back to article HP bets big on future of hybrid work with $3.3bn Poly buy

HP Inc sees the future of its business as one supporting a workforce partially based at home and partially in the office, and appears to have bought office telecom giant Poly for that reason. Formerly known as Plantronics, Poly changed its name shortly after it acquired Polycom in 2018. HP didn't mention in its acquisition …

  1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    How much due diligence did they do? Or should it be Poly's management doing due diligence on HP?

    1. Roland6 Silver badge

      Well it seems the current HP management aren't much better than the previous, although they didn't offer such a high premium.

      "Currently, there are more than 90 million rooms, of which less than 10 percent have video capability. As a result, the office meeting room solutions segment is expected to triple by 2024," HP said

      Trouble is, the majority of those rooms were successfully used for Zoom, Teams etc. so explain why they need a Poly solution.

      Interestingly, for a client I've spec'ed up a modern video meeting room/studio, it was very obvious that the traditional Poly conference/meeting solution wasn't fit for purpose. However, I can see some being attracted to the idea that to have a video meeting the participants need to go to a specific room and sit in a specific seating pattern.

      1. NeilPost Silver badge

        Laptop, large screen (possibly a very large TV on a wall), some AirPod’s or similar.

        The rest is approaching free, or low cost if you want VOIP over it like Ring Central (conferencing built on Zoom Tech).

        Or just buy a Facebook Portal.

      2. Captain Scarlet Silver badge

        The Poly solutions from the last 2 years actually integrate very well to Microsoft Teams.

        The android tablet thingy with the X30 webcam pretty much are on par with the nuc under the desk solution. For me its better than the Barco Clickshare most people seem to want, go into the room, click start meeting, join the meeting from laptop and share presentation that way.

      3. MortyCapp

        They used to have HALO, which was amazing at the time.

        As usual, HP managed to waste it and sold it.

      4. Down not across Silver badge

        Trouble is, the majority of those rooms were successfully used for Zoom, Teams etc. so explain why they need a Poly solution.

        Still the best headsets in my experience. I've tried many, and Plantronics have been the best, great voice quality (both ways), pretty good integration to most conference solutions (except Bluejeans).

        I suspect its same case for the more comprehensive expensive solutions, but I've not had the need (nor the will to spend) for those at home.

        I just hope they leave it well alone and don't mess with software/drivers/support.

  2. LDS Silver badge

    "Let's make earpads that last hours and dry up..."

    "... and let's sell them like printer inks..."

    1. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: "Let's make earpads that last hours and dry up..."

      Like HP Instant Ink, with the Epson ReasdyPrint style of user lockout when the subscription fails.

  3. rcxb1 Bronze badge

    VoIP phones

    After Cisco bought Linksys, they took their VoIP phones in a rather locked-in and proprietary direction. I hope that's not the case here, as Polycom phones are easily the top brand, supported far and wide. (FWIW, Grandstream devices are flashy and inexpensive, but not impressively reliable; while Yealink devices have seemed a little bit more boring).

    Still, as with any merger, HP is going to expect to earn their money back in short order, so I would expect prices to increase, and redundancies for some who make and support the devices. Not a good prospect for their future.

    1. Captain Scarlet Silver badge

      Re: VoIP phones

      I can't see why, conference phones for Cisco are just rebadged Polycom units normally (Unless anything has changed as last unit I purchased was the Cisco 8831).

      1. rcxb1 Bronze badge

        Re: VoIP phones

        I would assume "conference" phones are too small a market for different manufacturers to chase after it. Not remotely like the market for office desk phones.

  4. MortyCapp

    Been there done that and messed it up...

    Google HP HALO telepresence.

    I used it at the time, it was amazing.

    But HP did not manage to sell it.

    They sold the business to Polycom, which they are now buying?

    Now spending $3.3billions on someone else's hardware, integrating it with the PC business unit.

    Where is the software piece?

    Compaq, Palm, EDS, Autonomy, Samsung printers...

    HP does not know how to integrate and leverage its acquisitions.

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