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Plantronics to Acquire Polycom - FAQ's for Channel Partners



1. What are we announcing today?

Today is an exciting day for Polycom. Plantronics announced they have entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Polycom. Once this transaction is complete, the new combined company will join forces and combine our complementary solutions portfolios to solve big business problems and to drive greater human to human connections whenever and wherever people work: at their desk, on the road, and in meeting rooms of any size. The new combined company will offer complete, consistent communications and collaboration solutions for personal workspaces and meeting rooms, all connected and managed through the cloud, and integrated through services. Mary McDowell will continue to lead our Polycom team until the deal closes, and Joe Burton, CEO of Plantronics, will continue to serve as the CEO the company.


2. Why is Plantronics acquiring Polycom?

For the last 25 years, Polycom and Plantronics have pursued complementary paths in the communications and collaboration industry. Polycom built voice and video solutions so that groups of people could collaborate, while Plantronics built communications devices to enable people to efficiently serve their customers and collaborate.

As the unified communications market developed, Plantronics and Polycom extended their reach to new users who moved fluidly between home, the office, the conference room, and the board room. Both companies developed clear competitive differentiation in their markets and were embraced by loyal customers.


Plantronics had a vision to grow and become more relevant to customers by becoming a "collaboration gold-standard" enabling good ideas to be effectively seen and heard. Plantronics could have pursued its vision independently, but it would have been a much more difficult and costly path. Quite simply, it makes sense to combine forces to provide better experiences for our customers, to create new business propositions for our partners and to build value for our shareholders.


3. What are the benefits of the acquisition?

This is an exciting opportunity that has benefits for all. For our customers, we can offer a complete communications and collaboration access-point strategy from the person, to the desk, to the room, all connected and managed through the cloud, and integrated through services. Our channel partners will have a more efficient commercial engagement with a single vendor that can provide an integrated product and service portfolio. Our alliance partners will see us as a neutral one-stop partner with gravitas to solve communications experience challenges across a range of voice and video access-points. Our employees will have new opportunities to accept new challenges, grow professionally and expand personally.


4. Where can I get more information about the transaction?

Investors can learn more about the transaction at http://investor.Plantronics.com


5. What are the next steps in the process?

Now that Plantronics has announced the intent to acquire Polycom, both Polycom and Plantronics will continue to operate independently as separate companies until all required approvals and conditions are met and the deal is officially closed.

For both Polycom and Plantronics, it is business-as-usual during the next several months. During this time, we may evaluate integration strategies with a defined set of teams from both companies. We will also prepare on a focused set of activities to prepare for Day 1 after close, and to set us up for our future as a single company.

More specifics will be available once we close the transaction and details have been finalized.


6. What will U.S. Antitrust clearance entail?

The U.S. regulatory review process will entail a review of the two businesses, including customary filings and disclosures to U.S. antitrust regulators.


7. How long has Plantronics been evaluating Polycom?

Both Polycom and Plantronics continuously explore their options to serve customers better and expand shareholder value. Over time, it became increasingly evident that a combination of the companies offered significant strategic opportunities.


8. What have analyst and investor reactions been to this announcement?

While we have kept the story under tight wraps until today; those that have been briefed are enthusiastic about the logical and complementary nature of this market. This combination of Plantronics and Polycom is happening at the right time in the industry and between the right two companies. This prepares us for the next big wave in business-to-business communications and collaboration.


9. Can you give me an overview of the Plantronics business?

Plantronics is slightly smaller than Polycom with two primary lines of business: business headsets and consumer headphones. Plantronics is an innovator in the business headsets category with products found in call centers, air traffic control centers, businesses, and with professional users. The first words uttered from the moon were spoken through a Plantronics headset.


10. Are the cultures at Polycom and Plantronics complementary?

The culture at Plantronics is similar to Polycom. We look forward to learning more about our shared culture and values as we partner together in the success of our combined business. Both companies are made up of talented teams who love solving problems and creating meaning experiences for our partners and customers. Agility and flexibility are hallmarks of both corporate cultures.


11. How many employees does Plantronics have today?

Plantronics has approximately 3800 Associates around the world.


12. How much product overlap currently exists between Plantronics’s existing business and Polycom’s?

Today there is little overlap in our current product offerings. Plantronics gains immediate scale in video, desktop voice, and voice conferencing with upside from the incremental analytics opportunity that comes with having a much larger installed base. Our strategies have been converging as [Plantronics] saw the opportunity in desktop voice and [Polycom] began to focus on personal communication. The timing of the transaction is very compelling for both companies as well as the industry, which is evolving and asking for a combination like this.


13. Will either Polycom or Plantronics change roadmaps as a result of this acquisition?

As we go forward we intend to be innovative, agile, and move fast to double-down on our roadmaps and move forward together.


14. Will Plantronics or Polycom change or eliminate any available products or solutions?

There are no immediate plans to materially change either company’s product or services offerings, however, both companies continually adapt their offerings to meet their business needs, and those of their customers.


15. How will Polycom and Plantronics products interoperate?

Our products already interoperate to some degree today. As we try to build customer value we will work together as one team to find ways to create new delights for our customers and new value for our business partners.


16. Will there be any changes in go-to-market strategy?

The combined company will have a broader partner ecosystem, and while we will continually search for efficiencies, we do not expect to change overall go-to-market strategy.


17. Will Polycom’s relationship with Microsoft change?

Both Polycom and Plantronics work closely with Microsoft today, and we fully expect those relationship to remain strong. The Polycom roadmap for Teams and our ability to “complete” the Teams solution across voice and video will only get better.


18. What will the new company be named?

Plantronics and Polycom each have strong brand names in their respective categories. As we work through integration we will share more details.


19. Where will the new company be headquartered?

This is a complex decision that Plantronics will reach as part of the integration process. Both Santa Cruz and San Jose offer compelling choices for very different reasons. The new company is expected to have major facilities around the world including Andover, Austin, Beijing, Hoofddorp, Hyderabad, San Jose, Santa Cruz, Suzhou, Tijuana, Vancouver, and Westminster.


20. When will the transaction close?

The transaction is expected to close after we have received appropriate regulatory approvals.


21. Can you outline the rest of the executive team at the combined company?

The new world-class management team will comprise executives from across both companies, under the leadership of Joe Burton, currently the CEO of Plantronics. We'll have more information about the rest of the team after the transaction closes.


22. Will Polycom operate as a separate entity inside Plantronics or will it be fully integrated?

The intent is to fully-integrate Plantronics and Polycom into a single organization.


23. When the transaction closes, what changes will be made to the Polycom management team?

Mary McDowell, CEO of Polycom, will continue to lead Polycom until the deal closes. Further details on the management team will be announced later.


24. Are any organizational changes contemplated as a result of this acquisition?

While our organizations are quite complementary, we intend to carefully look at the best practices of both organizations and select the ones that will provide the greatest benefits to our customers, partners, shareholders, and employees. As we go through this process we will adhere to our value that our people make us a great company and will be guided by the recognition that our customers' success is our success.


25. Can Plantronics and Polycom make customer or partner calls together?

In the period between now and Day 1 the two companies are separate entities and cannot share partner information, partner planning, or meet with partners together.


26. Today I offer solutions from both Polycom and Plantronics. Can I have just one account manager now?

While the acquisition in under regulatory approval both companies will operate as independent entities.


27. Will existing partner and supplier contracts be honored after the close of the acquisition?

Yes, subject to legal or regulatory issues that may prevent such recognition.


28. Will Plantronics or Polycom be changing product warranty or service terms as a result of this transaction?

After Day 1 we will work together to evaluate any changes in our business practices.


29. What value will this acquisition bring to customers?

The Plantronics Management team envisions new and unique ways to create a "better together" value proposition for our customers. Customers can move towards architectural buying decisions, raising customer expectations and the value of our solutions. We expect that this will accelerate innovation not only at the combined company, but across the industries we target.


30. What value will this acquisition bring to alliance and ecosystem partners?

We believe the combined company offers a stronger business proposition for both companies’ ecosystem partners, and enables us to add new ones. This investment helps ensure end-customers have systems that create richer experiences and amplify the power of the communication and collaboration architectures developed by our partners. Together, we will solve customers' big problems around productivity, experience, quality, and customer retention. Together, we will deliver a strategy that spans the range of communications experiences with devices, software, analytics, and services.


31. I am a customer of Plantronics or Polycom and have more questions, who should I contact?

First and foremost, thank you for your business. We're committed to making the integration of our businesses mean only good things for you. If you have any questions about Polycom products and services, you should contact your Polycom Account Manager. if you have any questions about Plantronics products and services, or about this acquisition, you should contact your Plantronics Account Manager. Until we are integrated we are operating as independent companies just as we do today.


32. How will the combined companies integrate Polycom and Plantronics distribution channels?

We will continue business-as-usual until Day 1. We have common Distribution relationships in many places in the world. As we look at our integration planning we will have a keen eye focused to be the partner of choice for Distributors.


33. Will our existing channel partners be able to sell all our product lines?

It is too early to comment on the commercial relationships that will develop after Day 1. As we look at our integration planning we will have a keen eye focused to be the partner of choice for Resellers and their customers.


34. Will existing customer contracts be honored after the close of the acquisition?

Yes, subject to legal or regulatory issues that may prevent such recognition.


35. Will my customer support relationship change?

Plantronics and Polycom each have exceptional legacies of providing partner and customer support that is appropriate to the valuable communications that move through our devices. We will continue to differentiate our combined company with these services. After Day 1 we hope to provide an even better experience for our customers and partners.


36. Polycom has begun rolling out a new partner program that is to be implemented January 1, 2019. What is the plan for this new program?

Until the deal has been officially closed Polycom continues to be an independent company, and we will continue to work with our Partners to insure they are ready for the new program. As we look at our integration planning we will have a keen eye focused on being the partner of choice and one that meets the goals of our collective partner base and our go-to-market strategy.


37. I sell both products therefore can I combine my marketing dollars and conduct single events and/or campaigns?

In the period between now and Day 1 the two companies are separate entities and cannot share partner information, partner planning, or meet with partners together.

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