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Logitech Doubles Down on Huddle Room Video

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Logitech Doubles Down on Huddle Room Video
    

By: -
8 Feb 2016
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Fresh after shedding its Lifesize business unit, Logitech is launching a renewed campaign to go after the enterprise small conference room.  This begins with a new product, Logitech GROUP, an affordable ($999 MSRP), USB-connected, 10x-PTZ camera with a new, table-top, full-duplex, noise-cancelling speakerphone.  Based on four omnidirectional microphones, the speakerphone, according to Logitech, can cover a 10-foot radius without the optional extension mics.  It can also be used with Bluetooth- enabled mobile devices for audio calls.  The 1080p camera has a 90-degree field of view and an on-board processor for H.264 scalable video coding.

I think Logitech is leveraging its success with the CC3000e (shipping in the tens of thousands per year) and more recently the ConferenceCam Connect.  Based on USB peripherals and familiar (hence, easy-to-use) software and cloud solutions that enterprise workers already know, Logitech’s strategy is aimed at making “open systems” the preferred approach for both small and large enterprises.  Logitech’s newly hired video conferencing professionals Scott Wharton and Joan Vandermate have taken the first small step by shedding the dorky CC3000e moniker for something less threatening but somehow familiar.  (Logitech GROUP could have been called the CC3000f!) 

The company has the brand recognition and the product portfolio to satisfy a wide range of conferencing user needs.  The interesting questions remaining, in my humble opinion, revolve around two related issues.

  • Will enterprises be willing to entertain some level of Do-it-Yourself behaviors?  With Logitech GROUP you still need to provide a computer platform of some type and install software, whether it be Skype, Jabber, etc.   Will enterprises want to have a conference room computer permanently installed, or have workers bring their own laptops, etc.?  Will the huddle room of the future look like my family room, with separate remote controls for the flat panel, Logitech Group, and the codec device?
  • How does the go-to-market situation evolve?  Will AV or other systems integrators embrace conference room solutions selling for well under $1,000?  Is there money in installation and configuration services?  Or does this category of products scream for an online purchase mechanism.  Can you spell disintermediation?  

Logitech has 30 years of experience with these types of issues.  Now we’ll see where they take us.  Count on some innovation here.