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Logitech buys videoconference hardware firm LifeSize – is this a good fit?

Logitech, best known for its PC add-ons such as keyboards, mice, and *ding*ding* video cameras, has gone upscale, purchasing videoconferencing hardware firm LifeSize for $405 million.  Does it make sense? Time will tell.

LifeSize has been targeting its high-end HD video telepresence and videoconferencing solutions squarely into the enterprise space, undercutting the likes of Cisco, Polycom and TANDBERG.  In addition, it has a range of personal office/teleworker and SMB solutions for HD 720p video to complement its higher-end gear.

With the onset of the recession, Austin-based LifeSize has faced stiffer competition in the telepresence arena in the likes of HP, Siemens, and IBM.   The combination of Logitech (deeper pockets, bigger marketing) and LifeSize will be interesting to watch.

Last year, Logitech bought SightSpeed,  a multi-party videoconferencing/video chat services company with some long-distance VoIP services thrown in, so the company’s expansion into the higher-end video solutions and the enterprise space shouldn’t be a total surprise.   Be interesting to see if there are synergies to leverage between the SIP-based SightSpeed division and LifeSize in terms of offering a one-stop shop of services and high-end hardware.

Regardless of the success/failure of the purchase, the further consolidation of the high-end videoconferencing world is likely to stimulate further twittering on the future of Polycom… something I’m going to have to ponder over at HD Voice News later today.

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