Yesterday's official announcement that the offer by Cisco to purchase Tandberg, the Norwegian-based video conferencing company for $3.4-billion cash, has been finalised, ushers in a new era of collaboration and will accelerate the worldwide adoption of visual communications.

That’s according to Ettienne Reinecke, CTO of Dimension Data, the $4 billion global IT solutions and services provider, who says the merger is a boon for organisations looking for enhanced growth and productivity using video collaboration.
“As the leading global partner for both Cisco and Tandberg with more certifications and experience integrating Tandberg and Cisco technologies than any other organisation, Dimension Data is very excited about this transaction. The comprehensive portfolio of the two companies, supported by Cisco’s powerful marketing engine means we can now address a broader range of clients’ visual needs and business objectives.”
Reinecke says Dimension Data has partnered closely with Tandberg to deliver numerous collaboration solutions which include integration and interoperability with Microsoft OCS. He points out that the group has worked with Cisco and their collaboration suite, and strongly believes the partnership will accelerate the trend from basic voice to a rich multi-media experience.
“With the network as the enabler and video at the core, IT departments can look forward to the widest array of choices that will help them efficiently achieve their business objectives, as well as a more seamless integration of critical infrastructure in the rapidly growing $34-billion collaboration market.”
While the transaction is subject to Cisco divesting ownership of its proprietary Telepresence Interoperability Protocol – a protocol used to communicate between Cisco telepresence products and third party video-conferencing products – Reinecke believes Cisco and Tandberg will deliver on their goal to create and drive interoperability standards for any organisation to use, and in turn pave the way for new business models in the collaboration market.
“This bodes well for Dimension Data and particularly for our clients. Dimension Data itself uses video conferencing to reduce travel costs.  In 2009 alone, travel costs of our senior management were cut by 20% without reducing crucial realtime, face-to-face contact that makes for successful leadership.”
Michael Abendanon, GM: Interactive Media, Dimension Data Middle East & Africa says, “Because Dimension Data can call on the best skills and experience as well as an extremely diverse range of client engagements in deploying both Cisco and Tandberg technologies –  often together, clients will have the confidence of knowing that, through working with us, they will reap the full benefits of this acquisition.
“The acquisition also comes at a time when the disruption by volcanic ash to air traffic – and therefore to all businesses currently dependent on executive travel for effective operations – is forcing businesses to reconsider their visual communications strategy. Video deployments are becoming an imperative in reducing the impact on economies of such unpredictable events – and the Cisco Tandberg deal makes acquiring the most appropriate visual communications that much simpler.”
“According to Cisco’s Visual Networking Index Forecast and Methodology 2008-2013 White Paper (June 2009), 90% of all consumer traffic will be video-based by 2013 and will be the sum of all forms of video (TV, video on demand, Internet, and peer to peer (P2P)). Internet video alone will account for over 60% of all consumer Internet traffic in five years. There’s a visual solution for everybody: on the laptop, on the desktop, and in the boardroom,” Reinecke adds.