September 7, 2007
As of the publication date of this interview with Codian’s Simon Downey, Norway-based video conferencing giant Tandberg announced that they are acquiring the high-definition (HD) video conferencing gear maker for $270 million in cash and stock. The deal, which is expected to enable Tandberg to more rapidly pursue current opportunities within its core videoconferencing and telepresence markets, is expected to close in the third quarter of 2007.
Codian designs and manufactures advanced video conferencing products, which include Multipoint Control Units, ISDN gateways, Video Conference Recorders and Streaming Servers.
Rick Snyder, President of TANDBERG Americas, is scheduled to kick off the Green Technology World Conference program with a keynote address in Petree Hall D at the Los Angeles Convention Center in Los Angeles, CA, on Tuesday September 11 at 9:00am.
Snyder plans to describe in practical terms how adopting a strategy to reduce carbon emissions can increase a company’s brand value, driving competitive advantage.
“The key to engaging enterprises in the environmental movement is to identify CO2 reduction programs that can be implemented easily, do not sacrifice productivity, and demonstrate measurable ROI for an organization,” explained Snyder. “I am looking forward to sharing the experience of our customers who are reducing their carbon footprint by eliminating unnecessary business travel and implementing visual telecommuting programs.”
While we will no doubt hear more about the two companies as the acquisition progresses, I’d like to share this interview I conducted with Simon Downey, senior product direct at Codian, about telepresence and the evolution of the IP communications space in general.
Downey will be presenting during the upcoming ITEXPO as part of a panel discussion titled The Dawning of Telepresence. The session is set to take place on Monday September 10 at 12:30pm. For more information on the event click here.
RT: Please outline your new corporate initiatives.
SD: HD is fast becoming the new standard in video communications, with telepresence emerging as the next big wave. Codian is at the forefront in developing solutions that deliver unrivalled quality experience that allows users to seamlessly integrate their legacy standard definition equipment with today’s emerging technologies, all without limitation or compromise.
RT: How is IP communications changing your company’s strategy?
SD: IP communications is core to Codian’s DNA. Codian is focused on delivering the best IP communications experience to users regardless of how they connect, where they connect and when they connect.
RT: How has SIP changed communications?
SD: To date, SIP has had little impact on the video communication market. It has accelerated the lower end of the IP communications market, both on voice and desktop video, but it has yet to be widely deployed across meeting room systems. However, as the adoption of Unified Communications gains momentum, we are seeing SIP emerge as the unified standard for IP Communications.
RT: What is the biggest request coming from your customer base?
SD: The rapid adoption of high definition and telepresence is increasing the demand to provide customers who have traditionally deployed video conferencing equipment with a solution that seamlessly integrates their legacy systems and today’s high end technologies while delivering their users a quality, “in person” experience. At the same time, as our customer base begins to deploy desktop solutions, they want the uncompromised experience and interoperability they’ve come to expect from Codian with their boardroom in a highly scalable solution capable to support thousands of their desktop users.
RT: How are you answering their demands?
SD: Codian will continue to meet the video communications needs of businesses with products that deliver unrivalled performance, quality and scalability.
RT: What do you think the future of the market is?
SD: IP communications has opened the doors to truly unifying communications across the enterprise, including mobile and fixed telephony, desktop collaboration and end-video communications. This opportunity will create significant challenges for network equipment providers, requiring an integrated solution that is not only scalable and high performing but maintains a superb level of quality and ease of use for the user.
RT: How does the growth rate in the U.S. compare to the rest of the world?
SD: We are seeing tremendous growth across the board with the U.S. in the lead, closely followed by Europe and then Asia.
SD: It’s a testament to the increasing growth opportunities within the IP Communications space.
RT: How about Microsoft?
SD: Microsoft is in a great position to dominate from the desktop; however they have unfortunately chosen to remain partially proprietary rather than adopting a complete standards-based architecture which may slow their penetration. We believe that ultimately they’ll compete with Avaya and Cisco in the PBX business as well as with Cisco, Adobe and IBM in the Web collaboration space.
RT: How will wireless technologies change our market?
SD: The increased performance of mobile devices and the replacement of desktop computers with laptops are showing an increased demand for full mobility. As a result, more of our IP communications solutions need to address this notion of any device, any time, any location and over any network.
RT: How will communications evolve over the next five years?
SD: Your guess is as good as mine. While we don’t have the crystal ball, it’s fair to assume that the exponential growth in terms of performance and network throughput will continue. As a result, today’s high-performance requirements will expand far beyond the boardroom and out to end-user devices.
RT: What sorts of things will we be hearing about during your presentation at ITEXPO?
SD: Today’s telepresence solutions create an immersive “in the same room” experience for all; or so you think. More often than not individuals attempting to be part of this experience from their existing video equipment are completely isolated as a result of system incompatibility issues. That is not the case with Codian solutions which provides a no comprise quality HD experience while integrating with legacy standard definition systems. I will discuss how to successfully deploy telepresence and high definition communications across the enterprise network while avoiding potential pitfalls commonly encountered by IT managers.
RT: Why is your presentation a “Can’t Miss?”
SD: When it comes to infrastructure required for supporting HD and TP, Codian offers the only comprehensive and end-to-end HD capable solutions available in the market.
RT: What do you want the industry to know about your company?
SD: Codian is the fastest growing voice and visual communications company in the world and has set the standard by delivering today’s most advanced video conferencing infrastructure solutions.
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