Polycom Expands UC Capabilities With Sentri Acquisition

In addition to Microsoft unified communications expertise, Sentri has expertise in other areas, including networking, VOIP and security.

Unified communications specialist Polycom agreed to acquire Sentri, a provider of UC, video collaboration, cloud services and networking services with expertise in Microsoft technologies such as Microsoft Lync, SharePoint and Office 365.

One of the major reasons behind the acquisition was Polycom's portfolio of more than 40 video and voice products that interoperate with Lync, which Sentri has helped integrate. The transaction, which is valued at less than $10 million, is expected to close in the first quarter of 2013.

"The acquisition of UC integrator and managed-services provider Sentri is a wise move for Polycom," Ira Weinstein, Wainhouse Research senior analyst and partner, said in a statement. "As enterprises seek to expand their video and UC footprint, they will need support from qualified partners with real-world experience installing and managing Microsoft Lync deployments."

In addition to Microsoft and Polycom expertise, Sentri's service professionals are skilled on various other vendor solutions in the areas of networking, voice over IP (VOIP) and security, and the company is Gold-certified by Microsoft in communications, messaging, portals and collaboration and desktop technology.

"By adding Sentri's capabilities to its service organization, Polycom can empower its channel partners with the skills they need to plan, sell, and support joint Microsoft and Polycom installations," Weinstein stated. "This is both a differentiator for Polycom and a value-add for its partners and end-user customers."

Sentri leadership will report to Navin Mehta, Polycom's senior vice president of global sales, as well as to North America sales leadership. Sentri will continue to offer services to its existing customer base and expand to Polycom customers once the acquisition closes, according to a Polycom release.

"Sentri provides Polycom and our partners with needed advanced services capabilities to consult, design and implement UC&C [unified communications and collaboration] solutions, and Sentri's expertise in providing specific Microsoft Lync services is a key skill set as Lync adoption continues to increase," Sudhakar Ramakrishna, Polycom's president of products and services, said in a statement.

Polycom plans to also set up a Services Center of Excellence, which will provide Polycom and partners in North America with the opportunity to benefit from the skill set and expertise of the Sentri advanced services team. As part of the Services Center of Excellence, Polycom plans to develop training and certification programs with a channels organization to be rolled out in the second half of 2013.

The acquisition news comes on the heels of Polycom's announcement of its partnership with Meetrix, a cloud enabler and integrator, to integrate their respective solutions to offer customers cloud-delivered social video collaboration services. The partnership integrates Meetrix's UC cloud service for IBM Sametime and Polycom's video infrastructure software to help customers securely and reliably connect, communicate and collaborate visually through their cloud-delivered social business app.