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.