Logitech on Thursday debuted an enhanced keyboard for use with Cisco's Jabber UC platform, one that integrates phone and video call controls to make virtual workspace communications easier, the company said.
Logitech UC Solution for Cisco 725-C, which will be sold through the company's channel-centric Logitech for Business unit, ties together Logitech's UC Keyboard K725-C with its C920-C Webcam and M525-C ergonomic mouse.
Logitech, which is a Preferred Solution Developer for UC in Cisco's Developer Network, recently completed integration and validation testing for the 725-C with Cisco. It has nine dedicated phone and video-control keys for managing calls directly from the desktop, and it also has a built in LCD display for call information. Thanks to the Jabber integration, the platform can manage calls for any Cisco Jabber user signed in to the system.
All of those attributes make the 725-C ideal for "hot desking" environments, such as call centers, with constant turnover in the workers sitting at the desks, Eric Kintz, senior vice president and general manager, Logitech for Business, told CRN.
Logitech expects the 725-C to be available starting in March, with an MSRP of $269.99, though the various components can be bought separately, too. Kintz said Logitech will sell it primarily from select VARs who specialize in Cisco's collaboration portfolio, and it'll be available for Jabber for Windows and Jabber for virtual environments.
Logitech for Business launched in April 2011 as a separate business unit of the peripherals company, focused on selling Logitech products to business users and cementing the company's position in enterprise desktop UC spending. It's since added a few hundred channel partners and also expanded its channel footprint through a distribution relationship with Jenne.
"Our next ramp up is this big push into the UC channel, especially with Cisco resellers and [Microsoft] Lync resellers," Kintz explained. "We are escalating and seeing good results."
Kintz acknowledged that Logitech's LifeSize Communications unit competes with Cisco in the videoconferencing and collaboration segment, but insisted Logitech's Cisco partnerships aren't competitive with that business.
"We wouldn't partner with them on the video end," Kintz said. "We see our role as needing to be compatible with the major UC platforms. In this case, it's launching a keyboard for Cisco Jabber, not competing with LifeSize."
Logitech itself wrapped up a challenging 2012 that saw a number of earnings shortfalls. The company confirmed in June 2012 it would cut about 13 percent of its workforce as it looks to trim $80 million from its opex budget.
Cisco, for its part, is continuing to grow the Jabber platform to compete with Microsoft Lync and rival collaboration platforms. In a separate announcement Thursday, it confirmed new extensions to Jabber voice, video and collaboration for use with virtual desktops and third-party thin-clients.
PUBLISHED JAN. 17, 2013