Home Enterprise Solutions Logitech in 'sweet spot' to sell to both big and small firms

Logitech in 'sweet spot' to sell to both big and small firms

Logitech is growing because it occupies a "sweet spot" in the hierarchy of tech companies, a senior official of the company claims.

Scott Wharton, vice-president and general manager for video collaboration at Logitech, told iTWire during an interview that the company was not so big that it posed a threat to any of the tech majors which with it had dealings.

And, he added, it was not so small that it would be ignored when it made approaches to bigger players.

This, Wharton said, made it possible for Logitech to sell its video-conferencing and other devices to big players like Microsoft and Google; the company's philosophy was to make its devices simple and operable by all.

And given that the devices were relatively cheap, Logitech could also fit in the budgets of SMBs, he added.

scott wharton

Wharton was in Melbourne to attend Integrate, the biggest audio-visual show in Australia.

Logitech makes hardware peripherals for the cloud platform but has also got a sizeable presence in the video field, big enough to be a threat to bigger names like Cisco and Polycom. Wharton said the company had shipped something in the region of 100 million webcams, compared to the traditional players who had probably shipped about a million apiece.

He said Logitech was making progress because it ensured quality in manufacturing by having its own outlets do the work rather than outsource operations. The company made millions of devices a week, with the principle being high-volume, low-price.

"We are now the leader in video-conferencing in rooms," he said, adding that even though the use of the technology had spread to both SMBs and big companies, the take-up was limited to about 2% of firms.

Logitech wanted to make the use of video-conferencing ubiquitous, he said, pointing out that this brought up the questions of price, operability and deployment.

In terms of cost, Wharton said Logitech offered products that cost a tenth of what its competitors had on offer but still offered most of the functionality that its competitors did, with the difference being that simplicity in operation was the hallmark of what it sold.

He said video devices were now being augmented with artificial intelligence and augmented reality features so that they could function as something more than just cameras.

While direct line-to-line vision was useful in that it saved time and money by lending itself to video-conferencing, the new technologies being Incorporated would make it more attractive to humans, Wharton said.

As an example, he said, cameras could be made smart so that they could track the focus of activity within a room, alleviating the need for an operator to keep moving the lens so that it tracked the activity which was being followed by those in the room. This meant the feed could be transmitted anywhere else without any fear that those watching remotely would be unable to follow what was going on.

Wharton said that Logitech was once tied to PCs in the minds of consumers; as the PC market dived, so too did Logitech's revenue. But that was some time ago, and things were now looking up, he added.

The company had introduced a product called Meetup in the Australian market recently, a simple device that could be used in a meeting room with minimal configuration, he said.

Nelson Padilla, Logitech's business development and channel manager for video collaboration in Australia, said the first shipment of these devices had sold out, with a number of very large companies expressing an interest in using the product, because it was an all-in-one device.

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Sam Varghese

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A professional journalist with decades of experience, Sam for nine years used DOS and then Windows, which led him to start experimenting with GNU/Linux in 1998. Since then he has written widely about the use of both free and open source software, and the people behind the code. His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.