Blue Jeans Network was designed to make cross-platform video conferencing across multiple systems easy and less expensive from a capex standpoint. As a result, it’s also seeking to increase availability and usage of video conferencing through enterprises. The company is taking a few steps to do so, with the launch of an upgraded iOS app, and integration with a new, affordable video conferencing endpoint from Tely Labs.
Up until now, the company has sought to connect disparate video conferencing systems that its clients had already invested in, and to also make them available to users of its browser-based video chat and mobile and tablet apps. Blue Jeans worked with endpoints from Cisco, Polycom, Lifesize, Sony, Huawei, Microsoft Lync, Skype, and Google — allowing users to connect regardless of the hardware or software that was already in their enterprise.
While using browser-based conferencing might work when connecting to a single remote user, it was less than ideal for teams who were based in one place connecting to groups in another. So Blue Jeans has partnered with Tely Labs, the maker of affordable video conferencing hardware, to allow its clients to set up secondary rooms for video collaboration without having to invest heavily in new equipment.
With the partnership, Tely will be rolling out an Enterprise Edition of its video chat appliances, which will have Blue Jeans connectivity built in. The company’s video chat hardware — the TelyHD and TelyHD Business Edition — previously worked primarily with Skype for point-to-point connections. But the Enterprise Edition will work with Blue Jeans’ cloud-based conferencing platform for connecting to users on endpoints from multiple vendors.
And the price is affordable — Blue Jeans estimates that secondary video conferencing rooms can be set up for as little as $1,000 using the TelyHD Enterprise product. That’s much lower than even most low-end video conferencing hardware. Rather than buying new hardware, customers with existing Tely units will be able to upgrade to the Enterprise Edition for a fee.
In addition to the Tely integration, Blue Jeans is making available new, feature-rich mobile apps for iPad and iPhone users that provides more flexibility to control video conferences. Previously, its iOS users were able to connect to video conferences, but could do little else. The new apps enable users to join and participate in high-quality, bi-directional video chat and media sharing, even from their mobile devices.
That should help promote more media-sharing between users. But since not everyone has the same need or desire to view either video or other presentations or media, Blue Jeans has created a “slider” for layout control, so that individual users can customize the way their screens appear on the fly.