In this day and age, video communication is more than just a meeting tool. In this month’s edition, we present Lifesize, a company that has engineered the best video conferencing experience led by its founder and CEO, Craig Malloy. They are the leading provider in solutions for both high-powered meetings and everyday communications. Rated best-in-class for video, audio and content-sharing clarity, they help you present your business and make the best impression with every conversation.
Lifesize is an organtization that everything they do is designed, built and supported to make the user experience excellent and effortless from day one. For that reason, in IOS OFFICES we’ve built a win-win relationship that allows us to offer the best quality in video conferences in our meeting rooms in all of our 36 Business Centers.
We visited Craig and his team in Austin where they gave us a tour of their offices and had the opportunity to talk about the company, its leading innovation approach to technology and how they plan to expand their reach in Mexico.WHO IS CRAIG MALLOY?
First, I’m a husband and father of five children. I’m also an entrepreneur, CEO, and founder of Lifesize. I’ve worked in the video communications business for 25 years.
WHAT IS LIFESIZE AND HOW DID THE COMPANY START?
Lifesize is a global communication product and services company. Another founder and I founded the company in 2003. For more than 10 years, Lifesize has been at the forefront of video collaboration delivering high-quality technology designed to bring people together. We design, build and sell market-leading products that deliver superior ease-of-use and impeccable audio, the web and video conferencing experiences. At Lifesize, we combine an integrated, best-in-class cloud-based conferencing service with award-winning, 4K-quality camera systems and HD phones so our customers can connect to anyone, anywhere in the world.
HOW DID YOUR CAREER IN VIDEO COMMUNICATIONS START?
My career in video communications started in 1994. I was a product manager at a small company in Austin, Texas, called VTEL, which was one of the pioneers in the video communications industry. Almost immediately, I fell in love with both the technology and its many applications. I saw right away how video conferencing helped people connect and engage. Later, I left VTEL to start my first company, which we called ViaVideo and offered revolutionary products, providing a superior user experience at a much lower cost than other competitors in the market. Around the time ViaVideo launched its first-ever product; the company was acquired by Polycom, after which I was tasked with leading the combined company’s video business.
WHAT KIND OF ENVIRONMENT DOES LIFESIZE LOOK TO CREATE?
Our company vision is to ‘’Connect people to make their workplace great.” Internally, we try to operate according to four core values that are vital to deliver on that promise.
Act with Integrity and Authenticity. We want Lifesize to be an environment built on trust, respect, and transparency. We recognize great ideas and celebrate success across the organization. Ultimately, we want every employee to feel as though they are treated fairly, and working as part of a broader team.
Lead with Customer Obsession. I firmly believe that companies that put their customers first, win. Across the entire business, we are committed to making our customers successful, striving to create ever-greater value for them however we can. We want our customers to experience Lifesize as a partner in their success and vice versa.
Drive Relentless Innovation. Since our inception, Lifesize has been a pioneer in the video conferencing industry; however, no company can afford to stop innovating or slow their pace of innovation if they hope to remain competitive. As CEO, I try to instill in our company culture acceptance of risk-taking, curiosity and agility. Often, productive change comes from considering opportunities from new points of view.
Make Every Day Matter. Technology is always evolving, and Lifesize must evolve rapidly to maintain our leadership position. As leaders, we work to empower employees to make the most of every situation, taking pride in their work and thinking proactively about how they can address problems quickly as opposed to waiting for someone else to address them.
WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNED FROM THE JOURNEY OF CREATING A STARTUP TO BECOMING A LEADER IN THE INDUSTRY?
The most important lesson I’ve learned is about resilience. To successfully scale a technology company at our rate of growth, you must learn to never quit. As a leader, you have to commit every day to the vision with full acknowledgment there will be challenges and bumps along the way. Some days are going to be good and others are going to be bad. So long as you commit to the company’s purpose and strategy, you can will yourself and the business to move forward. As you said, building a successful business is a long journey with many twists and turns.
WHAT KIND OF MEASURES DO YOU IMPLEMENT TO OFFER SECURE CONNECTIONS?
Security is of the utmost importance to Lifesize. Our customers entrust us with some of their most sensitive and private information – communication between colleagues, customers, partners, both inside and outside of the organization. We take pride in providing them an exceptional video communication experience that is both high quality and secure. Every single Lifesize call is encrypted by default. We use the highest-quality, highest-standard encryption in every country where we operate around the world.
HOW DO YOU ENSURE LIFESIZE IS IN THE FRONT LIGHT OF INNOVATION IN THE INDUSTRY?
One of our company values is “Relentless Innovation.” Maintaining a leadership position in an industry that moves as quickly as ours does starts by hiring employees that want to be at the forefront of innovation. We employ a development staff of more than 100 engineers, who are some of the most experienced and seasoned video communication experts in the world. Iron sharpens iron, and continually bringing high-caliber talent into the organization has played a major role in our ability to continually deliver solutions that are unique and differentiated.
We also try to live our ‘relentless innovation’ value by making the work fun and interesting, whether through contests and hackathons or simply by encouraging and allowing our engineering teams to take the time required to come up with new, innovative products.
HOW DOES A COMPANY COLLABORATION CULTURE BENEFIT THE USE OF LIFESIZE?
A number of years ago, video communications was justified based on cost savings – money that was otherwise being spent on travel expenses. Today, businesses think about video conferencing differently, not simply as a way to reduce travel costs. They also see that the workplace is changing, with more employees working remotely, in shared offices, and with colleagues in different time zones and geographies. Now, video conferencing is as much about employee engagement and collaboration as it is reducing costs, likely more so.
HOW CAN A COMPANY CREATE A CULTURE WHERE VIDEO COMMUNICATION IS USED TO CREATE AUTHENTIC CONNECTIONS?
Our most successful customers have made a commitment to enable every person and every meeting space with Lifesize technology. Our desktop and mobile apps and our conference room systems are all connected through our global cloud service. This is powerful and fundamentally changes the nature of work in a positive way. When video communication is always available, it becomes a natural part of team communication and collaboration – a core part of the way our customers do business.
WHAT CAN USERS EXPECT FROM VIDEO COMMUNICATIONS IN THE FUTURE?
Lifesize has been at the forefront of innovation in the video communication business for the last 15 years. I’m as excited about the new generation of solutions we are rolling out right now as I have been about any products we’ve introduced in our history.
Starting late last year, we began introducing an entirely new family of meeting room systems that deliver 4K video conferencing. This is the highest-resolution video calling available in the market at much lower price points that was had been imaginable just a few years ago. It’s one of those experiences that you have to see for yourself to truly believe. Our vision is to deliver 4K experiences and make them accessible and affordable for every organization.
WE KNOW THIS YEAR YOU HAVE A STRONG CAMPAIGN IN MEXICO. WHAT DID YOU SEE IN MEXICO THAT SPARKED SUCH INTEREST?
Mexico has a large and growing economy. As a Texas-based company, Mexico is also near and dear to us, and we have many employees that are Mexican immigrants, and many more that are from Latin America. In fact, we recently did our America’s partner conference in Cabo San Lucas.
Overall, we have a strong affinity for Mexico, both from a geographical standpoint and with Mexico representing one of the largest and strongest economies in Latin America. It’s a natural fit for Lifesize.
LIFESIZE AND IOS OFFICES HAVE GROWN TOGETHER IN THE LAST DECADE. HOW HAS EACH COMPANY BENEFITED FROM THE OTHER?
IOS OFFICES has been a great customer for many years. We are incredibly grateful for your business and the partnership we have formed. From my perspective, the relationship has been mutually beneficial in that Lifesize helps connect not just IOS employees, but also your customers, through video communications. We look forward to further expanding the relationship in the years to come.
WHAT DO YOU DO IN YOUR SPARE TIME?
Currently, I spend the bulk of my spare time attending my kids’ sporting events. My daughter is very active playing volleyball, so I watch a lot of volleyball games. I also try to stay active myself. I enjoy surfing, playing golf, swimming and cycling. Staying active helps me relax and avoid stress.
INTERVIEW WITH CRAIG MALLOY