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Elevating IT Solutions: Joel Murray, Global Head of Solutions Architects, Discusses Logitech’s Rally Portfolio – Futurum Tech Webcast

Elevating IT Solutions: Joel Murray, Global Head of Solutions Architects, Discusses Logitech's Rally Portfolio - Futurum Tech Webcast

On this episode of the Futurum Tech Webcast, The Futurum Group’s Craig Durr talks with Joel Murray, Logitech‘s expert on advanced video conferencing solutions. They delve into the intricacies of Logitech’s Rally portfolio, exploring how it addresses the pressing challenges IT departments face in managing complex conference room environments and maintaining high uptime.

Their discussion covers:

  • Taking a strategic approach to achieving scalability and affordability in video conferencing solutions.
  • The importance of user experience in technology adoption and the intelligent software solutions provided by Logitech.
  • Logitech’s commitment to sustainability and the impact on total cost of ownership.
  • The integration of Logitech Sync and Select Services to streamline IT management and enhance user support.

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Transcript:

Craig Durr: Hey everybody. This is Craig Durr, Research Director at The Futurum Group. I lead our workplace collaboration practice and this is another edition of our Futurum Tech Webcast. Today we’re going to be talking about some of those critical challenges that are facing IT professionals as they try and enable group collaboration and video conferencing in this hybrid work world. Help me talk about this today. I’m excited to have my guest, Joel Murray from Logitech. Joel is the Global Head of Technical Solutions. Joel, how are you doing?

Joel Murray: I’m doing great, Craig. How are you doing?

Craig Durr: Good. Hey, tell me about this, that’s a big title, global head of technical solutions. What exactly do you and your team do with Logitech?

Joel Murray: Yeah, so I lead the solutions engineering team here at Logitech. So the engineers that come in and work with our customers before the sale happens, just making sure that the product that they’re purchasing, they’ve got all their technical questions answered, it’s the right solution for them, and then it’s going to work once it lands and gets installed. So this team just helps manage that lifecycle of the customer as we engage with them and really helps build a good partnership with our customers.

Craig Durr: You know what I like about that, Joel, is that you are really working with these customers upfront when they’re trying to identify those problems. So you’re truly on the front lines, hearing what they’re trying to get through, the goals, the challenges, and what’s keeping them in between those two, right?

Joel Murray: Yeah, exactly. It’s a very consultative sale, especially when we’re talking about coming out post pandemic and really dealing with that hybrid world, because one of the things we’re discovering a lot on this side is a lot of companies just still haven’t fully decided what their hybrid environment is. There’s just a lot of change happening. So our team is doing a lot of engagements of, “Hey, what are you doing? What’s your culture? How do we come out of this post pandemic and help preserve that culture for you?” And just getting a good understanding of what our customers needs are in order to make sure that the technology meets their needs.

Craig Durr: I absolutely have a deep appreciation for what you’re talking about. In terms of our research, one of the things we’ve always come back with is there’s no single playbook for every customer. Each customer has these unique variables, like you said, culture, are we remote first? Are we office first? Are we hybrid? What are our goals? What are our working styles? What are the primary communication technologies that we leverage? And it creates this myriad of options that make this very confusing for IT professionals.

Joel Murray: Exactly. And it is complicated because there’s a lot of nuance and especially because a lot of companies have different working environments, they have different technology needs, they have different platforms that they use to communicate in. So really making sure that we understand what those nuances are, that helps our customers really get the right solutions.

Craig Durr: You know what, it comes back to this idea. We’re at this state now. I know we’ve often referred to it as the new way of working, but frankly, this is just working now. These are the variables that are in play and they’re not going away. We’re going to be dealing with some element of hybrid work, some idea of meeting equity, some idea of bridging gaps between people being present or not being present, right?

Joel Murray: Yeah, it’s really funny you say that, Craig, because I hear a lot of customers coming to us and they’re saying, “Hey, we’re 100% back in the office.” And the thing is, you never really were 100% back in the office, even before the pandemic. You always have somebody who got sick or they’re traveling or something and they still need to be able to connect into that office and even connect offices together. So that really is the new way of working and the difference now is that everybody’s used to it. So people are really starting to embrace that way of how do I remotely connect when I’m not able to be there in person?

Craig Durr: So all of that is what drove you and the rest of the logic team to work together. So The Futurum Group was asked to help in terms of a research project where we wanted to try and help better understand some of those critical challenges that IT management’s facing right now in the current environment. And this is what I want to talk with you about today. Let’s go over some of those top findings and I’d be curious to hear your perspective as the person on the front line talking to these customers and what you’re hearing in the context. Sound good?

Joel Murray: Yeah, that sounds great.

Craig Durr: Perfect. Hey, here’s the first thing that we came across in our research, is that as we came out of the pandemic, the room layouts have gotten really complex. I would say prior to the pandemic, we were dealing with three sizes, small, medium, and large. Now we’ve got focus rooms, we’ve got the emphasis on town halls because having large company messaging is important. We have these flex spaces, spaces that change in the course of the day. We even have these dedicated collaboration rooms as well. It’s getting really complex. Is that the same thing you’re seeing when you’re talking to customers?

Joel Murray: Yeah, absolutely. And we’re seeing things like ideation spaces. We’re seeing spaces where people want to collaborate, more scrum rooms, but they still need that hybrid connectivity to be able to pull people in. To your point, flex is definitely the thing we’re seeing. As a matter of fact, as we went through and redesigned our office in San Jose, we spent a lot of time, we’re calling it the living lab. We’re doing a lot of testing with what we’re doing internally to just see the products we can do. And a lot of our spaces are very flexible. I find myself, when I go out there and visit, I’m in Raleigh, but I do go spend a lot of time out there in California, that I don’t find myself in a conference room very often unless I have three or four people to meet with. I spend a lot of times in little couch areas or maybe even an open space.

So if I’m going to be in the office, I want to meet with people and I want to see them, I don’t want to shut myself off. So being able to design solutions for those spaces and help embrace people to be able to work in those environments, really critical to what we’re doing. And then the other one you mentioned is those large spaces. We really see a lot, I don’t want to say it’s the death of the medium conference room, but what we’re seeing is you build out a large room to bring everybody in to be able to do training in, maybe break that out into individual spaces because you need that real estate. Then we’re seeing a significant push for those smaller and huddle spaces where people are really breaking up those large rooms that had 20 people in them into a space that can now accommodate four or five different conference rooms, depending on maybe two person conference rooms, four person conference rooms, and maybe a six person. But we’re starting to see a lot less of that kind of 15, 20, 25 person conference room these days.

Craig Durr: I bet. Well, because these environments are now being driven to be dynamic, and there’s a great phrase I wish I came up with it first, but I can’t say it. It’s the tagline, which is “I don’t commute just to compute.” People need to go into the office to do more. They want to collaborate, they want to socialize. There’s learning taking place. It’s both informal and formal, and those spaces need to be activity oriented to help adjust to that. So it’s really driving a lot of different spaces, which for IT management, it’s not just a simple … It can’t really be the same camera or microphone that you used five, ten years ago. You have to have the right equipment for this type of space.

Joel Murray: Yeah, exactly. And it used to be IT would come in and say, “All right, we want to standardize on just a few cameras to make it much easier for us.” And unfortunately, that’s just not the reality of the day. So what we’re starting to see is a lot of different technology go into that environment. And how do you manage those solutions and how do you keep it together is really the bigger challenge, less the technology and much more about how you take care of it on the back end.

Craig Durr: That brings us to our second big challenge that we uncovered and we identified in this, and it’s that IT is dealing with these competing forces of affordability yet scalability. So as we’re talking about, we’re seeing customers do a lot more rollout. Focus rooms, smaller rooms for example, are being highly utilized for people using for one-on-ones, small meeting groups, privacy spaces as well too. But there’s the challenge of can I get the right feature set still in these small spaces. You don’t want to skimp on the camera and the microphone in those spaces. So that’s one thing on the side is the affordability. The other thing then is scalability. How can I take something that’s affordable and get it to … It’s not just five rooms, it’s 200 rooms, it’s 500 rooms. How do I have something that has high quality feature set that’s scalable but at the same time is affordable in the process? Similar challenges you’re seeing?

Joel Murray: Yeah, absolutely. And a lot of our customers are coming to us with how we solve that challenge and trying to get them to understand that budget versus scalability comes down to a real discussion around, how are you supporting these rooms? What’s your user experience going to be? And what we’re seeing is an investment on making it simpler for the user to just walk in and get a meeting going. Makes a huge difference. Your support cost for supporting a small room is the same as your support cost for supporting a large room. From an IT perspective, if I send somebody on site, it’s going to cost, we estimate $75 a ticket to just walk in and make sure that something is running. And even if that’s just replacing a USB cable, that’s an expense.

So if we can help eliminate that by investing in a better solution, better cable management, like we’ve got a huddle room solution now that just makes it really easy for a user walk in, hit a button, they’re in the meeting, everything’s connected, it’s all locked down, the cabling. We do a lot with cable management with our solutions, just trying to make it easier to reduce those amount of calls. And we’re seeing that USB, which seems so flexible and so easy where somebody can just walk in and plug in, can be a great solution. But from your user perspective, if that USB cable’s broken, they don’t know it until they get to that room. If it doesn’t connect properly, if they don’t have the right drivers, all those things can create a lot of problems. So if you can eliminate that upfront by a little bit of cost, you can save a lot of trouble on the backend.

Craig Durr: Affordable and that bulletproof capability that you can roll out to multiple places. You’re right because otherwise, you don’t have IT staff in every one of those rooms, every one of those buildings to support that. It’s an interesting thing. Let me share with you the third challenge that came up in our research. This is one I can absolutely appreciate. As an industry analyst, I find myself often getting on different UC platforms through the course of the day. In the course of an hour, I might go from Microsoft Teams to a Zoom call, for example. So one of those big challenges is the diversity of these UC stacks that are within the environment create a challenge. And let me share an interesting stat. In our own research, we have found in North America, for example, when we’re looking at enterprises, that 48% of enterprises have two IT-sanctioned UC stacks in place. They have teams and they have Zoom, for example. And it’s because some business may require calling outside people on a Zoom platform or something along that lines. Or maybe a smaller group within that might be using Teams, along that lines. This is a big challenge. How do you help manage people bridge that chasm between different UC platforms?

Joel Murray: It’s really critical. I mean it’s something that comes up over and over again. How do I maintain this? We acquired a company or we’ve got two platforms coming out of the pandemic. A lot of it is transition. We’re seeing a lot of people transition from one platform to another these days because certain feature sets, AI is going to drive a significant change in the next couple of years. So how do we make that work? And really, we joke here at Logitech that we’re a Swiss company, so neutrality is really critical to what we do. But that flexibility in the solution is really key. Not only are we seeing different platforms, but Craig, one of the things we see a lot of is people who are Windows environments for some of their Microsoft Teams rooms and then Android environments for others. How do we mix that together and how do we have flexibility to be able to support that? And then even on Zoom, they’re coming out with their intelligent director feature that they’ve been talking about that requires a heavy compute that you really just can’t do in an Android environment. So again, I want to embrace this new way of working, then I have to have a mixed environment again in that environment. So a lot of people are starting to say, how do I get a solution that I can support but is also flexible enough to manage through those solutions?

Craig Durr: Yeah, here’s a teaser, a spoiler alert. Certification is key on that, right?

Joel Murray: Huge.

Craig Durr: Certification really helps in that process and we’ll talk more about that later on. It’s a key element to have the peace of mind that the device, the solution that I buy, is rock solid with whatever UC platform it’s certified on.

Joel Murray: Exactly. Yeah.

Craig Durr: Okay. Here’s number four. This is something that we saw coming, based upon the pandemic, is that the influence of stakeholders that were interested in these UC solutions and these video conferencing and collaboration solutions has grown. It’s not just an IT stakeholder group now. One of the things we’re seeing is people reported HR, commercial real estate and other executives that were very important during the pandemic timeframe. Those three executives, HR facilities and IT, were probably the tiger team that helped manage that immediate transition to remote work. And those are still these executives that have unique requirements driving some of the conversations as we return to hybrid work and what that means for our office. Are you seeing similar things?

Joel Murray: Yeah, absolutely. The facilities teams in particular are really driving a lot of these conversations because as we look at hybrid work and as we look at people returning to the office, one of the biggest gaps we have is why would I return to the office when I have such great technology at home? So like we were talking about earlier, providing those flexible spaces and providing that need to be able to work in a similar way or at least as good of a way as you work at home is critical. That’s all coming from the HR teams and the facilities teams who’ve done studies on ergonomics and they’ve done studies about how we’re going to deliver to our customers and building neighborhoods and the social networking of our employees. So we’re really seeing that kind of decision making is driving a lot of IT decisions and then being able to provide on the backend IT wants to make sure that they can support it. And in a world today we’re seeing a lot of best of breed options. There’s huge boom in the technology, but from an IT perspective, you have to balance what’s that best of breed need versus what I can do to support it and what that does for my affordability and scalability, like we talked about earlier.

Craig Durr: You know what’s really nice about this, and I really appreciate, is that these conversations are taking earlier in the technology purchasing process. One of those challenges that took place in the past, here’s a classic example, is you might have the best video conferencing solution planned and you’re going to roll it out across your rooms because you standardized on kits, but you didn’t take into account that facilities decided to have all glass walls in these showcase conference rooms and all of a sudden the acoustics wind up being awful in that room, right? And here’s another one too. There’s a lot of talk around the word equity today. Meeting equity, especially we have research that says out of 80% of meetings, at least one person is remote. The idea at that point in time is you now have a hybrid meeting, how can you help enable everyone to be seen, to see, to be heard, to hear equally in that whole process? And that’s an HR flag that they’re bearing and it’s important that they bring into IT. I think it’s a great conversation taking place.

Joel Murray: Yeah, it really is. I mean, one of the things we saw in tons and tons of research that happened during the pandemic is users coming and saying, I finally feel heard. I feel like I have a voice in a meeting that I never had before. I feel like I’m a participant. And then we take them and we throw them into a conference room or we sit them remote while everybody else is in a conference room and they don’t feel that equity anymore. Like you and I are having a one-on-one conversation-

Craig Durr: Right, exactly.

Joel Murray: We have a focus room in here. Now we got four or five people. It changes the dynamic. So how do we embrace that? How do we pull people onto that table and create that equity? As well as the other side of it; how do we earn that commute for the people who are going in? How do we get them to come into that office and what makes that valuable as well?

Craig Durr: That’s another million dollar phrase I wish I would’ve trademarked, earned the commute. I’ll give you one other view of this also, then we’ll move on. The way that I talked to our clients about it is this. We were prior to the pandemic in a world where a meeting took place in a room and if we had remote participants, they were virtual on the wall, looking into that room. Moving to the pandemic and post pandemic timeframe, the meeting in itself now became the virtual element. And now you have people looking at it. You have single users like you and I from our home environments looking in. But now you also have these room environments where 2, 3, 5 people more are in. How do they equally have access to that virtual meeting and its resources? And that is an interesting challenge. It’s almost flipped around, right?

Joel Murray: Yeah, it really is. And again, going back to that equity conversation, how do we make people feel equal in that whole space? We’ve done a ton of research on this. This has been something that we’ve actually been working on for a long time, actually pre-pandemic as far as ideations and thinking through. And you can solve it by lots of cameras, really. That’s really how you’re going to be able to get that more equal view, making somebody feel like they are participants sitting at the table and being able to look around it. But what we found is cameras on the walls don’t necessarily capture a room well, depending on the size of the room. So we’ve got a product called Sight where we actually take cameras and we stick them out onto the center of the conference table. So we’re right in the middle of the conversation and the remote worker is looking at you and I just like we are here. They’ve got a really conversational feel to those people sitting there in the conference room.

Craig Durr: That’s perfect. I’m going to double click on the Sight camera in a moment. Let me hit the one last item that we have and that is around management of these devices as you start doing and maintenance taking place. One of these big challenges as these places become more diverse is, how do I have equal easy management to them? You made reference to rolling a truck out, we call that sneaker net. I can’t have a sneaker net. I need to have a single pane of glass that I could look at and manage what’s going on. And in addition to that, understand the maintenance that’s going into these devices. Firmware updates. Is that USB cable not working? Things like that. I’m sure this is a common problem you’ve heard of.

Joel Murray: Huge, huge problem. And again, when we go to some of those best of breed things, there’s a lot of brand new companies that pop up when we’ve got a technology boom like is happening here. And a lot of those smaller companies are just not prepared to handle the IT needs of a global company. And that’s not trying to be hard on their solutions. Everybody starts somewhere. That’s how you build. But having the scale to support it and provide services at a global level is really critical when you’re spread out all over. And what we’re seeing as well is a lot of companies that were typically isolated to a region now can be very global because the technology has enabled that. So they have more of that global support needs.

Craig Durr: There’s even other things taking place. Some of our research shows that where people had a corporate hub, a large investment in a downtown area, part of their real estate optimization, they might be divesting there, but finding a less expensive place in the suburbs. It’s very common in Asia Pacific and it’s a big thing that’s taking place in the Tokyo market we saw, for example, where corporate headquarters were now spreading out to more regions because people were commuting as well and balancing to that challenge of that. So yeah, having equal access to what’s taking place to all those places from a management maintenance point of view was a critical problem.

Joel Murray: Huge, huge. And we’re seeing that unfortunately, the tools out there are just not quite robust enough for us, we do single pane for everything. Teams Admin Center and Zoom Device Manager are great solutions for that kind of lower end IT person and the person who’s managing the platform to see what’s happening from a statistics perspective. But if I really need to dive into the products, how am I going to support that? As well as one of the things we’re seeing when we talk about that kind of earn the commute, flexible spaces are coming in too. They’re seeing a lot of technology go on to the desktops in the office. And again, when we talk about how do I know that that cable’s going to work every time, that’s a huge thing. If I’m a user who comes in, I reserved a desk and it doesn’t work, that’s a huge frustration. I don’t want to work in an environment where I don’t know it’s going to be rock solid every time. So we’re seeing the need for IT to even vantage down to peripherals that we just really never saw before. So we’ve developed products that can do that as well. Things like webcams and managing software, where we talk certifications; how do you know you’re on the right software level and how do you know you’re certified? All those things are things that IT is looking at when they’re scaling to a global perspective.

Craig Durr: So that’s a great segue. We’ve identified these terrible problems for IT, these challenges for this critical. They’ve got diverse UC stacks, they’ve got complex rooms, management, scalability, affordability. But one of the things we were looking at this product was we used the Logitech Rally portfolio as a litmus test to see how can this map to this? And frankly, it mapped really well. There’s a lot of really great things around the Logitech Rally portfolio that I’d like to have you share with me and we can talk about here. So starting from the product in itself, everything from the Rally and the Rally Plus to the Rally Bar, Rally Bar Mini, Rally Bar Huddle, which I love for those focus rooms. And then one of my really favorites, one I’m excited about is Logitech Sight now added to that as well.

Joel Murray: Yeah, so our portfolio has typically been very flexible. We started with the Rally Camera in that Rally space and we added Rally Plus, which is kind of for those larger rooms, a PTZ camera. And then we added the bars, which is that all in one solution with onboard Android Compute. They also work in a Windows environment. So that flexibility is there for both of those, but they’ve got a little bit higher end intelligence to be able to pick out individual users and then fit those medium to large conference rooms and down into the smaller room depending on the features that you need. Then we just launched Rally Bar Huddle, which we’re really excited about. It’s a lot of intelligence. It’s going to mix in that huddle space and that very small conference room just to really help those users have that clean great experience. And then as you mentioned, now we’ve also got Sight that we just launched as well, starting to ship. And that one goes out into the center of the table with our Rally Bar line to really just provide that immersion for those external users and provide that equity in what’s going on.

And again, what we’re seeing is it’s a center of the table, it’s got a microphone built into it, a couple of cameras to pick up everybody around. And what we do is we pick out the users on the table themselves as they’re speaking and present them on the screen similar to what you and I are on, that one-on-one experience or that one to one-to-one experience. But then we also like to stitch the entire room because there’s a lot that happens. This is why we’re on video. There’s a lot that happens that’s nonverbal. So somebody reacts to something that’s said, you want to be able to see that. If you’re on the far end, you would not pick that up if we’re just focused on individual users. We have to provide that dual experience. And that’s what we’re really excited about. We’re really providing it, I think, in a very unique way.

Craig Durr: People really want to see, for example, there might be a really important stakeholder or meeting in attendance, the CEO of the company, the head of my division, the customer we’re trying to sell to. And it’s important to be able to have contextual awareness of how they’re reacting to what’s going on. So we talked about the complexity of rooms. This is great because across that portfolio, we talked about focus room examples, huddle room examples, ideation spaces even. The immersive spaces now that you have Sight, and that’s inclusive of things like the Microsoft Signature rooms as well too. The front row experience I think plays well to that.

Joel Murray: Yeah, absolutely.

Craig Durr: And then don’t forget about things such as the Tap and Scheduler as well, which tie this all into a seamless experience, from the point that you schedule the room and walk in the door, to how your end users are interacting with the video conferencing solutions.

Joel Murray: Yeah, from a technology perspective, we feel like in that return to office experience and even the at home experience, we’re covering that entire day in the life of a user. And actually I like to take it even more to that week in the life because you’ll be at home working on your webcam and maybe your dock or your speaker phone or whatever, and we’ve got technology that does that. And then you go into the office for a couple of days, what’s that experience? To your point, Tap Scheduler allows you to walk in and find the conference room that you had scheduled to take control of that room. Tap is your control solution. If you walk up to a whiteboard and it’s got our scribe on it, you can now whiteboard and share that into a meeting, trying to capture all of those various experiences.

Then we also have partnerships that allow us to get into places like those bespoke training rooms that can use that similar Tap experience that we have. But now you’ve got integrated audio solutions, divisible rooms, all those other things that a heavy AV vendor like QSE or BiAmp o: r sure it’ll work with. And we’ve got abilities to do that. And then the last one you mentioned, I just want to make sure I make a quick point because I think this is a really cool product that we co-developed with Steelcase. We call it Project Ghost, but it’s really that immersive experience for a one-to-one experience. I don’t know if you’ve seen it, Craig, it’s like a hologram experience.

Craig Durr: Firsthand. I’ve seen it before when you guys brought it out at ISC. I love that. It’s really great towards the experiential idea for that.

Joel Murray: So with our partners, we can really expand those customized bespoke needs for our customers too if they’ve got some unique solution that they want.

Craig Durr: So here’s my key takeaway. We’re talking about almost this unparalleled flexibility right now. We’re talking about one portfolio that’s supporting all these different deployment types that we’re talking about, and they’re adaptable, based upon peripherals you may add to this space to fit within those designs. And the cool idea here is this is a single vendor, which actually starts tying that into an IT strategy not only to a facility strategy, but now you’re talking about a procurement strategy as well.

Joel Murray: Yes, exactly. That single vendor that, for lack of a better term, one throat to choke when you’re talking from a support perspective, it’s all of your solutions. And that’s one of the unique things we have is it goes down to your productivity tools like mice and keyboards as well, as well as single pane of glass to support those. When you get a call, you know what mouse, what keyboard, what webcam a user’s using. Gives you a huge leg up from an IT perspective, but you got that single vendor across so that when I want to have a problem with a conference room as well, I can actually call the same number, get the same level of support and really get that high level of experience to make sure that your uptime is really key. And Logitech, like I said, we see ourselves as partners with our customers more than just vendors to them. And so having that single vendor go across that really helps that partnership. And from an IT perspective just gives you that peace of mind that you’ve got the right solution.

Craig Durr: So we just covered I think some great answers to some of those challenges like complex rooms. We talked about the different stakeholders and all the needs coming in here and then the scalability idea and affordability. But let’s actually double click on those resources for IT right now. There’s two things that I found to be very powerful when I was looking at the Rally portfolio, and that is Logitech Sync and then it’s also the Select Services. Why don’t you walk me through and talk about Sync?

Joel Murray: Yeah, so Sync is our management platform and we do things a little differently with Logitech in that we include Sync for free with all of our products, including mice and keyboards if you’ve got our B2B products. So you can manage Sync with all these, as well as a software solution called Tune that sits on the desk. All of that’s included, as well as software updates are free for the life of the product as well. So if you’ve got a new certification, if you’ve got a new update to some features that we can fix in software for one of your Rally Bars, that’s all going to be included in our Sync portfolio.

When you get to a certain level, you realize, “Hey, I’ve got a scalability problem.” And Sync is really just not that full service. It’s just kind of your pane of glass for management. What we see is people need that additional support. They want that extra level of support, as we just talked about. It’s a partnership with your technology vendors. So our Select Services layers on top of that Sync portal. So now not only do you have the pane of glass to support yourself and a lot of companies have the bodies and the people to do that support, but you’ve also got the peace of mind that you’ve got somebody behind you that you can call at any time and we can help you out, make sure that your products are uptime is there.

Some of our Select portfolio includes things like onsite spares, it also includes things on the Sync portal like analytics as well as a lot of data gathering. We have people wanting to implement single sign-on, we have people wanting to implement integrations with ServiceNow, and that’s all included in that Select portfolio. What I love most about Select is we actually don’t build it on a device, we build it to a room. So the way you purchase it is based on the room itself. So if I buy a Rally Bar and Select Services for that room, all the peripherals are covered. If I decide, okay, Sight is now Windows certified, I’m going to go ahead and put it into that room. Now that Sight is covered as part of that Select contract. So no co termination, no individual little line items on our services. So really different way of delivering that partnership.

Craig Durr: That’s a lot of simplicity there. I love that. There’s actually another item that I really like about this too, in addition to those great benefits is Select helps extend warranty I think as well, doesn’t it?

Joel Murray: Yes, it does. So your warranty is extended through the entire part of Select, and that’s a really great point to make. So you don’t have to purchase any extended warranty. Our products come with a two year warranty, most of our VC products do. But if you want to extend beyond that, you add it in. And really what you see is the price of Select and extended warranty, when you get to a five year that delta is almost nothing. So it’s really worth your time if you want to support this for a long-term contract to have those Select Services and that extra peace of mind.

Craig Durr: And then we get back to this one idea I was alluding to earlier. One of the best resources, I think for IT is that you as a company have these fantastic relationships with these UC platforms. In fact, you have one of the most diverse, certified list I’ve seen of platforms. For example, the CollabOS allows the ability to work with a lot of different platforms as well, right? Easy and turnkey. But there’s three big ones that you guys are certified on, which I love always emphasizing. Please.

Joel Murray: Yeah. So the CollabOS is our version of Android that runs on the bars, right? And again, this is a stripped down device. Android, this isn’t your phone that’s got access to the Google Play store and that CollabOS runs in the background, but it supports Microsoft Teams on Android. It supports Zoom on Android and will support Google on Android when that’s available. We’re just waiting for that certification and everything to come from Google. But in addition, we support all of those on Windows platforms. We’re fully certified with all three of those. We have RingCentral, we support several other vendors in various regions depending on those. So we’ve really got a lot of flexibility in the way we can deploy. In addition, we fully support what we call BYOD. You bring your own so you can always use them as just a USB solution to provide that high-end camera experience, high-end audio experience and just plug into a laptop and use with whatever meeting vendor you want.

Craig Durr: Which is a very, very important use case these days. We talked about the way that we need to bridge these islands. People are doing a lot more meetings that with remote customers, with other business partners and vendors, bridging that in a seamless way and making it really easy is fantastic. So the BYOD option that’s really readily available is a really nice feature set there.

Joel Murray: Yeah, absolutely.

Craig Durr: Well, that gets us now to probably this last idea I found really intriguing. When I wrote this ebook, I kind of encapsulated it talking about a best in class total cost of ownership. And you want to take us back and say, “Well, what do you mean by that?” Well, what I found was this, is that these solutions have inherently designed in them as scalability that allows you to figure out what kit I want for a certain room and roll it out very seamlessly across your environments. You have the manageability insights, even within those rooms, if there’s nuances, that equipment is robust enough to adjust to the audio and video needs in those rooms.

So if your medium-sized rooms, for example, are slightly different, you have a high level of certainty that you’re still going to have great audio pickup and video pickup there as well. That in combination with those maintenance perks we talked about, and probably one of the last things, which is hard to put into paper, but I can see it as I talk to you. There’s a Logitech pride about interfacing with its customers. There’s a commitment from your team, whether it be pre-sales to the actual sales to support, to make sure that the customers have an ROI on this. All this I felt created a very strong total cost of ownership. Am I overselling it or do you feel that as well?

Joel Murray: No, I love it because that’s exactly how we talk about it to our customers. And that’s exactly how I feel. We really feel like it is a partnership at the best we can do to deliver. We take pride in the way we can deliver to our customers. And from that total cost of ownership, we talked about there’s a lot of little things that you don’t pay attention. I mentioned cable management is one of those things that we think of from a design perspective. Another one that we haven’t talked about, which is a real passion and not only of our old CEO, but we just hired a new CEO, announced her, she’s very passionate about this as well, is sustainability. And we’ve built in a design for sustainability into our products, low carbon emissions from a manufacturing perspective as well as other programs for when those products land. We can get them recycled in the future and circularity around those products, building more PCR and things, all of that goes into your total cost of ownership that you might not necessarily be thinking about.

So if I’ve got an ability to reduce service calls, if I’ve got somebody on the backend that I can call and make sure that my system is up and running as often as possible and in the long run I can make sure that it’s sustainable for our planet and any other financial motivations. If you were in Europe for example, there are a whole lot of rules that are coming down from the EU that are going to start requiring some of the sustainability. So that’s a very big motivator for customers to start investing in products that are thinking in that direction. And we’ve been doing this already for three years, so we’ve got a lot of experience to make sure that that TCO is there.

Craig Durr: If we have some listeners here that are in North America, it’s already becoming very standardized within tenders within the European marketplace, and we can fully expect to see that North America. So finding a partner that has a commitment, and I’ve actually had a chance to talk to Prakash, who’s your GM. We had a great conversation at Zoomtopia, and he is the executive sponsor of your ESG report, which I found is a fascinating document. Not only do you guys go into how you are helping the environment, but how you’re helping your employees and your customers both through your investment in programs within the company as well as the community service. It’s super commendable. It’s really exciting to see you guys put together this world-class program.

Joel Murray: Yeah, it’s a great thing for us. We’re really excited to deliver it. And if you are curious that Logitech has a whole sustainability page that has our impact report that you’re speaking of, precautions, our CEO and our GM of products and heavily invested in making sure that Logitech has this. So it’s a big piece for us.

Craig Durr: Perfect. We’ll make sure everyone has access to that URL. Well, Joel, I think you and I have covered the topics I wanted to talk to you about. We’ve talked through some of those really critical challenges that IT is facing right now. We talked about complex rooms, we talked about affordability, scalability, new stakeholders, asking for new things from this environment. There’s a lot of pressure on our IT colleagues here and executives to get something done. But what I liked here is our conversation showed a great path forward through the Logitech video solutions. In particularly, we talked about the Rally portfolio. They’re able to address some of these key things that we talked about. Great total cost of ownership, great flexibility in terms of servicing all these unique rooms and new stakeholders and an ease of use story that we really didn’t get into. But it’s fantastic in terms of end users adapting and using these in a seamless environment.

Joel Murray: Yes, and it’s really a good thing that you brought that up because it is, that user experience is critical to everything in the long run. Users are what’s driving the technology, and if that experience is not there, the technology just doesn’t get used. You have a complete lack of your return on investment. So we’ve really made a heavy investment in making sure that that user experience is clean, that it’s an equitable experience for them, and trying to take a lot of those decisions out of the user’s hands so that they don’t have to think about it. They just walk in and Sight is automatically framing them and that the camera’s automatically putting them in the right place. And that they don’t have to spend a lot of time managing that room really helps them out in the future. And that’s all done through the software and intelligence that we’re putting in our solutions.

Craig Durr: That’s fantastic. Well, everyone, this concludes our webinar. Joel, I want to thank you for your time. This has been really insightful. Everyone we’re going to have the URL available to you that can have you give you access to this ebook. I really encourage you to download and take a look at it. It’s called Mastering IT Challenges: Unleashing the Power of the Logitech Rally Products. A lot of the things that we talked about today you can find in there as well as hyperlink and references to the sustainability report and some other resources that can help you master these critical challenges facing you. Joel, thank you again for your time. I really appreciate talking to you.

Joel Murray: Thank you, Craig. I really appreciate it.

Craig Durr: Great. Everyone, this is Craig Durr with the Futurum Tech Webcast. Thank you for your time. Take care.

Author Information

As Practice Lead - Workplace Collaboration, Craig focuses on developing research, publications and insights that clarify how the workforce, the workplace, and the workflows enable group collaboration and communication. He provides research and analysis related to market sizing and forecasts, product and service evaluations, market trends, and end-user and buyer expectations. In addition to following the technology, Craig also studies the human elements of work - organizing his findings into the workforce, the workplace, and the workflows – and charting how these variables influence technologies and business strategies.

Prior to joining Wainhouse, now a part of The Futurum Group, Craig brings twenty years of experience in leadership roles related to P&L management, product development, strategic planning, and business development of security, SaaS, and unified communication offerings. Craig's experience includes positions at Poly, Dell, Microsoft, and IBM.

Craig holds a Master of Business Administration from the Texas McCombs School of Business as well as a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Tulane University.

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