Logitech Takes LifeSize to Enterprise with Jambra

Logitech’s unified communications push that began with its acquisition
of LifeSize and subsequent push
into the enterprise video conferencing market
is continuing with a partnership between the peripheral manufacturer and GN
Netcom, maker of the high-end Jabra headsets.

According
to Eric Kintz, vice president of Logitech for Business, there’s an opportunity
for Logitech to become a full solution provider for unified communications
endpoints and becoming a one-stop shop for channel partners and end customers.
Like many in the unified communications market, Logitech is carving out its own
niche and partnering with complementary vendors.

“What
Jabra provides us is really access to the high-end of the headset market. We’ve
been playing on the business side more in the low-end, and this really rounds
out our portfolio so we can have a best-in-class offering in the meeting room
and at the desktop both in voice and video,” Kintz said.

As
far as unified communications go, Logitech’s LifeSize telepresence systems are
of good quality, and the company is making inroads into the UC market, said
Blair Pleasant, president and principal analyst at COMMfusion.

“LifeSize,
as far as telepresence, I’ve been hearing great things. The quality is good and
the price is better than Cisco and some of the other competitors,” Pleasant
said.

As
Pleasant explained, video is becoming an important part of UC and the way
people communicate by providing a lot of richness and value to the interaction.
From Logitech’s perspective, it’s not going to be a provider of a full UC
suite, which Pleasant said makes sense based on the vendor’s business model.

“As
people use video more, they’re going to be doing more conferencing, and you
need quality headsets because you want people to hear everything that’s going
on, so it makes sense that Logitech and Jabra are working together,” Pleasant
said.

As
Logitech’s first partnership with Jabra, it’ll sell the Jabra products under an
OEM agreement through its channel partners under the “Jabra by Logitech” label.

The
Jabra partnership will help systems integrators and VARs to drive additional
attach and margin on their deals, Kintz said.

“That
channel is interested in those opportunities. It allows the traditional video
conferencing channel to expand their relationships with the customers from the
meeting room to the desktop, and it allows more of the UC channels or VoIP
channels to have one company that can provide the breadth of the portfolio,”
Kintz said.

Logitech
will start distributing the first three Jabra products in July, but other
products will follow. Additionally, Kintz hinted at other unified
communications product and partnership announcements to come in the coming
weeks and months.

“What
you’ll see coming from us is further innovation … around new areas of
growth,” he said. For instance, mobile platforms and cloud services are
becoming increasingly important in the unified communications space, he said.

For
the UC market overall, Kintz expects increased growth.

“Things
are going well. UC has been a promise for a number of years, but the
announcement of Microsoft Lync last November really marked a turning point in
the market, where we’re seeing much increased awareness among customers and
channel partners and much higher adoption,” he said.

 

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