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RADVISION Acquires HD Technology

Responding to tectonic shifts in the business communications landscape, videoconferencing infrastructure and technology provider RADVISION (RVSN) said today it has acquired a portfolio of assets from Italian conferencing endpoint maker Aethra. The specific assets include intellectual property and technology for desktop high-definition videoconferencing systems.

“RADVISION plans to tightly integrate Aethra’s best-of-breed HD video endpoint technology with RADVISION’s award-winning video network infrastructure and desktop solutions to offer a full video conferencing portfolio in response to customer demand created by rapid change and consolidation in the video marketplace,” the company said in a statement.

Translation: With Cisco Inc.’s (CSCO) acquisition of TANDBERG, its major rival in the videoconferencing and telepresence sector, RADVISION’s previous strategy of competing with the big boys in videoconferencing is no longer viable, so the company is now going after HD endpoints and small businesses. RADVISION’s share price tumbled last fall when the Cisco-TANDBERG purchase was announced, and like other vendors in the videoconferencing marketplace, it has been searching for a new strategy.

RADVISION also announced its earnings for the fourth quarter of 2009, posting a $1.5 million net loss on $22.7 million in revenue. That matches the company’s loss and revenue figures for the fourth quarter of 2008. For the full year, revenue was down slightly at $81 million, but the company came close to breaking even, with a net loss of $800,000 compared with a $12.9 million loss in 2008.

RADVISION’s shares were up slightly in late-day trading on the Nasdaq.

Seeking to dominate the high-end videoconferencing market, Cisco last month said it would license its Telepresence Interoperability Protocol (TIP) to other vendors to allow competing systems to work with one another. While other vendors, including Polycom (PLCM), have pursued an open conferencing strategy based on de facto industry standards, Cisco’s technology, particularly for its elaborate life-sized Telepresence suite, has been based on proprietary codecs.


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