Barriers to Enterprise Video Keep Falling

by Dave Michels

I’ve written a few times about Lifesize, a subsidiary of Logitech.

Logitech and Lifesize Booth Enterprise Connect 2012

Logitech, LifeSize, and Slim Devices Oh My

Logitech and Jabra

Smile, It’s for You

What I find so interesting is that Logitech continues to de-enterprise LifeSize. Logitech is mostly known for its keyboards, mice, and webcams (though I like the Squeezebox best). LifeSize was known for its enterprise class video systems. At the time of acquisiton, there didn’t seem to be much overlap. But video isn’t just for the rich and famous any more.  It positions the company nicely as consumerization continues to encroach into the enterprise space.

At Enterprise Connect – the Lifesize/Logitech combined booth had a lot of product. They have since announced a new BCC950 ConferenceCam, a peripheral USB device webcam/speakerphone for small team collaboration. It was branded under the Logitech brand, but suitable for LifeSize’s Connections cloud service.

Yesterday, LifeSize announced new video solution bundles sold like a webcam via its distributor VoIPSupply offers a lot of services, but they are primarily associated with drop ship Internet sales of VoIP related hardware. VoIPSupply is now bundling Lifesize, Logitech and Jabra components into turnkey bundles designed to work with LifeSize’s Connections service.

There are four initial bundles. 

  • The LifeSize Connections Standard Solution from VoIP Supply includes the LifeSize Connections Client, the Logitech HD Pro Webcam C920, and the Jabra UC Voice 250.
  • The LifeSize Connections Popular Solution from VoIP Supply includes the Logitech HD Pro Webcam C920, the Jabra Speak410 USB full-duplex speakerphone, and the Jabra WAVE corded headset.
  • The LifeSize Connections Elite Solution from VoIP Supply includes the LifeSize Connections Client, and features the Logitech HD Pro Webcam C920, and the Jabra Speak410 USB full-duplex speakerphone, and the Jabra Biz 2400 3-in-1 professional headset.
  • The LifeSize Connections HD Software-Only Solution from VoIP Supply.

Notice the terms HD Standard (Good), HD Popular (Better), and HD Elite (Best).

LifeSize Connections is a video switching and bridging service delivered over the Internet intended to simplify video conferencing. It effectively outsources the complexity and necessary equipment associated with hardware into an app-like point and click service for video and IM communications. Connections traverses thru firewalls and enables video conferencing and content sharing one to one or one to many (up to 9). Subscribers can also conference up to two guests (non customers) into the calls. Connections works with PCs, Macs, and Lifesize hardware based room systems (such as my LifeSize Passport unit).

What we have here is a failure to complicate – enterprise quality video conferencing – multi-user, room to desktop (pc or Mac) without significant hardware , ordered via a  A mobile solution is presumably in the works.

Personally, I prefer hardware based solutions over desktop apps. The Lifesize Passport, a mini room system, also works with Connections (and Skype). However, the monthly Connections charge is higher for hardware based systems as most get heavier use in shared conference rooms.