Blue Jeans Offers Online Meeting App for Apple Watch

Blue Jeans joins ShoreTel and other tech vendors in developing business apps for the wearable device, which launched April 24.

Apple Watch

Blue Jeans Network is offering an app for the Apple Watch that will make it easier for device wearers to plan and remember online meetings.

Blue Jeans, which offers cloud-based video conferencing technology, already has the Blue Jeans App for iPhone, through which users can schedule, initiate and participate in video conferences on their Apple smartphones. The new Blue Jeans for Apple Watch app is a companion to the iPhone offering, and includes such features as meeting notifications to remind users of their next Blue Jeans meeting and a concise view of their meeting schedule.

In addition, there also is the Countdown Glance feature, which lets users know how much time is remaining until their next Blue Jeans meeting. An accelerated access feature offers one-touch access to the current meeting running on the iPhone with which the Watch is paired.

Many of the apps that are in development for the Apple Watch, which launched April 24, are aimed at consumers. However, Blue Jeans is one of a growing number of tech vendors building enterprise apps for the device, and its app "will soon become a business necessity," Stu Aaron, chief commercial offer at Blue Jeans, said in a statement.

"Our Apple Watch app brings the Blue Jeans experience full circle," Aaron said. "Now professionals can manage meetings on-the-go and at a glance to effortlessly integrate the full Blue Jeans experience across platforms."

The company launched the app the same day that ShoreTel released its own Apple Watch software, which enables device users to access their corporate unified communications applications. Users are able to answer or reject incoming calls, view and respond to corporate instant messages, redial missed calls, call a contact on a "favorites list" and join conference calls.

For both Blue Jeans and ShoreTel, the Apple Watch wearable device represents the trends that are rapidly changing the communications and video conferencing markets, which are moving away from strictly on-premises, hardware-based offerings to cloud- and software-based solutions that enable an increasingly mobile workforce to be able to collaborate with customers, colleagues and partners from anywhere at any time and on any device.

At the same time, it's another example of how—in bring-your-own-device (BYOD) environments—employees increasingly are using consumer devices in their business worlds, as well as the need for vendors to enable this trend.

For ShoreTel, the ShoreTel Mobility for Apple Watch app plays into the push for what officials call personal UC, with communications capabilities being available to anyone regardless of where they are or what device they're using. In a post on the company blog last month, Chandler Harris, content marketing manager at ShoreTel, wrote that "while the immediate benefit may be in each worker to be more productive, [personal UC] has a range of benefits that extend beyond the individual."

Through personal UC, businesses can see improved customer service and greater business intelligence, executives can get faster times to market and greater business agility, and a company's IT organization will experience simplified operations and faster deployment times, Harris wrote.

Apps will play a central role in the success of the Apple Watch. Days before the device launched, Apple officials began offering some iOS developers special offers for buying one of the sold-out devices to encourage them to create new software for the Apple Watch. Through the offer, selected developers were able to buy a 42mm Apple Watch Sport.

"We want to help give Apple developers the opportunity to test their WatchKit apps on Apple Watch as soon as it is available," Apple officials said in an email to developers who were offered the special deal, adding that developers would receive their Watches by April 28.