LifeSize executives say their Passport HD video collaboration product will now interoperate with Skype's technology. Through the deal, LifeSize gets access to Skype's 600 million users, while Skype gets to build out its enterprise capabilities.
Communications is bringing its Passport high-definition video conferencing
capabilities to Skype.
officials announced April 19 that its Passport
, launched in 2009 and aimed at SMBs, home offices and mobile
workers, is now qualified to work with Skype, the Internet-based video calling
company that has more than 600 million users.
Passport can be plugged into Skype, users of Passport-which offers
telepresence-level quality-can talk with Skype users via video conferencing.
fully work in the Skype ecosystem," Michael Helmbrecht, vice president of
product marketing, said in an interview with eWEEK.
LifeSize, a company owned by Logitech, the partnership gives it access to
Skype's massive customer base, Helmbrecht said. Skype, which began its life as
a consumer-focused company, gets another path into the business world.
initiative enables Skype to be part of the room-based enterprise video
conferencing market," David Gurle, vice president and general manager of Skype
Enterprise, said in a statement. "With the -consumerization of IT,' whereby
people are bringing Skype into the workplace, more enterprises are looking for
synergistic solutions like this that include Skype. We're delighted that
LifeSize is helping them address customer demand by delivering enterprise-class
video conferencing with Skype."
software that will enable LifeSize Passport and Skype video calling will be
available for download this month.
is battling in a market populated with a growing number of players, from Cisco
Systems, Polycom and Hewlett-Packard to Radvision. Along with building out its
portfolio, LifeSize also is looking to partnerships to help it compete. Most
recently, LifeSize executives announced in February that their lineup of HD
video conferencing products, including the 220 Series and Passport offerings,
with Microsoft's Lync
communications platform, and later this year will be
qualified to work with the software giant's Communications Service 2007 R2.
collaboration space also is a rapidly growing market. Market research firm
Infonetics Research said in a report in March that the video conferencing and
telepresence market grew 18 percent in 2010-to $2.2 billion-and will reach
$5 billion by 2015
. The trend is being driven by a desire among enterprises
to increase productivity and communication with employees as well as the need
to drive down travel expenses, a push that gained steam during the global
recession, according to Infonetics analysts.
via video continues to be one of the top trends in telecom, as evidenced by
strong growth in the enterprise video market," Infonetics analyst Matthias
Machowinski said in a statement.
report said that Cisco-particularly after its $3.4 billion acquisition of
telepresence rival Tandberg in 2010-is the top vendor in the space, garnering
about half of the revenue in 2010. Polycom is second in revenue, but tops in
said the 2009 acquisition by Logitech has been a boon to LifeSize. Where
previously the vendor may have been seen by some enterprises as a risk, having
the backing of a large company like Logitech has given LifeSize greater
visibility among bigger businesses, he said.
with the Skype deal, LifeSize also unveiled a study by Forrester Research done
on LifeSize's behalf that indicates a LifeSize Fortune 500 customer-the
European division of an unnamed Japanese consumer electronics company-will see
an ROI of 392 percent over five years using video collaboration technology. In
addition, the technology will enable the company to reach its carbon emission
reduction goals, according to the Forrester study.