Logitech Buys LifeSize: TelePresence Going Consumer
TelePresence just took another step toward consumer homes. The reason: Logitech International, one of the best-known consumer peripheral brands, has acquired LifeSize Communications, developer of HD video conferencing technology. Here are the implications for VARs.
First, a little background: The VAR Guy was half-right. He knew LifeSize was attracting buyout bids. But our resident blogger zeroed in on the wrong alleged buyer. For months, The VAR Guy predicted Cisco Systems would gobble up LifeSize. But Logitech is the true buyer, snapping up LifeSize for $405 million in cold, hard cash.
So, why should VARs care? LifeSize has quietly lined up more than 9,000 video conferencing customers across 80 countries. True believers include Zenith Infotech, which uses low-cost LifeSize video conferencing to connect offices in India and the United States.
Basically, LifeSize has emerged as a lower-cost alternative to high-end telepresence systems. Instead of spending tens of thousands of dollars on telepresence, many customers have discovered lower-cost LifeSize options are more than good enough for most video engagements.
Still, The VAR Guy will be watching LogiTech and LifeSize closely. At some point, the TelePresence trend is going to head for home. VARs will be involved. And in many cases, so will LifeSize.