Logitech and Intel are looking to provide a reliable low cost conferencing offering for organizations that use PC-based video conferences.
Today at Enterprise Connect, Logitech is announcing a new product bundle with Intel. The new Logitech ConferenceCam Kit with Intel NUC is designed to provide an inexpensive and fully configured alternative to PC videoconferencing for companies that want to use software tools like Skype and Zoom. The joint solution is configured and validated by both vendors, is compatible with all PC-based cloud services, and contains a Logitech ConferenceCam, an Intel NUC and an Intel Unite application.
“This is a relatively new business unit that makes the products used for video collaboration,” said Joan Vandermate, Head of Marketing, Video Collaboration, at Logitech. “We make webcam and conferencing cameras, and in two years we have risen to the number one share in webcams and the number two share in conference room cameras. We are growing conference cam share at a 55 per cent rate and will soon surpass Cisco for top spot in the number of units shipped.”
Logitech does not make a traditional videoconferencing solution.
“We make plug-and-play hardware – high quality, mass-market and reasonably-priced peripherals,” Vandermate said. “We partner with leading software and cloud vendors like Skype, Zoom, Webex or someone else. It is the same business model Logitech used on computers, and it is a totally different approach to this market. It is also a strong approach, because this market is in a lot of flux, with traditional endpoints being flat, while cloud and software-based solutions are growing very fast.”
Vandermate said that they don’t consider traditional videoconferencing to be their competition.
“We almost never replace them,’ she said. “We go in conference rooms that had no video at all in the past.”
This specific solution was prompted by the fact that a significant number of Logitech ConferenceCams are attached to dedicated computers in meeting rooms. The solution with the Intel NUC is designed to ensure such systems will be fully compatible and properly configured.
“The sweet spot for this is filling that gap between flexible PC-based video conferences with bad group experience, and pricey conference cams that typically only run a particular vendor’s app,” Vandermate said.
The bundle offers a choice of Logitech cameras – the larger Group model or the Connect, which is designed as a portable model – with the size of the room being the main determinant.
The Intel NUC is specifically optimized for video conferencing.
“If they aren’t, they seem underpowered for this,” Vandermate said. “These ones can do dual 1080p displays.”
Along with the Intel Unite application, the solution allows wireless content sharing on a PC or Mac and provides a clean and elegant meeting room configuration.
“The bundle also includes Iluminari Quicklaunch SE, a user interface which creates an appliance-like experience, and also turns it from an open computer where you can download anything to where you can do only what IT will let you do,” Vandermate said.
“It all installs very easily,” she added. “There are a couple of cables to connect. The biggest job is installing the screen.”
Logitech won’t actually be reselling the NUC.
“We are working with distributors like SYNNEX and Tech Data, as well as CDW and other e-tailers, and they will marry Logitech and Intel in the channel,” Vandermate said. “There will be a single SKU for the end user, but the distributors will actually assemble it.”
The Logitech ConferenceCam Kit is expected to be available in April at an estimated starting price of $USD1500.