First Read

A first take on enterprise IT technology news and events.

AT&T, Blue Jeans Partner on Video Conferencing Service

The two companies are rolling out a cloud-based service called AT&T Video Meetings with Blue Jeans.

video conferencing

AT&T is leveraging Blue Jeans Network's cloud-based video conferencing technology as a service to its business customers.

The two companies announced the partnership Oct. 7, with officials for both noting that through the AT&T Video Meetings with Blue Jeans service, business customers will be able to host video conferences on a broad range of devices, from desktop PCs and video-equipped conference rooms to smartphones and tablets.

Blue Jeans' cloud-based solutions will make it easier for AT&T business users to meet from anywhere and at any time, while also giving the wireless carrier another mobility service it can offer.

"Today, people expect convenient and effective ways to work together whether they are in the office, at home, or on the road," said Abhi Ingle, senior vice president of advanced solutions for AT&T's Mobile and Business Solutions. "We're taking complexity out of the equation."

The video conferencing market is continuing to undergo a transformation as people and businesses shift away from expensive and complex systems housed in conference rooms and opt instead for software- and cloud-based solutions that enable them to collaborate at any time from anywhere and on any device. Employees are becoming more mobile, working remotely or from the road, and are using a greater range of devices—including smartphones, tablets and notebooks—to collaborate on.

IDC analysts for a couple of years have followed the shift in the market, noting that sales of video conferencing equipment continue to fall even as the demand for collaboration technologies increases. Video continues to be a key part of businesses' collaboration strategies, but "among the challenges customers are currently working through is determining exactly when and how to provision their video deployments as more software-centric and cloud-based service offerings become part of the enterprise video market landscape," Petr Jirovsky, research manager for IDC's Worldwide Networking Trackers, said in a statement in August.

Officials with Blue Jeans and AT&T noted a survey by that found that 95 percent of respondents said video collaboration improves business relationships, and 87 percent preferred to connect with their remote manager over video. Eighty percent would rather speak to customers via video, and 73 percent want to talk about sensitive human-relations issues over video.

"Despite all the advances in modern technology, the most powerful tool for business still remains the human face," Blue Jeans CEO Krish Ramakrishnan said in a statement.