BlueJeans Network thinks using live video to communicate in business or with family and friends has been way too difficult. So it has focused itself on making it so easy that users won't have to default to conference phone calls anymore.
To facilitate this, the Mountain View, Calif.-based company on April 12 launched its Enterprise Video Cloud, a full-featured cloud service built for globally distributed workforces with video communications at the core.
New global research shows that 85 percent of employees already are using video in the workplace and that 72 percent believe that video eventually will transform the way they communicate routinely at work.
Video Conferencing Still Hard to Do Well
Conventional video systems are often fragmented, siloed and prohibitively expensive, or not secure and reliable enough to be trusted by larger businesses. They are also often difficult to use, forcing users to face steep learning curves and the so-called "video tax"—which industry people have described as an average of 10 to 15 minutes of lost time associated with setting up a video session before every meeting.
The BlueJeans Enterprise Video Cloud is a secure, global platform and extensible architecture that extends a video culture internally and externally. Uniting single-click video experiences, high-end IT management tools and an ecosystem of integration partners, the BlueJeans Enterprise Video Cloud claims to offer high-quality business video communications on a global scale.
"The whole concept of video has been hard," the company's new president, Mike Mansbach, told eWEEK. "Ironically, it's the last place in the consumerization of IT that's been aligned.
"When people think of live video, they think of three paradigms: Web conferencing, which is OK quality generally but small video, and it's secondary to screen-sharing; in-room systems (such as Cisco's TelePresence), which provide brilliant video but require you go to a physical room, which you might or might not be able to go to or interoperate with on a desktop PC; and lastly, what we do at home with Skype and FaceTime, which is easy and fun for grandma to see the kids but isn't enterprise-ready and doesn't interoperate with anything."
'People Expect to See Each Other'
"What we're doing [at BlueJeans Network] is much different. People expect to see each other," Mansbach said. "Half of communication is physical, it's not just verbal, and yet we still default to audio conferencing bridges because everything else has been hard."
With its new Video Cloud, BlueJeans is homogenizing the user experience, making it simple to have, he said. "We don't care if you're on a desktop, or on a mobile device, or in a room—however you want to receive and see video, that's how we want to deliver it to you," he said.
Key features BlueJeans Network offers in the Video Cloud, according to Mansbach, include the following:
1. BlueJeans Meetings: Features touch-to-join simplicity, HD video and screen sharing for any combination of conference room systems, mobile devices, phones and computers that interoperates with leading unified communications tools;
2. BlueJeans Primetime: Engages up to 5,000 attendees with one-click access to live, multipoint video, creating a new way for audiences to participate and interact; and
3. BlueJeans Relay for Room Systems: Makes room system deployments easier to use and manage with calendar integration and touch-to-join simplicity. It displays scheduled meetings on a tablet controller so users can simply walk into a conference room and join meetings with a single touch.
BlueJeans Network Enterprise Cloud offers the following IT management tools, according to Mansbach:
1. BlueJeans Command Center: Combines reporting and analytics with centralized moderation and live meeting control through a dashboard. It helps IT leaders manage and measure the success of their video communications deployment;
2. Public and Private Cloud Deployment Options: Options include a global Tier 1 peering network with data centers in North America, Europe, Asia and Australia, and direct peering through the Equinix Cloud Exchange and MPLS integration with AT&T NetBond, Level 3 Cloud Connect and West IP Maxxis;
3. Custom Branding: Enterprise branding options including custom landing pages, email templates and interactive voice response (IVR) system prompts; and
4. Customer Success and Support: Service options include deployment planning, training and adoption services, meeting and event assist services, and access to dedicated Customer Success Managers and Enterprise Solutions Engineers.
BlueJeans Network uses the following integrations with equipment and applications:
1. BlueJeans for Microsoft Skype for Business: Delivers high video quality, access for room systems and external participants, cloud recording, bandwidth conservation and central management features for organizations that want to upgrade their stock video experience;
2. Workflow integrations: Offer users an onramp from workflow applications that include Lync 2010/2013, Cisco Jabber, Atlassian HipChat and Slack. Organizations can also use the Blue Jeans API to add cloud-powered video communications to their users' everyday applications and workflows; and
3. BlueJeans for Huddle Rooms (available later in 2016): Enables IT to affordably deploy and support video communications in every conference room and workspace, and gives end users one-touch simplicity for both ad hoc and scheduled meetings.
While the BlueJeans Enterprise Video Cloud was designed for large-scale enterprises, companies of all sizes can benefit from video communications. Blue Jeans also announced new packaging plans designed to the needs of all companies.
BlueJeans has an impressive list of customers, ranging from high-growth startups to the Fortune 100. Netflix, Facebook, Sephora, Rosetta Stone, Red Hat, Atlassian, Seattle Children's Hospital, Stanford University, Derek Jeter's The Players' Tribune, Sundance Film Festival and others create more than 1 billion minutes of video communications a year on the BlueJeans platform.
For more information on BlueJeans Enterprise Video Cloud, go here.