Skype, LifeSize offer HD video compatibility

LifeSize, a division of Logitech, announced that its LifeSize Passport HD video conferencing system has qualified to become the first room-based, business-class video conferencing solution that is now interoperable with Skype, allowing LifeSize users to conduct video calls with Skype users. The LifeSize Passport was first introduced in 2009 and offers a HD video conferencing system tool priced at under $2,500, plus the cost of the screen/video monitor and audio speakers. The per-unit price makes the solution attractive for small meeting rooms and small to midsize businesses.

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Commenting in a statement on the partnership, David Gurle, VP and general manager of Skype Enterprise, said that the "initiative enables Skype to be part of the room-based enterprise video conferencing market. Now, LifeSize Passport users can easily connect using face to face video conferencing with any Skype user worldwide, regardless if the user is on a desktop, mobile or TV." He continued, "With the 'consumerization of IT' whereby people are bringing Skype into the workplace, more enterprises are looking for synergistic solutions like this that include Skype. We're delighted to work with LifeSize to help them address customer demand of delivering enterprise-class video conferencing with Skype."

To enable Skype video calls from LifeSize Passport, a customer must be a registered Skype user. When the caller logs into LifeSize Passport with Skype credentials, Skype contacts are automatically populated into the LifeSize directory, enabling video "click to call" to a contact name in the directory. The integration also supports audio calls between LifeSize Passport and Skype. Logitech also offers a Skype-certified webcam for $99 which provides 720p HD video conferencing and stereo audio to the PC.

Concurrent with the announcement, Logitech also released finding of a study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of LifeSize. The study analyzed a LifeSize Fortune 500 customer who used the LifeSize solution, revealed a risk-adjusted ROI of 392% over five years -- and helping the company to meet its carbon emission reduction goals. According to the research results, in one year the company reduced travel expenses by over a million dollars and achieved a 12% decrease in carbon emissions.

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