HP working with Microsoft Lync for SMBs; problem for Polycom?

Microsoft's latest partnership with HP on Lync has the potential to stir up competition for one of Microsoft's other major partners: Polycom.
Written by Rachel King, Contributor

Hewlett-Packard has announced that it is teaming up with Microsoft to deliver a new, better and cost-effective unified communications platform via Microsoft Lync to small business customers.

Announced at the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference this week, the initiative relies upon HP's Converged Infrastructure for networking, storage, server and management.

Terry Ann Fitzgerald, manager of SMB solutions marketing for the HP Networking unit, explained further in a blog post:

With the HP UC&C with Microsoft Lync solution, you have access to the most comprehensive Lync portfolio in the marketplace from two Gartner Magic Quadrant leaders. The channel toolkit will help you start new conversations, expand your revenue opportunities and shorten your sales cycle. Your business will be equipped to generate demand, identify opportunities, and close sales. Included are fully tested and verified reference architectures for 250 to 2500 employees that simplify deployment, reduce implementation risk and most importantly, ensure your customers are positioned to take advantage of the full suite of benefits that Lync UC&C has to offer.

Although the two tech giants founded a partnership over the Lync enterprise unified communications platform nearly three years ago, this marks the first joint solution developed by HP and Microsoft together for the SMB channel.

However, it could spell trouble for one of Microsoft's other long-term partnerships in the unified comms sector: Polycom.

To date, Polycom has been a tight partner with Microsoft on the integration of telepresence and connections to Lync. HP partnering with Microsoft on Lync could provide additional competition for Polycom, which has missed expectations in recent quarters.

For example, in April, Polycom cut its outlook for the second quarter of 2012. Polycom projected second quarter non-GAAP earnings of 20 to 22 cents a share with revenue between $367 million to $377 million. But Wall Street was expecting second quarter earnings of 25 cents a share on revenue of $387.3 million.

As previously noted, although this marks the first time that HP and Microsoft have worked together on SMB-targeted solutions involving Lync, it doesn't look good for Polycom that Microsoft is opting to go with other partners at a time like this for the company.

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