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LifeSize leaped into software-based VC before competition: Andreas Wienold

Yogesh Gupta | Sept. 6, 2013
Andreas Wienold, VP International, LifeSize Communications, speaks about how software is changing Video Conferencing market.

CW: Cisco and Polycom have a well entrenched ecosystem of IT and AV partners in India. Isn't LifeSize late in proving its value proposition to the channels?
Some competitors, nowadays, have moved into different models which make business difficult and with lesser margins. A smaller partner network means higher margins for channels. Apart from tier-1 solution providers, we are actively targeting tier-2 IT channels who can deploy UVC solutions across customers' virtualized server farms.

AV partners are exploring UC, cloud, and form an important part of our ecosystem. Our partners, when compared to competitors', have the flexibility of offering LifeSize solutions on traditional, on premise, hosted models, or through a service provider.

CW: Companies like Avaya focus more on low-bandwidth HD video which is device agnostic. Is it the end of the road for room-based video conferencing?
Our story will be room-based, primarily. Ten years ago, many competitors felt that video will completely shift to PCs. This hasn't happened. The room-based platform delivers a 'wow' experience and an immersive technology on a big screen for enterprises. Our end-point is hardware because the dedicated compute platform is better, stable, and leverages OS compared to a software solution.

Recently, we launched a new end-point system, Icon, under the 'smart video' theme. Like smartphones, if you don't bring the best application in the network to the user interface, they will not value it. WithIcon, you can go into a meeting room and join the desired meeting through a simple two-button remote. It's not about dial-ins, it's not about IP address, and it is not about where the bridge is.

CW: Channels often hit a roadblock while trying to convince enterprises about the value proposition of videos...
We want partners to demonstrate our product, which is a big differentiator. Certified partners, by default, buy demo gears which are the lowest entry ticket for a partnership. We expect partners to deploy the product internally. You do not expect an executive selling a car to arrive on a bicycle.

They can use LifeSize videocentre--one of our strongest products--for their company meetings to train the team, archive information, etcetera. They can close the deal faster by not basing it on datasheets, but on their experience.

CW: According to IDC, total worldwide enterprise videoconferencing and telepresence equipment revenue in Q1 of 2013 was at its worst performance since the Q2 of 2010. What will keep you profitable?
We are living in one of the most complex phases in the IT industry. We touch emerging technologies like cloud, mobility, virtualization, and UC. It also makes you vulnerable to an extent. The presence of video remains miniscule today. The mid-market, again, is an unexplored space.

In the past, the leaders of the video industry have disappeared or witnessed a slowdown while the relative late-comers have march ahead. We are in a perfect position to do well during this transition of the market.


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