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Crestron and Logitech partner on AV system integration

A new partnership combines Logitech's video systems with Crestron's hardware and software for AV system integration.

Crestron and Logitech have agreed to integrate meeting room systems and cloud-based device management software. The partnership comes in response to customers requesting the ability to mix and match technology from both vendors.

The integration will make it easier to use Crestron's Flex C series AV system integration kit with Logitech's MeetUp, Rally and Rally Plus video systems. The C series includes an Intel NUC minicomputer and a touchscreen tablet.

Also, businesses will be able to manage and track usage of Logitech devices through Crestron's XiO Cloud. That will reduce the number of applications IT admins must access to do their job. The XiO Cloud integration will launch in the summer of 2020.

Crestron currently sells room kits that include video devices from Huddly. Sales of those bundles will continue. Meanwhile, Logitech manufactures a meeting controller, called Logitech Tap, and maintains a device management portal similar to XiO Cloud, called Logitech Sync.

The partnership brings together what each vendor does best. Crestron is known for AV system integration, particularly in large meeting rooms and boardrooms. Logitech is a leading manufacturer of relatively inexpensive video systems, often used in small and medium-sized rooms.

The partnership should help Crestron get its integrator kit into small rooms and help Logitech get its video cameras into large rooms. Businesses could already configure Crestron's C series to work with Logitech's USB-connected cameras. But now, AV resellers are expected to sell the devices as a bundle.

Beyond the cloud management portal, Logitech customers that integrate with the C series will be able to use those devices with Crestron's room scheduling system. Crestron has a line of custom-built tablets for displaying schedules outside of meeting rooms.

"I see this as a coming together of best-of-breed vendors who together should be able to offer compelling solutions," said Irwin Lazar, analyst at Nemertes Research. "It certainly helps Logitech in its efforts to sell into larger, complex rooms through AV channels."

But the Crestron and Logitech bundle relies on the traditional model of selling meeting room technology; it requires businesses to assemble several component pieces.

Several vendors have begun developing all-in-one video conferencing systems. Those devices combine camera, microphone and computer into a single appliance. Cisco, Poly, Yealink and Zoom-backed startup Neat were among the first to unveil products in that category.

The partnership is the latest example of competing unified communications vendors agreeing to play nice to appease customers. Vendors are under increasing competitive pressure to deliver video conferencing hardware and software that is easy to deploy, use and manage.

In November, for example, Microsoft and Cisco announced they were working together to build better interoperability between room systems for Microsoft Teams and Cisco Webex. Microsoft is working on a similar project with Zoom.

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