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Cisco completes Tandberg takeover and offers to open source telepresence code

Ian Grant

Cisco has announced it has completed its £2.17bn acquisition of Norwegian video systems maker Tandberg and is launching a compulsory bid for the outstanding 8.9% shares it does not yet own.

Marthin De Beer , Cisco's senior vice-president for its emerging technologies group, said the company "strongly believed" that telepresence, would allow everyone, everywhere, to be more productive through the pervasive use of video and face-to-face collaboration. The full Tandberg product line is now part of the Cisco TelePresence portfolio, he said.

Tandberg's former CEO Fredrik Halvorsen becomes senior vice-president and leader of the new telepresence technology group within De Beer's organisation. The new group will focus on endpoints, infrastructure and Cisco Telepresence cloud services. Cisco expects the acquisition to start paying dividends from fiscal year 2011.

Cisco will now start promoting its Telepresence Interoperability Protocol (TIP) for native telepresence interoperability so that other vendors can add functions to Cisco's offerings.

"These multi-vendor support options and our commitment to deliver broad-based industry standards through them provide customers with investment protection and flexible options for extending their investments to new forms of collaboration," Cisco said.

TIP provides for a scalable multiscreen switched architecture and was released as a way to provide native telepresence interoperability. TIP is available under license from Cisco and will be transferred to the International Multimedia Teleconferencing Consortium (IMTC) or another independent industry body to facilitate interoperability, the firm said.

Cisco said it would launch a TIP open source project and would publish the TIP source code libraries by 1 July 2010. It has licensed nine videoconferencing and telepresence vendors.


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