Video-Conferencing Wars: Now Logitech Enters the Fray

As video-conferencing becomes more and more popular (face it, business travel is just so last century) more and more companies are getting in on the act. Latest to join the battlefield is computer peripherals company Logitech, who has just bought LifeSize, an Austin-based company that specializes in video-conferencing systems.

video conferencing

Logitech has evidently realized that, as built-in video cameras in gadgets become more ubiquitous, it needs to diversify into the actual gear and software needed to make teleporting video-conferencing reality--LifeSize makes simple, stand-alone products that allow HD teleconferencing at the click of a mouse. LifeSize CEO Craig Malloy says that the opportunity will "drive price points to the point that it's a no brainer for every office and conference room in the world."

Logitech makes a hot $1.9 billion in sales each year, and Malloy realizes that this is vital if a vertically-integrated company like LifeSize wants to grow. Nevertheless, Malloy is surprised that it was Logitech who came a-wooing--especially as he'd been in talks with Cisco and Polycom.

It's Cisco, however, who may be ruing the day that the talks didn't lead to anything more concrete. Their $3 million bid for video-conferencing firm Tandberg has hit stormy waters, with less than 10% of the Norwegian company's shareholders being in favor of the deal--Cisco's offer would give them an additional 25 per cent on top of the shares' current value, and it seems they will have to up their offer if they want to stay in the game.

[Via BusinessWeek and The Register]

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2 Comments

  • Distility

    Addy,

    Good on logitech to be looking ahead. I remember when they were just associated with making mice.

    Doesn't a firm like Cisco with their networking background have a massive advantage here? I've been a part of videoconferences that had dedicated fibre, in special locations, and they were great. But without some serious pipe, how can they work? We've tried to use Skype for 1 on 1 video conferencing and the quality was just not reliable.

    Thanks,

    Axle

    --
    Axle Davids | Distility - 1day1brand
    www.distility.com | www.twitter.com/1day1brand

  • Jeannie McPherson

    Nice TANDBERG Telepresence T3 image in your story. TANDBERG really knows how to do telepresence!