Using the telephone is a no-brainer. You simply pick it up, dial a number, wait for a ring or busy signal, talk to or leave a message when there’s an answer, and end the call when you’re done. It doesn’t matter whether you’re on a wireline phone on service provider network and the called party is on a mobile served by another. It just works.
Once videoconferencing works as easily, affordably and ubiquitously, industry pundits have long told us, it will become as common as a phone call.
As anyone reading this magazine probably already knows, video communications has come a long way in recent years. Expensive room-based videoconference rooms have been joined in the marketplace by more affordable room solutions as well as products that enable workers to videoconference from their desktops, laptops, and even smartphones. New cloud-based videoconferencing services from a wide variety of suppliers now make this kind of communication and collaboration possible on a pay-as-you-go basis. And one offering on the market now builds bridges between different videoconferencing services, devices, and codecs – so that anybody on any device and any service, anywhere can quickly and easily initiate and/or participate in a videoconference.
That company is Blue Jeans Network. The cloud-based videoconferencing service provider is the only service in the world that can bring into one video meeting users of room-based systems from such companies as Cisco and Polycom (News - Alert), and people on computers, laptops, and other mobile devices, said Jay O'Connor, chief marketing officer.
Blue Jeans enables companies that already have invested in room-based systems to get more out of those solutions. It makes videoconferencing available to a wider swath of companies and end user devices. And, perhaps most importantly, it brings together into one environment people and devices that would otherwise be prevented from connecting via videoconference due to services and systems that operate as islands – allowing only those using select endpoints (like one brand of room-based videoconference system) or employing select capabilities or services (like Facetime, Skype (News - Alert) or Vidyo) to come together.
Meeting invites from Blue Jeans Network users offer different ways to join the videoconference, so meeting participants don’t have to go looking for that information. Users of room-based system can just get on the video call automatically. People connecting via a browser must get a plugin. Wireless device users can use the Blue Jeans app.
Robb Woods, Blue Jeans head of sales engineering, said that the company also differentiates itself in the market by offering business-quality experiences. It runs its own BGP routing sessions, which gives Blue Jeans resiliency, redundancy, and intelligent geo routing so it can connect users to the PoP closest to them. As a result, there’s less latency and less jitter. Additionally, Blue Jeans leverages a lot of the same audio and video codecs used by Facetime and Skype, for example, but it also brings to the table higher quality codecs for both video and audio. And Blue Jeans is interoperable with popular business applications including Microsoft Lync and Salesforce.com, and has an integration with InterCall (News - Alert).
Blue Jeans Network has enabled 3 million video meetings to date, has 2,000 business customers in 200 countries, and supports 130 minutes of communication minutes annually. Its customers range from the world’s largest businesses, to small and mid-market companies. Facebook (News - Alert) is among the users of Blue Jeans Network, with more than half of the social network’s employees using the service.
Pricing structures for the Blue Jeans Network services vary, but it starts at $90 per user per month for small deployments; volume discounts are provided to entities with larger numbers of users. Services are sold both from Blue Jeans Network and via its ecosystem of channel partners.
Edited by Stefania Viscusi