Tandberg unfazed by Polycom poach attempt

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Tandberg unfazed by Polycom poach attempt

Tandberg has dismissed comments by rival Polycom that its merger with Cisco could pressure margins in its reseller channel.

Polycom revamped its partner program last week. Its vice president of global channel marketing, Maurizio Capuzzo, told Channelweb that partners were "scratching their heads and asking right now, will Cisco-Tandberg bring my margins down?"

Adam Britten, Tandberg's recently appointed channel director for Asia Pacific, said yesterday that while he thought the merger "will be a job to do" he didn't foresee a downward trend on margins.

The view appeared to be supported by Tandberg's financials from the past year.

The company reported 12 percent year-on-year growth in Australia and New Zealand and "increased overall margin dollar revenues back to the business by three percent," its A/NZ regional director Phil Siefert said yesterday.

Britten acknowledged that Tandberg's competitors could seek to take advantage of the time it takes for the firm to merge with Cisco and work out a combined channel strategy.

A similar situation had recently occurred with Sun competitors HP and IBM reportedly taking advantage of lingering uncertainty over its merger with Oracle in an attempt to poach customers.

But Britten believed there were "lots of moving pieces that makes a channel organisation align with a particular vendor.

"Our channel strategy and Cisco's strategy are very aligned," Britten said.

"We're both about investing in capability from a training perspective and investment in communications, convergence and telepresence.

"Actually bringing the two together won't be difficult. There's already a lot of crossover between partners.

"Competitors will try to take advantage [of the merger] but I think we have a much stronger story overall."

Meanwhile, Blue Coat Systems channel sales manager Marco Corrent has been revealed as Tandberg's new A/NZ channel manager. He was due to start next month.

The role was vacated by Britten, who was promoted to the newly-created Asia Pacific channel director role.

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