Polycom Acquires Video Collaboration Specialist ViVu

Polycom has acquired ViVu, a video collaboration company whose software will allow Polycom to more easily embed high definition video into web-based applications. It's the latest in a string of recent acquisitions made by Polycom as it looks to bulk up its video and unified communications (UC) software strategy.

Financial terms of the deal, which was closed on Oct. 14 according to Polycom, weren't provided. Polycom plans to use ViVu's technology in its RealPresence Platform, the software infrastructure Polycom uses to power its telepresence and video products.

Sudhakar Ramakrishna, executive vice president and general manager of UC solutions at Polycom and its chief development officer, highlighted speed of deployment and flexibility as what motivated Polycom to buy ViVu.

"ViVu is a compelling acquisition for Polycom as their technology provides a scalable architecture to quickly deploy rich video collaboration for a range of web-based applications for social, business and industry-specific applications, such as those for healthcare, finance and customer service," Ramakrishna said in a statement.

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Founded in 2008 and based in Cupertino, Calif., ViVu has a budding following in the UC channel. Using a proprietary video intelligence technology called MXTP that automatically optimizes video quality based on the connectivity options available, ViVu offers a browser-based video platform that doesn't require a download, and is compatible with PCs and Macs as well as a host of mobile devices, including Apple's iPad. Its VuRoom and VuCast products can be deployed on-premise or in a SaaS scenario.

ViVu raised about $3 million from several venture capital partners in 2009, and earlier this year received an undisclosed cash infusion from Advanced Micro Devices's AMD Fusion Fund program.

Polycom has made several acquisitions this year, including of video content management vendor Accordent Technology and of strategic ally Hewlett Packard's entire enterprise video portfolio.

In a statement, Polycom added that the transaction is expected to be neutral to earnings. Polycom did not provide details on how ViVu's management team will be folded into the organization.

"ViVu is excited to join Polycom as we both believe in the power of video collaboration to increase productivity and improve communications and collaboration," said Sudha Valluru, ViVu's founder and CEO, in a statement. "I'm confident that ViU's video collaboration technology will thrive and grow in the future, as a result of Polycom's leadership in UC and video collaboration, power of distribution channels, and the breadth of its customer reach within the enterprise market and beyond."

Next: Polycom's Shifting Software, Mobility Strategies

Polycom this year has a stated focus on building a software strategy, especially as it continues to win favor from channel partners that sell UC and video.

Last week, the company also launched Polycom RealPresence Mobile, which extends the RealPresence functionality to mobile devices. Available as a free download from Apple's App Store and the Android Market, it's available for use with Apple's iPad, Motorola's Xoom and Samsung's Galaxy Tab, and works over Wi-Fi, 3G and 4G.

"Tablets are a perfect platform for video," said Jim Kruger, senior vice president of global solutions marketing, in an interview with CRN earlier this month. "With the application you'll initially be able to do point-to-point video calls, but when you connect that application to your infrastructure, that allows [our partners] to really expand the offering in the enterprise."

Polycom will focus RealPresence Mobile initially on tablets but Kruger said he expects it eventually work well for smartphones, too.