Logitech's LifeSize unit on Wednesday made a series of moves to make a broader play for the corporate video conferencing market. LifeSize acquired an Italian startup to bolster its mobile offerings, launched a cloud service and unveiled an appliance that will bring endpoints to the $999 mark.
LifeSize is making a play for a video conferencing market that features much larger players such as Cisco and Polycom. However, LifeSize, along with its parent Logitech, is strong among smaller businesses and has the pieces for broader enterprise adoption.
Overall, LifeSize is looking to bring mainstream HD video conferencing systems to market and connect to interoperable systems from the likes of Avaya, Microsoft and Shoretel. LifeSize was acquired by Logitech in 2009.
Michael Helmbrecht, vice president of product marketing, said LifeSize is "testing the elasticity of video conferencing with new price points." The goal is to attract more businesses to video conferencing he said.
Among the key moves on Wednesday:
- Logitech is acquiring Mirial, a company that focuses on enterprise desktop and mobile video collaboration. The key technology from Mirial allows its software to traverse enterprise firewalls and connect to iOS and Android devices. Terms of the deal weren't disclosed, but Mirial will be part of LifeSize, which will now have mobile software in its portfolio.
- LifeSize launched a cloud collaboration platform called Connections (right). This allows for HD video calls from PCs, Macs and LifeSize endpoints. The big pitch here is that LifeSize handles all the video conferencing deployment and configuration in its cloud system. That fact cuts upfront investment and allows companies to install LifeSize systems easily. Connections allows for 9-way video bridging. Connections is aimed at companies that lack the expertise and staff to configure video networks. As for the pricing, a desktop client is $30 per user a month and an endpoint is $100 per seat a month. Connections will be available in the third quarter.
Scott Lomond, vice president of videoconferencing services at LifeSize, said Connections is designed to "play well with smaller companies and remote offices in multiple use cases." LoMond said Connections isn't trying to be a unified communications tool, but unlock video conferencing for a wider range of businesses.
- LifeSize also launched an appliance dubbed Passport Connect. This system is essentially a video conferencing appliance that integrates Logitech's camera technology. The end-point is the first sub-$1,500 endpoint and is $999 when bundled with a Connections subscription.
Add it up and LifeSize will increasingly look like an option for small businesses and remote offices.
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- Polycom, Microsoft forge unified communications pact
- Polycom buys HP's video conferencing unit; Forges WebOS pact
- Polycom, bevy of carriers target telepresence interoperability