Logitech Turns Its Business Focus to UC
If the UC platform is easy to use and understand, workers will more quickly embrace it, Langberg said. Products like these will make it simpler. "We feel this is a pretty comprehensive portfolio for the desktop," he said. The new offerings come at a time of transition for Logitech. The company, like others in the tech industry, has been hit by the uncertain global economy and the slowdown in PC sales. Revenues for the company's fiscal 2013 were $2.1 billion, down from $2.3 billion the year before, and Logitech lost $252 million. Darrell, who became CEO Jan. 1, this year oversaw a restructuring in the company that included about 140 job cuts, and said in January that company executives were considering selling off Logitech's LifeSize Communications video conferencing business. Logitech's $405 million purchase of LifeSize in 2009 was the company's first real step into the corporate world. Prior to that, it focused strictly on the consumer tech market. Darrell told analysts in April that he had decided to keep LifeSize, but the speculation around its future impacted its finances, with sales falling 19 percent.In talking with the analysts, Darrell noted that part of the 19 percent sales decline was caused by a soft video conferencing market, as well as customers and partners being reticent to buy from LifeSize after his comments in January. However, Logitech has restructured LifeSize and will keep it. "I think we went through a quarter of some pretty hard times, really some soul searching among customers about whether they ought to buy our products that delayed some things," he said. "We probably lost a few deals. Now, we're through that. I think that part of the uncertainty really goes away." What's left, he said, is a video conferencing opportunity among small and midsize businesses (SMBs) that represents a significant opportunity for LifeSize, Darrell said. "We're going to continue to sell at times to larger customers, but our focus will be on the small and medium-sized business," he said. "And our product line, we're really focused on the smart video solution which is about really making video conferencing easy, almost consumer easy, for a business customer. So, as one of our LifeSize employees said the other day, it should be so easy that the CEO doesn't have to hand the remote to the IT guy next to him."
As Wainhouse Research analyst Andrew Davis said in a June 10 post on the No Jitter blog site, Darrell "shot LifeSize between the eyes in January when he implied LifeSize was up for a strategic review and might actually be sold off. That sucked the air right out of the LifeSize sales force in Q1. Resuscitation efforts have just begun."