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Logitech brings USB device management to home office

Sync, a web-based platform that helps IT make sure devices are up-to-date and working correctly, will now work with at-home devices like webcams and headsets.

Logitech has made it possible for IT administrators to manage employees' home-office headsets, webcams and docking stations through a browser-based app called Sync. The software works best with Logitech devices, having only limited capabilities for third-party products.

The cloud-based device management platform previously monitored and alerted IT about office collaboration devices like conference microphones. This week, Logitech expanded that capability to devices used by people working from home.

Calvin Chang, product marketing manager at Logitech, said Sync would help companies answer questions like, "Are these devices working? Are they up to date? Are these devices being used at all?"

IT admins can use it to check if a device like the Logitech Rally Bar webcam, the Logitech Zone 900 headset, or the Logi Dock docking station is plugged in and working correctly. Admins can push updates to the firmware. 

Admins can also check if third-party devices from the likes of Poly and AVer are working, but they can't push updates to them. Chang said Logitech's rivals were unwilling to open their products to all of Sync's features.

Logitech Rally Bar webcam as seen from the front
Logitech Sync will let IT admins manage personal collaboration devices like the Rally Bar webcam.

Sync is an internet of things management platform that performs a different function than unified endpoint management. Businesses will use Sync to monitor devices remotely and determine whether to replace them without sending out staff to check on them manually, Chang said.

IT admins already use unified endpoint management tools like Microsoft Intune and VMware Workspace ONE to manage smartphones and laptops. However, these tools do not manage USB collaboration devices like webcams and headsets.

When the COVID-19 pandemic pushed people to work from home, Logitech saw an opportunity to monitor home-office devices that were not easily accessible by IT staffs, Chang said.

The beta version of the updated Sync is available today. Logitech plans to roll out the final release in a few weeks.

Logitech isn't the only device manufacturer capitalizing on the need to manage home devices. Poly has a version of a device management system called Poly Lens, and AVer has an EZManager management tool.

Sync is free, and businesses can sign up for it when purchasing Logitech products. More than 23,000 organizations currently use the platform, from small businesses to enterprises with thousands of devices, according to Chang.

Logitech is working on premium features that will come with a paid version of Sync in the future. Chang declined to say when the product would be released.

Maxim Tamarov is a news writer covering mobile and end-user computing. He previously wrote for The Daily News in Jacksonville, N.C., and the Sun Transcript in Winthrop, Mass. He can be found on Twitter at @MaximTamarov.

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