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June 22, 2011
Logitech is a name well-known in the consumer space for its PC peripherals including webcams, mice and keyboards. Now the company hopes to delve deeper into the business market through its recently acquired videoconferencing technology and a partnership with Jabra to provide UC-enabled headsets and speakerphones.
“We made a big move into videoconferencing by acquiring LifeSize and we created a new organization to extend the portfolio from the meeting room onto the desktop,” said Eric Kintz, general manager and vice president of Logitech for Business. “To accomplish that, we are looking at the desktop side of unified communications,” to complement the LifeSize meeting room technology and be the “one-stop shop for UC, offering a full endpoint UC solution for channel partners and customers.”
To help facilitate that goal, Logitech has partnered with headset provider Jabra to offer a suite of “Logitech by Jabra”-branded headsets, giving Logitech’s channel partners the videoconferencing platform, webcams and now hearing devices to create a unified communications solution for their end user customers of all size. Under the agreement, Logitech will offer the Jabra SPEAK 410, rebranded as the Logitech BSP420 USB Speakerphone; the Jabra PRO 9450, rebranded as the Logitech BH970 Wireless DECT Headset; and the Jabra GO 6430, rebranded as the Logitech BH870 Wireless Bluetooth Headset.
“What interested us in Jabra’s offerings was quality of the technology, and they provide access to higher-end wireless and DECT technology not in our portfolio,” Kintz said. “Also because there is a commonality of interest – we provide them a better reach here in the United States because we are a more well-known brand and they provide a better reach for us in Europe.”
The second phase of the agreement calls for the two companies to collaborate on developing technology useful for both the video and voice markets, which Kintz hinted would include camera-friendly headsets (no more bulky headsets during video calls!).
Logitech’s focus on the desktop videoconferencing space is admirable considering the competition it faces from the likes of Microsoft with its Lync offering; Avaya, with its Flare Experience UC technology; Cisco, with its TelePresence offering and Polycom, with its newly acquired visual collaborations technology from HP.
“Desktop communications attracts a variety of channel partners – including telcos that are looking at driving a full solution and traditional videoconferencing players that want to extend their customer relationship from the meeting room to the desktop,” Kintz said. “It’s a greenfield opportunity for partners and it’s unclear which one of them is going to win ultimately.”
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