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January 28, 2009

LifeSize Reports Record Growth, Evidence HD Video Conferencing is a Cost-Effective Business Strategy

By Michelle Robart, TMCnet Editor

In today’s struggling economy, the high-cost of travel has ignited a new interest in video conferencing solutions, giving enterprises a more cost-effective and eco-friendly way to communicate within the comforts of their own office buildings.
One company that has benefited from businesses slashing their travel budgets is LifeSize Communications, a global provider of high-definition (HD) video communications. The company reported record sales in the second half of 2008 and experienced close to 150 percent growth for the full year.
With an increasing amount of companies, governments and organizations turning to to HD video conferencing and telepresence solutions to reduce travel expenses, increase worker productivity and improve business performance.
“We are pleased with our industry-leading growth and believe that the opportunity for HD video to deliver value has never been greater,” said Craig Malloy, CEO, LifeSize (News - Alert) Communications. “Because the benefits of HD video are so clear, compelling and measurable, many LifeSize customers are accelerating their video communication system deployments.”
LifeSize has been successful because it offers a wide-range of video conferencing solutions to serve companies new to video as well as large companies and universities with established video networks. Many of the company’s customers are now standardizing on LifeSize to provide enterprise-wide HD video communication solutions.
“LifeSize has made significant gains in 2008 to become a key vendor in the videoconferencing market. LifeSize has been a leader in developing HD video conferencing systems that have raised the bar in terms of quality, flexibility and price/performance, compelling the competition to offer lower-priced high-performance products,” said Roopam Jain, Frost & Sullivan (News - Alert). “LifeSize was the first to first to bring 720p/60fps videoconferencing units to market and the first to offer HD video conferencing under $5000. We expect LifeSize to continue gaining traction, making it a serious contender in this growing market.”
The company experienced strong sales growth across all regions and product lines, as customers across the globe adopted LifeSize solutions. LifeSize says it delivers the most compelling HD video value, combining a superior quality of experience, unique flexibility and unrivaled price performance, enabled by a superior architecture.
“Our product design philosophy has been simple: the true benefits of video are realized when you can deliver high quality that is accessible to everyone,” said Casey King (News - Alert), CTO, LifeSize Communications. “LifeSize was built for wide deployment of high definition video, and our HD architecture delivers a competitive advantage in video quality, bandwidth efficiency, deployment flexibility and price performance. In 2008, our new products extended our technology lead.”
While many companies were cutting back or closing down, LifeSize continued to innovate and tailor its solutions to meet the needs of its customers based on the economy.
Last April, in an effort to meet the needs of smaller businesses, LifeSize made HD video even more affordable with the introduction of LifeSize Express with Focus, the world’s first high-definition video communication system that can be purchased for less than $5000.
In October, LifeSize debuted LifeSize Room 200, the first Full HD video communications solution and LifeSize Conference 200, the first Full HD telepresence solution, delivering standards-based 1080p at 30 frames per second and 720p at 60 frames per second for the richest video communications experience available today.
The company also enhanced its infrastructure and management products, allowing for wide deployment. LifeSize now provides not only the best video experience, but brings that experience to the end-user through an enterprise-class set of management products that work seamlessly in the most complex IT environments.
“No other IT investment can deliver the immediate and measurable results like LifeSize HD video,” said Adam Taylor, LifeSize executive vice president, Worldwide Sales and Service. “In the current economic climate, CIOs, IT and telecom managers are re-evaluating projects in terms of ROI, TCO and payback time. And in that environment, LifeSize HD video becomes the top priority.”
LifeSize was also applauded for its HD video conferencing systems throughout the year. The company was named one of the “10 most influential biztech products of 2008” by Jason Hiner, editor in chief of TechRepublic. Other prestigious awards included INTERNET TELEPHONY Magazine’s 11th Annual Product of the Year Award, the Videoconferencing Company of the Year award from Videoconferencing Insight, VON Magazine’s Inaugural Innovator Award, and Unified Communications (News - Alert) Magazine’s First Annual Product of the Year Award and Excellence Award.
Both of LifeSize’s major employment locations were honored as well. In Austin, Texas, LifeSize’s headquarters was recognized as one of Austin’s “Best Places to Work” by the Austin Business Journal for the third year in a row. The company’s engineering development center in Bangalore, India, was named as one of the top 25 “Best Places to Work” in India by Smart Techie magazine.
LifeSize expanded its organization by more than 70 percent last year, continuing to hire new staff members through Q4.
“LifeSize is hiring – and doing it well. We continue to attract and retain A+ people who are designing, building, marketing, selling and supporting the products that are changing the way the world works,” said Malloy.
“Interest in high-definition video has never been greater. Companies believe this is the right time for HD video and that LifeSize is the right solution for their needs,” added Malloy. “We see time and again that companies that explore HD video for cost reductions quickly realize that it’s really a productivity booster that changes the way they do business. It’s exciting that LifeSize products are helping companies survive and thrive in this environment.”
LifeSize is the first company to develop and deliver high definition video communications products. Founded in 2003 by industry veterans and named “Videoconferencing Company of the Year” in 2007 by Videoconferencing Insight. LifeSize’s award-winning solutions combine exceptional quality, user simplicity and administrator manageability to make video communications a productive, true-to-life experience. LifeSize is headquartered in Austin, TX with subsidiaries in Europe and Asia Pacific, and a network of channel partners reaching more than 80 countries.

Michelle Robart is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Michelle's articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Michelle Robart

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