Lifesize Prepares for Life as Independent, Private Company
The shift in the industry is coming as businesses look for cost-effective ways to embrace collaboration technologies to increase employee productivity, communicate with workers, partners and customers, and to drive down operational costs. In addition, a more mobile workforce is demanding the ability to collaborate wherever and whenever they want, and one any device they choose. To meet such demands, video collaboration solutions need to be agile, flexible and focused less on software. They also need to be able to take advantage of such strides in technologies as 4G connectivity, more powerful PCs and mobile devices, and improving home networks. "In order for it to scale, it had to be in this cloud delivery model," Malloy said. Logitech executives had been highly supportive of Lifesize's transformation efforts, but it quickly became clear that a split was going to be necessary. For Lifesize, becoming an independent and private company holds a number of advantages, including being able to be more aggressive in its investments and acquisitions without having to worry about the trappings of a public company, such as the quarterly earnings reports.As Lifesize changed to its SaaS delivery model, it also saw its place in the market change. The company sees Cisco and Polycom systems less when competing for business, and more with Citrix Systems' GoToMeeting and Cisco's WebEx Web collaboration solutions. (Citrix is spinning out its GoTo family of products, creating separate company.) "It's really been a remarkable transition from competing every day with Polycom and Cisco to a lot of new companies," Malloy said. The change to a cloud delivery model also has helped Lifesize broaden its potential customer base in what the CEO pegs as a $7 billion global collaboration market. Historically it was strong the midmarket; now it can compete in other segments. "We're winning some very large customers today," he said. Malloy said Lifesize over the next year will use its new funding and independence to broaden its product portfolio—including new conference rooms systems that offer both low cost and high performance—and expand its customer base. "There is a big opportunity over the next 18 months," he said.
Malloy's comments echoed similar ones Michael Dell made in 2013 when he took his namesake company private, though the Lifesize CEO admitted that it was "a similar concept on a smaller scale." He also said Lifesize will be able to capitalize on the experience the new investors have in the collaboration and network spaces.