Tandberg and HP have formed a partnership to take on Cisco for some of the world's largest corporate videoconferencing customers.
HP already boasts its high-profile Halo Collaboration Studio, which it launched in December 2005 and costs from $425,000 (£219,000) per room. Pepsi, Canon and General Electric have all bought Halo systems from the company.
Cisco hit back this October by releasing a top-end rival system called TelePresence, priced at a similarly hefty $300,000 (£154,000) per room.
But after hints of early successes from Cisco, HP has now tied a deal with Tandberg, another successful conferencing company, to steal further competitive advantage. Tandberg has a strong reputation for business-grade conferencing-room and desktop-video systems, albeit at a lower level. It has no large corporate offering to compete directly with HP and Cisco.
The gist of the Tandberg/HP partnership is that the two companies will co-market each other's solutions, ensuring that the two disparate sets of kit are interoperable. The two will also ensure that Tandberg kit can be deployed over HP's dedicated videoconferencing network so businesses can deploy a mixture of Halo studios and cheaper-priced Tandberg kit in their offices.
Tandberg has been working with Cisco for several years, yielding a contract with the NHS, but that partnership is restricted to integration between Tandberg endpoints and Cisco's Call Manager. Tandberg's director of strategic alliances, Steve Vobbe, told ZDNet UK on Thursday that it had no plans for integration with Cisco TelePresence, because of the proprietary nature of Cisco's solution.
Tandberg's interoperability with HP will be completed during the second quarter of 2007, the company says.