Another reality check…

Last week, I had one of those rare moments.

One of my employees called me very early and told me Tandberg had been acquired by Cisco. He did it because (and there are lots of witnesses) I’ve been predicting it for about three years, as loudly as I could. I did it because there are directional differences in the videoconferencing market that would only be resolved that way, and because, well, the 800 pound gorilla sleeps wherever it wants. And that’s not a hard thing to predict. Nevertheless, I got my “I told you so” minute, cheap though it was.

So the conversation began with “what happens next?”

I was reminded of back when I worked in California, and a client (once Shapeware, then Visio) was acquired by Microsoft. We walked through the Visio exhibit that morning (I forget which trade show we were at at the time) and friends/clients from Visio practically came running up to excitedly prattle on about how they were “merging with Microsoft, did you hear?!!”

I was with Evan Williams from Riverview. As soon as we walked out of the booth, Evan turned to me and said quietly “Do you know what you get when you merge Visio with Microsoft?

“Yes”, I replied. “Microsoft.”

So, I began that conversation about the Tandberg/Cisco thing with “next, we’ll get a memo about synergies, about how delighted they are to be “joining forces”, etc.”

That memo was issued within an hour.

I’m on a roll now, I think.

And to keep my fragile record, I’m not making another public prediction. But read the background on the companies. Read their white papers on direction. Realize that they are of two different mindsets in many ways, no matter how they choose to spin it.  And understand that, for good or bad, the fundamental nature of how videoconferencing is sold, and the kind of videoconferencing WE will sell, is now about to change in significant ways.

Because, all assurances aside, we all know where the 800 lb. gorilla sleeps.