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Polycom has hired a slate of six new executives in a reorganization designed to combine the strength of its voice and video operations into a single unified communications entity and grow to the next level.

Top on the roster is Joe Burton who joins Polycom as a senior vice president and chief strategy and chief technology officer. Burton joins Polycom from Cisco where he served as CTO of the networking giant’s unified communications business.

Burton told Channel Insider that unified communications today must improve in two areas – making it easier to use for users and creating interoperability so that systems from many different vendors are able to talk to each other.

“It’s going to be a multi-vendor open world,” he said. “We’ve got to deal with interoperability and open standards from the consumer to the enterprise to the SMB.”

That could even mean interoperating with technologies that have had their roots in the consumer market, such as Skype, says Burton, if companies like Skype show a “willingness to interoperate with a standards-based video system.”

Burton told Channel Insider that Polycom will add the technology it needs to accomplish these goals through its own internal research and development as well as through acquisitions. Acquisitions will also be targeted at adding an entrance to new business and markets for Polycom, Burton said.

Burton’s appointment and the appointment of five other executives follows the elevation of former Polycom channel chief Andy Miller to the position of CEO in May, 2010.

Other new executive appointed at Polycom include the following:

  • Sudhakar Ramakrishna, senior vice president and general manager for products, and Chief Development Officer. Ramakrishna joins Polycom on October 11 from Motorola where serves as vice president and general manager for Wireless Broadband Access Solutions and Software Operations
  • Susan Hayden, executive vice president and general manager, Polycom SMB. Hayden is “a proven strategist and go-to-market leader who is well-known for building and expanding large-scale global operations in technology companies,” said Polycom, in a statement. Previously, she was group vice president of sales for OracleDirect.
  • Alan Rudolph, senior vice president of Global Services. Rudolph previously served as senior vice president of Applications Management and Consulting for Affiliated Computer Services (ACS), a Xerox Company, where he played a key role in transitioning the company to a services-focused organization.
  • Gary Rider, president, Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA). Previously, Rider was vice president of Europe Global Sales & Marketing for NCR. He has also held senior sales management positions for HP and Digital Equipment.
  • Ashley Goldsmith, senior vice president, Human Resources. Goldsmith comes to Polycom from F. Hoffmann-La Roche, where she was senior vice president of Human Resources, for their Tissue Diagnostics Division.