Avaya could be on the verge of adding video collaboration to its unified communications lineup, with reports circulating that the networking company is on the verge of completing a long-rumored acquisition of Radvision.
According to a March 14 report in the Israeli business publication Globes, Avaya is about to put the closing touches on a deal to buy Radvision for $230 million to $240 million, a move that would give Avaya video collaboration technology and put them in competition with the likes of Cisco Systems, Polycom and Logitechs LifeSize Communications business.
It also would propel Avaya into a market that is seeing strong growth, with revenue in the video conferencing and telepresence space growing 20.5 percent in 2011 to $2.7 billion, according to market research firm IDC. And that growth is accelerating, the analysts said, noting that between 2009 and 2010, revenue grew 16.6 percent.
"Growth has been spurred on by more well-defined video use cases among organizations across a range of vertical market segments, including health care, higher education, financial services, legal, law enforcement, manufacturing and retail," Rich Costell, senior analyst for IDCs Enterprise Communications Infrastructure unit, said in a statement Feb. 28. "We also expect growth over the next several years to be bolstered by the impact of video integrated with vendors' unified communications and collaboration portfolios, and increasing video usage among small workgroups, desktop users and mobile device users."
Reports about a possible deal first arose in December. At the time, there was speculation that other vendors could jump into the bidding for Radvision, which makes video conferencing solutions for IP and 3G networks. Radvision has been struggling since one-time partner Cisco bought rival Tandberg for $3.3 billion in 2010. Tandberg gave Cisco much of what the partnership with Radvision had been supplying, including a greater presence in the midmarket telepresence space.
The Globes report said Radvision has been up for sale since the Cisco-Tandberg deal was announced.
Radvisions fourth-quarter 2011 results illustrated the companys struggles. During the three months in which rival Polycom saw revenues jump a record $407 millionfrom $304 million in the fourth quarter of 2010Radvision lost $4.4 million on revenues of $21.8 million, a drop from the $26.6 million during the same period in 2010.
Revenues for Radvisions Video Business Unit came in at $18.1 million in the fourth quarter, compared with $22.6 million in 2010's fourth quarter.
According to IDC, Cisco continues to lead the video conferencing and telepresence market, with a 54.3 percent share in the fourth quarter of 2011. The networking giant, which saw 35 percent revenue growth from 2010 to 2011, held 50.2 percent of the market in the fourth quarter of 2010.
Polycom saw revenue in 2011 grow 20.8 percent from 2010 to 2011.
"There is little doubt about the success video conferencing and telepresence have had over the past few years, fueled by strong revenue and shipment growth rates and the increasing popularity of video among enterprises," Petr Jirovsky, senior research analyst for IDCs Worldwide Networking Trackers Research, said in a statement. "The enterprise video conferencing and telepresence market will continue to be one of the fastest-growing networking markets for the foreseeable future."