HD Videoconferencing Targets Business Travelers

LifeSize Communications, a division of Logitech, said its HD video conferencing equipment, which allows business execs to talk "face-to-face" in live human-scale video, has inked a deal with Harris Stratex Networks as the company's "global enterprise standard." Harris Stratex is a provider of wireless configurations that enable next-gen 4G broadband for broadcasters, mobile network operators, public safety and government agencies.

LifeSize, which is based in Austin, Texas, said its HD-level (approximating 720p) "telepresence suite" currently serves business clients in America and 134 other countries. Stratex Networks and Harris Corporation's Microwave Communications Division merged in 2007.

Harris Stratex, for its part, admits that its execs were not keen on using videoconferencing (HD or otherwise) in the beginning, but that its experience with human-scale HD conferencing turned "from being something that people [here] used to dislike, to a very positive asset for us," said the firm's global IT director, Linda Carr. "In 2008, we spent $17 million on travel. In the first six months of using LifeSize, we saved $2.25 million."

LifeSize's infrastructure currently enables Harris Stratex to use about 50 videoconference sites with HD video. Carr estimates the company could realize its ROI within four months of using the HD teleconference network, in lieu of additional travel.