Polycom buying IT consulting firm Sentri to expand Microsoft services

Polycom is beefing up support for Microsoft business products through a new acquisition.

Polycom has just announced plans to purchase Sentri, a Massachusetts-based IT consulting and managed services firm.

More significantly, Sentri's specialty is providing support for Microsoft business solutions.

Thus, the goals for Polycom with this merger are twofold: To grow its services business and beef up its own support for and integration with Microsoft products.

Citing 10 percent annual growth for the services unit in last week's earnings report , Polycom told ZDNet that this is another step for the San Jose-based company toward becoming a software company primarily for video collaboration.

Polycom has been a significant Microsoft partner for the last few years, especially since the two tech companies inked a broad agreement to team up on unified communications back in 2010.

Under that deal, Polycom agreed to develop unified communications systems for various Microsoft servers and products. In one example last year, Polycom used its RealPresence video-conferencing platform with Microsoft's Lync UC system to work on Hewlett-Packard's AppSystem for scalable operability on HP's networking services and storage.

In this light, Sentri--certified as a Microsoft Gold Competency Partner with services dedicated to Lync, SharePoint, and more--appears to make a natural fit for Polycom.

Although an exact figure wasn't revealed, Polycom said it paid "less than $10 million" for Sentri. The deal is expected to close during the first quarter of 2013.

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