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LifeSize is in recruitment mode, Sibille said, but now that it's amassed partners throughout the world and especially North America, it will be particularly discerning of who it adds next. While he declined to provide specific details on recruitment, Sibille said LifeSize has recruited a number of legacy Tandberg and Polycom VARs looking for other video options.
"I'm not in a position to share numbers of how many defections there have been, but there are partners that have added us where they may have had Polycom or Tandberg, and also partners that had elected to add us as a secondary choice before, and we've now become the primary video [vendor] for them," he said. "We look at and scrub every new partner that comes to our site, and we're looking to see whether they're the right composite, rather than just looking at a map and seeing we have x number of partners here and need more there."
Sibille said solution providers are right now eyeing the video and UC vendors that will drive their practices forward in the coming years, and first and foremost for those solution providers is who can make them profitable.
"In most cases, I think we're two times the average margins they might see from one of the other vendors," Sibille said. "A lot of them are also saying, 'I'm not getting the care and feeding maybe I did five years ago.' They want someone they can get behind and get entrenched with, and someone they can make a lot of money with without it costing them an arm and a leg to invest."
"LifeSize is so flexible, and it's all hi-def and it's priced right," said Mark Winner, vice president of sales at SMS proTech, a Sidney, Ohio-based solution provider. "It's easy to sell, and you can make some decent money doing it."
Winner said SMS proTech, also a Cisco Premier partner, has had great success with LifeSize in use cases such as county jail systems, where, for example, video arraignments and other forms of video and IP communication are a growing investment. The reality, however, is that state and local governments remain painfully cash-strapped, making LifeSize a lot more appealing than other, pricier video alternatives.
"For the market play, typically we'll run the numbers, run a couple of customer scenarios and see how they react," Winner said. "The customers that like it speak volumes about it."
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