Logitech has announced the Logitech Collaboration Program (LCP) which is designed to enhance interaction between Logitech and its key vendor partners. The program has six inaugural partners: Blue Jeans Network; BroadSoft; C2G; Lifesize; Vidyo; and Zoom.
“The program is really about strategic partnerships,” said Sudeep Trivedi, Head of Business Development and Partnerships at Logitech. “We work with the applications of these companies, and saw an opportunity to take these relationships to the next level, and work more closely with them.”
While no formal program existed before, Logitech did have working relationships with these partners.
“The program formalizes the previous ad hoc relationships, so that now there is more formal support for these cloud service providers,” Trivedi said. “That includes both the development process, and when customers start to use the products.”
On the development side, the program is designed to drive innovation with the partners going forward.
“We share our roadmap with them and vice versa, and we have an API SDK that we have formalized as part of this program,” Trivedi said.
On the customer side, the program is designed to enhance the customer experience, by working more tightly with the vendor partners. For example, the LCP wants to work on enhancing virtual meetings with solutions for distraction-free communication, group collaboration, face-to-face collaboration and mobile communications. It is also interested on adding video integration features like pan, tilt and zoom, far-end camera control, software presets, and H.264 video compression. Audio functions such as call/session answer, end and mute, hold and resume, and volume up and down can also be integrated into a solution through the LCP’s work.
“The LCP will provide the framework to work more tightly with these providers to provide a great customer experience,” Trivedi said. Customers who purchase Logitech collaboration products, along with a product or service from an LCP member, will be assured of receiving a solution that is optimized for collaboration. For example, the Logitech ConferenceCam Connect, paired with videoconferencing software from an LCP member, may be enabled with far-end camera control so users can operate the pan, tilt and zoom functions of a Logitech ConferenceCam in the other location, providing a richer collaboration experience.
Finally, on the channel partner side, Trivedi said the new program will lead to tangible benefits for the channel.
“Now that our vendor partners are part of the formal program we have the opportunity for more aligned effort on the channel side,” he said. “If one of these partners works with say, CDW, that will let us create new opportunities and promotions for an end-to-end customer solution that we were not doing before. It means more end to end solutions for the channel.”
Logitech’s business collaboration portfolio really dates from March 2012 and the introduction of what was then a new product category for unified communications and Web conferencing – the all-in-one audio and video ConferenceCam. The Logitech BCC950 ConferenceCam was aimed at small conference rooms with 1-4 people and was priced at $249.99, pricey then by consumer standards, but very inexpensive for its target business market.
“We leveraged our expertise on desktop video to create conference cams, to take the desktop quality to conference rooms,” Trivedi said. “At the time, video was really limited to board rooms because of their expense, and less than five per cent of conference rooms had them. With this new conference room category, we disrupted the market.”
In early 2014, Logitech brought out a product designed to serve larger conference room with 10-12 people with the ConferenceCam CC3000e, priced at $999.99, and early this year brought out the ConferenceCam Connect, aimed at rooms with 5-6 people and priced at $499.99.
‘We now have products covering the full range of audio and video collaboration, from the desktops all the way to larger meeting rooms,” Trivedi said.