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November 13, 2009

Logitech-LifeSize Acquisition is a Good Sign for Telepresence Industry: BrightCom

By Amy Tierney, TMCnet Web Editor


A Huntington, Beach, Calif.-based provider of integrated telepresence and video conferencing solutions, said Logitech International’s proposed acquisition of LifeSize (News - Alert) is good news for the growing telepresence industry.
 
BrightCom officials said this week the purchase would make the company’s products, as well as those from other telepresence vendors, interoperable with Logitech’s (News - Alert) desktop video endpoints. In particular, such a move could help BrightCom extend its telepresence and video conferencing infrastructure via SIP and H.239 to a wider variety of personal desktops, home offices, corporate offices, conference rooms and telepresence suites, the company said.
 
“We are very excited to see the telepresence and video conferencing industries expand as more and more vendors are able to talk to each other and organizations are able to communicate rapidly and effectively to their partners and customers, regardless of the type of endpoint they have,” BrightCom CEO Bob McCandless told TMCnet in an interview. “Logitech's acquisition of LifeSize brings more opportunity for these businesses. Vendors, like BrightCom, also benefit from this partnership as we now have the ability to extend our video, audio and data conferencing infrastructure to further endpoints, as well.”
 
Logitech announced this week it plans to acquire LifeSize Communications a provider of high definition video communication solutions, for $405 million. The acquisition would help Logitech expand its PC video business beyond the desktop with HD video conferencing, Gerald P. Quindlen, Logitech president and CEO said. In addition, it would also give Logitech access to LifeSize's 9,000 video-conferencing customers worldwide.
 
And some in the industry are anticipating the benefits from such a merger.
 
For example, BrightCom’s infrastructure is the Visual Collaboration System, a processor based, single network appliance that provides businesses with meeting scheduling, administration and a complete set of integrated video and Web conferencing capabilities. VCS powers BrightCom’s Lumina Telepresence and ClearView Video Conferencing with high definition, standard definition video and audio broadcasts that are displayed in a multi-screen layout chosen by the meeting moderator.
 
Along with multiple data broadcasts, VCS can display up to 16 video broadcasts with an unlimited amount of meeting participants broadcasting from desktop Web cams, including the Logitech Webcam Pro 9000, conference rooms or telepresence suites around the world. The number of meeting participants depends upon bandwidth and the number of bundled servers. VCS can also support low cost, HD codecs such as LifeSize Passport, company officials said.
 
Howard Lichtman, founder and president of the Human Productivity Lab, said the future of video conferencing is the software-based codec that runs on general purpose processors connected to a low-cost, high quality HD camera through a USB 3.0 connection.
 
“BrightCom like many other players in the industry including Teliris (News - Alert), [and Vidyo] use the Logitech Webcam Pro 9000 for their desktop implementations,” Lichtman said. “I, and many others, have seen 720p video running at 60fps using a Logitech camera.” 

With infrastructure such as BrightCom’s VCS, businesses can easily connect conferencing systems and ensure a natural environment for teamwork and business relationships, McCandless said.



Amy Tierney is a Web editor for TMCnet, covering business communications Her areas of focus include conferencing, SIP, Fax over IP, unified communications and telepresence. Amy also writes about education and healthcare technology, overseeing production of e-Newsletters on those topics as well as communications solutions and UC. To read more of Amy's articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Amy Tierney




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