Video Conferencing – LifeSize Spotlight

In today’s bring-your-own-device, on-the-go corporate culture, will Video Conferencing and/or Collaboration be able to replace the Audio Conference Call?

Difficult to say however Video technology has come a long way. Let’s start by looking at barriers to adopt this technology. Which of the reasons below do you believe is the primary barrier – Answer the Poll in the 1Cloudroad Group

  • Hard to use
  • Complexity for the end user and IT
  • Tremendous burden on IT resources
  • Difficult to deploy
  • Cost

This week I had the chance to meet with the LifeSize team to review their product offering, solutions and get a better feel at the Video Conferencing  space. Before visiting Austin Texas, I had no idea who LifeSize was and what products they offered. When I would think of Enterprise Video Conferencing and/or Collaboration the big names came to mind - Cisco, Avaya, and Polycom. Please note that travel to Lifesize Tech Day was paid for by Lifesize; however, no monetary compensation is expected nor received for the content that is written in this blog.  So how does LifeSize fit in this 3 Billion Video Conferencing Market?

LifeSize Company Profile

  • Countries Served 100+
  • Customer 15 000+
  • Company Target Market
  • Fat Middle Size Companies
    50-1000 employees
    100mil – 1 billion revenue in the USA

LifeSize 30 Second Elevator Pitch

Lifesize is a pioneer and world leader in high-definition video collaboration. Designed to make video conferencing truly universal, LifeSize solutions are simple to buy, adopt, support and use. Offering video conferencing systems and software applications as well as a full line of video infrastructure, available on premise or in the cloud, LifeSize is committed to Universal Video Collaboration. With LifeSize, customers can participate in large multiparty HD calls, live streaming and recording, and collaboration on any mobile device, on any network, all at the highest level of quality. LifeSize was founded in 2003 and acquired by Logitech in 2009.

One would ask why a company needs an Enterprise Video Conferencing solution when there are freemium tools out there like Skype, Google Hangout and Face time.  According to Lifesize’s Evangelist Simon Dudley the answer is summed up in one word – Quality.

I had a chance to tour the engineering labs at Lifesize lead by the Joe Bulger, VP Engineering and David Morisson, Product Manager and let me tell you that Lifesize does not take this “Quality” statement lightly.  As fellow blogger Omar Sanchez stated during our engineering tour the LifeSize Cameras are the Rolls Royce of the Video Conferencing cameras.LifeSize Camera Rigorous audio, mechanical and Interoperability test are preformed in house by local engineers in Austin and were intern displayed when we got to see the LifeSize Icon Series  in action.  Crisp High Definition quality video conferencing between the LifeSize offices which really gave us the same office experience you don’t typically get with the freemium tools. So does your organization have a use case for Video Conferencing.? As video communications is now becoming

a popular trend in the business world more and more companies are beginning to take advantage and building an internal business case for Video. Julie Steele, Corporate Communications Manager at Lifesize shared with us stories of real life LifeSize customers and the unique ways they are using the Video technology within their organizations. Companies like Rackspace,Activision and BBVA, have selected Lifesize to enable stronger connected relationships with colleagues, customers and save on the time and expense of business travel.

So how does LifeSize stack up to the Cisco, Avaya, and Polycom. They are no longer the long shot..not that I am a betting man! J Frankly, I truly believe they are the pioneers in this space. If quality is the key driver for your Video Collaboration solution, they continue to deliver. Lets look at how they answer against the key barriers;

  • Hard to use
    The software-based LifeSize UVC Platform is everything you need for video infrastructure accessible from one common interface—with multiple applications you just turn on.
  • Complexity for the end user and IT
    Apple TV like interface with simplified remote. Removing the traditional IP based numbers and replacing it with a 1 touch call Address book and Recent Calls menu.
  • Tremendous burden on IT resources
    With many HD video conferencing infrastructure products, you have to purchase, install and provision separate hardware devices. With the LifeSize UVC Platform, video conference technology, you have access to all LifeSize UVC applications from one administrative interface. Plus, LifeSize gives you the power to choose LifeSize UVC virtual machine software running on your own servers or LifeSize UVC hardware with the LifeSize UVC Platform preinstalled.
  • Difficult to deploy
    Choose a deployment model
    LifeSize UVC virtual machine software (running on your own servers)—supported on VMware® and Microsoft® Hyper-V® virtualization technologies
  • Cost
    Choose your capacity
    Entry-level pricing to fit every need and budget
    Flexible licensing lets you expand capacity as your needs grow
    Buy only what your resources allow and never over purchase

After spending a couple of days with them, their teams passion for product is truly remarkable. I would definitely want to have the LifeSize team as an extension of my organization when moving towards video!

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