CRN Exclusive: Lifesize Appoints New Channel Leader To Revamp Programs As It Splits From Logitech

Videoconferencing specialist Lifesize is revamping its channel push in 2016 with new incentives, programs and marketing development funds for partners as it splits from parent company Logitech.

To lead its channel charge, the Austin, Texas-based vendor has appointed Matt Collier as its new vice president of worldwide channels.

"What we're looking to do this year is put more marketing and sales programs and sales incentives into the channel program we have in order to improve the overall success of the channel," said Collier in an interview with CRN. "My intent is to … improve not only our relations with the channel but the success of our partners."

[Related: Juniper Networks Reveals 5 New Enhancements to Its Partner Program In 2016]

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In 2009, Logitech purchased Lifesize for $405 million. Lifesize recently split off from Logitech and is now operating as a fully independent company, backed by $17.5 million in funding from Silicon Valley venture firms Redpoint Ventures, Sutter Hill Ventures and Meritech Capital Partners, with plans to take market share in the $7 billion global conferencing market.

With the revamped channel charge, Collier said, his company is seeking new channel partners who specialize in Software-as-a-Service as well as enhancing its current partners around SaaS.

"We'll be focused on adding SaaS-experienced channels to our portfolio of partners," said Collier. "We're looking for a robust plan in 2016 and 2017 that promotes our partners and rewards them for selling our products."

The $17.5 million in capital will be used to invest in engineering head count to bolster its market position with its integrated SaaS-based software and hardware technology, according to the company. Funding will also be used to strengthen the alignment of its brand and the marketing leadership of its cloud-based services.

Last year, Lifesize introduced the cloud-based Lifesize Cloud Amplify, a YouTube-style personal video library approach to recording and sharing video content within and across companies. The company also launched a new Lifesize Cloud Web App, a fully featured calling platform for anyone using Google Chrome, with the capability to expand to Internet Explorer and Firefox.

"Our intent is to develop our existing channel to continue to train and enhance their understanding of the SaaS model," said Collier. "It's a different type of model that historically for video communication and collaboration products [that] were on-premise-based infrastructure."

Lifesize is also looking to consolidate its two partner programs into one. The company currently has a partner program for the Americas as well as a partner program for the rest of the world.

"We're looking at how to bring those two together into one cohesive program worldwide," said Collier.

Lifesize founder and CEO Craig Malloy said in a statement that becoming an independent company puts Lifesize on a path toward "impressive growth and success."

"[It] will allow us to invest more meaningfully in our product road map and be more responsive to the market and our customers," said Malloy.