Lifesize Touts Future of Work, Ease-of-Use and Interoperability as Reasons for Growth

We first started covering Lifesize in 2007 with a piece which described the company’s near-telepresence solution at a fraction of the cost. At the time, telepresence systems could cost north of $300,000 and Lifesize came in with a similar quality system between $8,000-12,000.

In 2008 we discussed their Conference 200, a full HD, standards-based solution capable of higher resolutions and refresh rates — 1080p30 and 720p60.

This was also the advent of the company focusing on interoperability – working at the time with Siemens, Cisco, ShoreTel, Microsoft and others.

Earlier this month, we broke the news that embracing WebRTC, Lifesize launched Lifesize Go, a free video-conferencing service that allows people to meet face-to-face, share content and collaborate across teams.

The company recently released a report on 1,300 business professionals who were surveyed on their use of video conferencing.

Here are some interesting responses regarding how people feel about companies that use video conferencing:

  • 55% believe it makes them more collaborative.
  • 55% feel it makes them more innovative.
  • 41% believe it makes employees more engaged.
  • 31% believe it makes them more successful.

This is how they feel about video and the future of work:

  • 69% think video will be equally or more important than voice assistants.
  • 63% think it is equally or more important than VR/AR.
  • 55% think video will be equally or more important than automation/robotics.
  • 51% think video conferencing will be equally or more important than AI

Respondents also say they take video calls from virtually everywhere – including the bedroom at 21% and restroom at 3%. It strikes us that now that phones are water-proof, the shower will likely show up prominently in next year’s survey. 🙂

Another interesting finding is that ease of use and interoperability are important. Difficult to download plug-ins, for example, could cause technical difficulties – the number one detractor to call experience.

To learn more, we held an exclusive interview with Michael Helmbrecht, COO who told us the company is at a $100 million run-rate and is growing in the mid 20’s to 30’s.

Michael Helmbrecht, COO Lifesize

He explained, the company is a bit different than competitors – they are more holistic, with service, software and hardware into an integrated solution.

More than 80% of the company’s paying customers are mid-large enterprise, greater than 9,000. These companies deploy all aspects of the company’s service: hosted services, transportation layer, software for laptops as well as downloadable and web apps. They also use meeting rooms. The company has found, the more usage there has been by organizations, the higher the customer satisfaction and renewal.

“We have the only native 4K hosted video content,” he exclaimed. “We are always pushing best-in-class experience.”

He also emphasized the company works with IT as a key stakeholder – they are not rogue IT… Likely referring t other services which come in OTT and via employees.

He likened their model to being similar to the Apple ecosystem or Peloton. The systems are easily managed from a central location with help alerts and advanced replacement RMAs. Software updates automatically, as is the directory and an alert is sent if a cable gets disconnected. He said there are customers with many thousands of employees and dozens of sites with one or two people managing it all.

Another interesting idea he discussed is the increasing use of huddle-rooms as a result of open floor plans. Scaling these across or state or internationally is expensive as systems are different and not designed to work with one another. Their goal is to have a solution which works for seven to ten years. A consistent experience makes training easier, support easier and management easier.

The company also has interoperability at its core which reiterates our past post from a decade ago. They work with Cisco, Polycom, Microsoft, Bluejeans and others. They develop on WebRTCand it is at the core of what they do.

“Customers don’t need to think about how their own partners want to join a call, it just works,:” he exclaimed. “We don’t charge for this or connector to buy.”

A few weeks back we broke the news that HighFive announced broad-interoperability. This was the response from Michael:

“While Highfive recently claimed to be the first to offer collaboration interoperability, that’s actually something Lifesize has been doing since 2014. Our end-to-end WebRTC service has supported SIP since then, and we have always provided it for free. From day one, Lifesize has supported extensive interoperability no matter the service, software or device – including registration from our video conferencing systems to a PBX or voice service of the customer’s choice.”

Come and learn about the latest in everything business tech… Collaboration, UCaaS, the Channel, IT, IOT, Edge, Cybersecurity, AI, SD-WAN, and the Future of Work at the world’s only  Future of Work Expo, part of the ITEXPO #TechSuperShow, Feb 12-14, 2020 Fort Lauderdale, FL.


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