Blue Jeans is letting customers license concurrent video conferencing solutions without having to buy and manage expensive hardware-based MCUs.
Blue Jeans Network is offering a cloud-based video conference
bridging solution that is designed to enable easy interoperability between
systems from the likes of Cisco Systems, Polycom, LifeSize Communications and
Skype and eliminate the need for costly multipoint control units (MCUs).
The networking company on March 21 announced new pricing
plans that enable businesses to license a number of concurrent connectionsor virtual
portsfrom Blue Jeans, rather than having to rely on hardware-based MCUs to
bring more than two people into a video conference.
The offering is a way of letting businesses of all sizes use
video conferencing technology from any vendor by reducing the amount they have
to pay for buying, maintaining and managing an MCU, according to Blue Jeans CEO
Our goal was to make video conferencing a practical
alternative for businesses of any size, Ramakrishnan said in a statement. To
do that, we knew we had to make it just as easy, open and affordable as
traditional audio-only bridging systems. By combining improved functionality
over legacy MCU systems with the economics, ease and security of the cloud, our
customers can now use video to improve their business collaboration.
The economics favor solutions that can do away with MCUs,
according to Blue Jeans officials. They said that over five years, the video
conference bridging costs with Blue Jeans plans can be about 25 percent of
what they are with traditional hardware-based MCUs. In addition, with its
cloud-based nature, Blue Jeans plans to make it easier and more cost-effective
for businesses to grow their video conferencing capabilities, and customers
only pay for what they need, rather than having to overprovision.
Its also important as the numbers and types of devices
people are using for video conferencing grow, the officials said. Where once
businesses primarily could use specially designed systems, they now are using
desktop PCs and notebooks, smartphones, tablets and other devices for video
conferencing. Its not only that the devices themselves are capable, but a
growing number of vendorsincluding Cisco, Polycom
ShoreTel and Vidyoare making their solutions available to mobile devices via
Its also for that reason that interoperability is important,
according to officials. With the Blue Jeans bridging offering, businesses can
bring in participants who are using a variety of both corporate and consumer
Other vendors also are bringing their video conferencing
capabilities to the cloud. Vidyo in November 2011 rolled out its Virtualized
VidyoRouter, an all-software version of its VidyoRouter appliance that can be
run in virtual machines. Vidyo
officials, like their counterparts at Blue Jeans, are pushing their solution as
a lower-cost alternative to offerings from Cisco and Polycom, touting that
they, too, have eliminated the need for MCUs.
Businesses are continuing to embrace video conferencing as a
way of improving employee productivity and reducing travel expenses, and they are
seeing demand grow among their workers. Blue Jeans noted numbers from Wainhouse
Research, which said that the video conferencing infrastructure was about a
$700 million-per-year space.
Analysts with market research firm IDC said this month that
the worldwide enterprise video conferencing market grew to about $2.7 billion
in 2011, and projected revenues would
grow to $3.2 billion this year
"Growth in worldwide enterprise video conferencing and
telepresence in 2011 was spurred by well-defined video use cases across a
variety of vertical market business segments, as well as the continuing
decrease of cultural barriers to video acceptance within organizations,"
Rich Costello, senior research analyst for IDCs Enterprise Communications
Infrastructure group, said in a statement when the numbers were released March
14. "We also expect to see increasing integrations of video and
telepresence with unified communications and collaboration (UC&C)
applications driving the market during the forecast period."