Andreas Wienold, VP International, LifeSize Communications, speaks about how software is changing Video Conferencing market.
CW: At the start of the year, Logitech displayed signs of exiting LifeSize. Isn't this a massive setback for the company?
There is no confirmation on this. But our CEO did make a mention of this during the quarterly statements, and the message was loud and clear. Our parent company [Logitech] went through a major restructuring as it looked at video conferencing beyond the core PC and accessories segment.
I have seen LifeSize grow from being a small start up to a mature business, and then become a part of Logitech. Most acquisitions initially revolve around the assumption that business will move fast and the channels will be happy. Often, that isn't true. But, Logitech retained the LifeSize brand, our channels, and team as separate entities. This was very important and this has helped us get to the number three position in the market.
CW: But LifeSize is at a distant number three when compared to the other two players who simply dominate the enterprise video market.
It's tough to make a mark in the high-end market. The top three players command more than 90 percent of the marketshare. We have now built a new business unit by combining all international businesses as many markets in the APAC display similar patterns of video consumption.
Our positioning has always been around innovation. We started off with new, high-definition video solutions, and with each passing year we have tried to introduce a change in the market. From being an end-point centric company, we are now a full-fledged video vendor.
LifeSize UVC is the industry's first, pure software platform and the future of virtualized video infrastructure. Enterprises and government organisations always wanted to consume video application as software. LifeSize is the first to offer it. Some vendors call themselves a software company but they are largely hardware-centric.
CW: Most technology companies are hesitant to go full throttle on software-based video conferencing as it could cannibalize their own hardware market. How do you view this?
There is certainly a risk. It's not as much about software or hardware as it is about the organization's investment in a video strategy. The first video-call penetration means thousands of dollars spent on infrastructure between two end-points. In software-based technology, one can scale gradually according to future needs. It does away with an immediate need to invest in a big box. Many customers appreciate that they can test the solutions before a deployment.
In video, many companies have made investments which did not deliver on expectations. With a software solution like LifeSize UVC, they can download and test recordings, multipoint conferencing, etcetera, and then finalize on making an investment. This poses a big challenge to competitors. We do not run millions of dollars worth of business in hardware boxes. Hence we are not much at risk. We have made the big leap into software before our competitors have.
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