TIP Open Source project, and Cisco will publish its TIP source code libraries by July 1, 2010.

Monday's announcement did not include significant details about how existing Tandberg channel partners will be brought in to Cisco's channel programs.

In the announcement, Cisco said it "plans to reveal a harmonized partner strategy that combines the best of the Tandberg and Cisco programs to help ensure a seamless experience for existing and new customers, and will provide exciting new opportunities for partners."

At press time, Cisco had planned to host two publicly available Webcasts to discuss the acquisition's closing. Both are scheduled to feature De Beer and Halvorsen. The first was scheduled for 5 a.m. Eastern time Monday, and the second, covering the same material, is scheduled for 12:30 p.m. Eastern.

Cisco is completing its acquisition the same day rival Hewlett-Packard is expected to reveal details of its acquisition of 3Com. Both Cisco and HP host their annual, flagship partner conferences next week, in San Francisco and Las Vegas, respectively.