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Juniper, Polycom counter Cisco with video con play

Telepresence as a service from somebody else

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Juniper Networks and Polycom have formed an alliance to sell enterprise telepresence and video conferencing services through third-party providers, in an apparent effort to counter Cisco's recent acquisition of video-conferencing gear maker Tandberg.

Juniper and Polycom are already rivals to Cisco in their respective fields, and the two are already technology partners. The two outfits claim it will be cheaper and more reliable for enterprises to use telepresence as a service from network providers instead of overlaying the technology over existing network kit that's not necessarily optimized for the task.

Juniper is a major rival to Cisco in networking gear. And with Cisco's pending acquisition of the Norway-based Tandberg, Polycom is feeling the squeeze from the tech giant as well.

Polycom's deal with Juniper follows a partnership with Siemens Enterprise Communications announced last week and another with IBM announced earlier this month.

Video conferencing is expected to become a fast-growing segment of enterprise networking kit and one that Cisco is eager to seize.

According to Juniper and Polycom, their joint bundle for network service providers will include Juniper's Junos Space applications platform, MX Series 3D Universal Edge Routers, and SRS Series Service Gateways. Polycom will provide its telepresence systems and Distributed Media Application that centralizes call control.

The integrated products are expected to be made available to service providers in mid-2010. Closer to that time, the companies say they will be will talk pricing and packaging options. ®

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