Polycom said it bought video management firm Accordent Technologies for $50 million in cash, giving the videoconferencing vendor a leg up for future integration with Microsoft applications.

While Accordent immediately brings support for Microsoft Lync and SharePoint, deeper integration is being planned, says Jim Kruger, Polycom vice-president of solutions product marketing, but wouldn't offer details.

The deal will mean the end of Polycom's OEM deal with Qumu, which had been supplying Polycom with video management appliances. That arrangement will be phased out as Accordent software is phased in, but Polycom will continue to support the Qumu OEMd products for five years, Kruger says.

The Accordent deal will give Polycom an advantage selling video gear to service providers that can use it to offer business-to-business video services. So if two companies want to have a videoconference between themselves, a service provider could sell a service that brings the separate systems together for the call. Similarly, the gear could support a software-as-a-service model in which providers offer managed video services, he says.

Accordent software enables communicating via video and also recording, storing and giving access to appropriate groups, he says.

Buying Accordent also brings potential new customers to Polycom. Accordant has about 1,200 customers, 80 percent of which are not currently Polycom customers. Kruger says that Polycom should reap new revenues by promoting Accordant products outside the US where Polycom does about 40 percent of its business but Accordent does only 10 percent of its business. This will require hiring and training support personnel overseas to service these new international customers, he says.

Polycom is publicly and its stock price was down about a dollar today after the deal was announced.