Polycom Picks Sentri for Advanced Collaboration

Polycom picks up Microsoft Gold partner Sentri Inc. in an effort to expand its partner community readiness in deploying complex unified communication and advanced collaborative solutions, which Gartner attests will become a $2 billion industry by 2016.

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sentri_polycomPolycom Inc. continues to expand its unified communication footprint with a unique acquisition of Microsoft Corp. Gold partner Sentri Inc, a UC and collaboration specialist with a focus on Microsoft Lync, SharePoint and Office 365. Polycom's interest in Sentri is part of a larger plan to gain "advanced services expertise" and bring those capabilities into Polycom's own partner community.

Sentri boasts a wide range of offerings, from video collaboration, cloud services, networking and "deep expertise [in] integrating Microsoft Lync with Polycom solutions," which Polycom says is a "key element" that made Sentri attractive. Also important is Sentri's Microsoft prowess, as Polycom attests that the "majority" of their customers demand a Microsoft / Polycom combination.

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In addition to technical know-how, Sentri will also deliver to consulting and design capabilities, streamlining efforts to selling and package an end-to-end collaboration solution that is tightly integrated across software, hardware and services. Sentri's experience in UC security has also been coveted, especially as UC is intertwined with larger, and potentially public and cloud-based networks. Sentri will also help Polycom capitalize on the coming wave of "advanced collaborative solutions," which according to Gartner, will be a nearly $2 billion industry in 2016.

The channel will be key in nabbing a good chunk of that $2 billion, which is why Sentri has also been brought aboard for its "real world experience" in the delivery and implementation of these solutions. Polycom plans to disseminate this knowledge into its training services and partner community. Once the acquisition is complete, Polycom will start up a center of excellence wherein North American Polycom partners can visit and learn directly from the Sentri services team --- Polycom will expand advanced training and certifications to all partners by H2 2013.

Polycom declined to place a price tag on Sentri, but noted it was "valued at less than $10 million." The acqusition is set to close before Q1 2013.

Polycoms' efforts to shy away from video conferencing and focus more on the traditional collaboration and communication space is key, especially amid the decline in demand for high-end telepresence solutions. But Polycom's' acquisition of Sentri also refines Polycom's ethos of making collaboration a ubiquitous and easily interoperable service. With Polycom CloudAXIS and an IBM alliance for  video-as-a-service solutions, Polycom is trailblazing a path to ensure its communication capabilities reach no boundaries.


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