Category Archives: Collaboration

I have not posted anything new in 2 months!

I just did.

Hey….send me some pictures or video of your latest video conferencing gadget(s).  I will post.

In the meantime….have a happy summer!  🙂

telbitconsulting@gmail.com

 

 

Advertisements

Blue Jeans Changes Cloud Video Conferencing Again

Hot off the heels of Enterprise Connect where the WebRTC Conference-within-a-Conference drew overflow crowds, Blue Jeans Network will announce it’s newest product: Sniff RTC.  On Monday, April 1, the cloud-based video conference service and unofficial work from home sponsor will unveil the newest feature enriching the video conferencing experience to better connect users around the world. The Sniff TRC patented olfactory technology will enable a deeper interactive experience by integrating smell to Blue Jeans Network’s video capabilities. Key highlights include:
  • Rich communication experience that you can see, hear and now smell
  • Customizable hardware for all occasions
  • Various business applications including recruiting benefits
Please see the below link for the YouTube video product description, along with the below blog post that is under embargo until April 1st at 5:00 a.m. PT/8:00 a.m. ET. 
*Note that you will not be able to embed this video until we turn it live at 5:00 a.m. PT/8:00 a.m. ET
Blue Jeans Network Blog Post 
Here at Blue Jeans we’re constantly pushing the envelope and thinking of new ways to innovate our product. We’re relentless in our pursuit of bringing the full meeting experience to life and today we’re excited to announce our newest feature, Sniff RTC. The Sniff RTC patented olfactory technology will enable you to finally smell what’s on the other end of the meeting. Blue Jeans can even customize the proper nose for your organization’s needs and guide you through practical applications of the product.

And that’s not all – we’ll soon be adding taste bud and tactile technology to enable our users to really get a sense of the meeting.

With Blue Jeans, you can see, taste, touch and most importantly smell what you’ve been missing.

About Blue Jeans Network

At Blue Jeans Network, our mission is to make video communications as easy and pervasive as audio communications, enabling more effective collaboration at work, at home, and on the road.  Our cloud-based conferencing service makes this possible by enabling customers to connect with each other seamlessly any time, anywhere, and from practically any device. The Blue Jeans Network extends high quality video communications beyond the traditional boundaries of specialized conference rooms and into the mainstream, allowing individuals and employees throughout an enterprise to interact more effectively with each other, and with their customers, partners, suppliers, family, and friends.  Blue Jeans Network is a private company headquartered in Mountain View, California. For more information go to: http://bluejeans.com or follow the company @BlueJeansNet

😉

Cloud Based Video Conferencing Adds Features

Here is a VERY important announcement from the good folks at Blue Jeans Networks.

******Copy this URL and share it with ALL of your friends and colleagues ****

This is TOO IMPORTANT to ignore! 

Whooops!!!!   On the ADVICE of my LAWYER…..

(Click here on Monday after 8 AM EST to read the announcement….my bad)  

 

🙂

Blue Jeans announces bi-directional HD desktop sharing for Microsoft Lync users

blue-jeans-logo

I love cloud-based multipoint videoconferencing, but, you already know that.

Here is a SCOOP from Blue Jeans Network that I just got permission to post.

I was told that Blue Jeans has been interoperating Skype and Lync since 2011 (even though the press release says 2012).

No surprise there.  Blue Jeans has been pushing the state-of-the-art in cloud based videoconferencing almost as long as I have (well, just a few years less….).  🙂

—-

Blue Jeans Network First To Offer Microsoft Lync Users Ability to Share Their Desktop Content With Cisco, Polycom, and Other Mobile, Desktop, and Room-based Video Conferencing Solutions

 

New Capability Enhances Lync Value for More Effective Business to Business,
Business to Consumer, and Intra-company Collaboration

February 20, 2013 — MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA – Blue Jeans Network, the leader in interoperable video conferencing services, today announced the availability of bi-directional HD desktop sharing for its growing base of Microsoft Lync users.

Since Lync support was first introduced by Blue Jeans in 2012 it has become a popular option for customers looking to connect their Lync users to non-Lync users inside and outside their organization for multi-party video collaboration.  This includes colleagues using Cisco or Polycom video conference rooms, as well as remote workers, partners, and customers on the many desktop or mobile video collaboration solutions already supported by Blue Jeans, including any browser, Skype, Cisco Jabber, Google Video Chat, and more.

“Tens of thousands of Lync endpoints have already participated in Blue Jeans meetings,” said Stu Aaron, Chief Commercial Officer at Blue Jeans Network.  “Up until now these Lync users could easily join the meetings, to see and be seen, and could receive desktop content shared by other, non-Lync, devices.  With this new bi-directional HD desktop sharing feature, Lync users can now also share their own desktop content, including presentations and other documents, the way they are used to, in high definition with other meeting participants.”

Blue Jeans is the first and only vendor offering this multi-party bi-directional content sharing capability between Lync users and non-Lync users without requiring any special on-premise hardware or software to buy, manage, or maintain.  The Blue Jeans bi-directional HD desktop screen for Lync functionality is fully implemented in the Blue Jeans cloud and is included with every subscription.

“We use Blue Jeans in order to extend our Lync deployment to easily interoperate with our room-based systems,” according to Andy Brezinsky, Director of Engineering at Milwaukee, WI-based Corvisa Services.  “In addition to across-the-board video conferencing which helps us to improve communication between employees and partners in multiple offices and multiple states, today’s announcement from Blue Jeans will also allow us to extend collaboration by leveraging Blue Jean’s desktop sharing capabilities.”

“Whether it is SMBs trying to integrate room-based video conferencing systems with Microsoft Office 365, or large enterprises looking to have Lync deployments communicate with existing Cisco or Polycom hardware, Blue Jeans acts as a simple, reliable, and scalable solution to allow businesses large and small to benefit from interoperable video conferencing without the headaches of on-premise solutions,” said Neil Setchell, CEO of ExtraTeam a Pleasanton, CA-based technology consulting firm, systems integrator, and Blue Jeans partner.

 

For more information or to see the new Lync functionality, please visit bluejeans.com/microsoft-lync.  To schedule an in-person demonstration at the Lync Conference 2013 on February 20-21 in San Diego, CA, please email lync@bluejeans.com.

 

About Blue Jeans Network

At Blue Jeans Network, our mission is to make video communications as easy and pervasive as audio communications, enabling more effective collaboration at work, at home, and on the road.  Our cloud-based conferencing service makes this possible by enabling customers to connect with each other seamlessly any time, anywhere, and from practically any device. The Blue Jeans Network extends high quality video communications beyond the traditional boundaries of specialized conference rooms and into the mainstream, allowing individuals and employees throughout an enterprise to interact more effectively with each other, and with their customers, partners, suppliers, family, and friends.  Blue Jeans Network is a private company headquartered in Mountain View, California.  For more information go to: http://bluejeans.com or follow the company@BlueJeansNet.

 

Press Contact
Tim Smith
Element PR
415-350-3019
tsmith@elementpr.com

Google Chat on Motorola Atrix Smartphone

In the process of evaluating the ZTE ZXV10 T700 (I will post the entire product review by weeks end…I hope), I went ahead and made a three way video conferencing call using  our friends at cloud-based video conferencing service provider Vidtel.

The picture above shows a Google Chat connection via my Toshiba Laptop computer (middle), the ZTE using H.323 (top), and my Motorola Atrix smartphone again using Google Chat (bottom right).

On the phone, I can change the camera, mute the mic, and send text chats.  In fact, Vidtel recognizes some of the text chats as commands…..very cool!

The moral of the story is this:

You are no longer tied to a conference room to participate in a video conference!  Anytime, anyplace, anywhere is here……NOW!

More to follow….

Bryan Hellard Reviews: Fuzebox

According to the salesman, FuzeBox licenses from Vidyo its SVC (which he called Scalable Video Codec not coding) but uses something different for audio. That was immediately apparent because there were no audio issues during the call and I used my webcam’s microphone and desktop speakers.

Ease of use

Unfortunately, I was not given Host rights so I was just a user connecting to a meeting hosted by the salesman. I connected via an email link and that took me to Fuze’s website for an 8mb download. Note that once the Fuze Meeting program was installed, it was not automatically put in my computer’s startup routine. That’s always appreciated, especially if you are dealing with not-so-power users. Connection via iPad required downloading the app and input of a meeting number and user name. That’s it.

Quality of product

Due to SVC (as I was told), there is no ability to change bandwidth based on connection speed or quality. This absolutely wasn’t needed though as the video and audio quality was both excellent over the 30 minute call. There were no lip sync issues, even on the iPad. Nor was there lag between the image on the iPad and the image on my desktop. If there is significant lag on any of the devices, there is always the problem of people talking over one another. Not an issue here with my setup.

Pricing

FuzeBox has a couple of versions of FuzeMeeting listed on their website. The website www.fuzebox.com/pricing also has pricing listed for each version. Anything above Pro would be overkill for me as I wouldn’t see myself in meeting with more than four people on video. At $49/month it is about the right pricepoint. I was told by the salesman that it is not sold monthly though, only yearly and that’s a bummer. The host is only required to have a license so you can email invites out for meetings and the other parties only need to perform the install and they are ready to go. The Business version allows for twelve people on video and adds a couple other features not available on the Pro version as well as a couple of enhancements.

 Conclusion

One item of note: Salesmen frustrate me. Typically, I like talking to support staff, engineers or owners because they understand that I am looking at products both subjectively and objectively and won’t buy a product because of (insert marketing speak here). He automatically assumed his product was the best out there because it is the most used and even compared the product to Cisco, Polycom and Lifesize hardware endpoints. When I first got connected to the call (I was early, salesman was late) the salesman said “You have 10 minutes!”. I thought; “Seriously?” and went about the demo. Sales tactics aside, their product is top notch in both video, audio and data sharing. I would recommend it.

 

Polycom Announces Cloud Based Videoconferencing Option

Polycom…are you serious?

THIS was the GAME CHANGING announcement you promised???

This was in my email last week:

“REMINDER
We’re About to Make History
You don’t want to miss this game-changing announcement.”

Really??  I wonder if the others who have been there for years are shaking in their boots??

To be fair….maybe I am missing something….comments below for those who can set me straight.  I will continue searching for the historic announcement….

Until then….

Yawn

By the way:  The ViewStation was a game changer….the PVX was a game changer…..purchasing Accord was a near game changer…..

 

 

Blue Jeans Network Grows By 50% in One Quarter

OK, listen up.

I have said this before (like starting in 1999, for those who don’t know that ESnet Collaboration developed one of, if not the, first IP-based cloud video conferencing services in the world)…..BUT….

Cloud based video conferencing is going to kick the worlds ass in a BIG way….this press release is proof, and this is just the tip of a VERY LARGE iceberg.  For example, say bye-bye to your favorite MCU, and say Hi to browser-based video conferencing.  VERY exciting!

Read this upcoming (Monday) press release from our friends at Blue Jeans Network.  Yes…I posted this WITH PERMISSION!

But, I think this is a scoop!  :-)))

Wainhouse?  Who are they?  haha

Blue Jeans Network Grows By 50 Percent in One Quarter to Claim 10 Percent of Estimated Worldwide Video Conferencing Services Market

Cloud-based MCU Takes $15 Million From Cisco and Polycom;  WebRTC-based Browser Access Option Surges to 25 Percent Mark

October 8, 2012— MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA – Blue Jeans Network (www.bluejeans.com), the leader in interoperable video conferencing services, today announced a 50 percent increase in customer adoption in the past three months alone.  Based on third-party market research, Blue Jeans now commands about 10 percent of the video conferencing services market.  In addition, Blue Jeans also announced the initial results of the “MCU killer” pricing package as well as adoption rates of their Web browser-based interoperable video conferencing solution.

Earlier this year, Blue Jeans rolled out new pricing plans that gave customers the opportunity to experience business grade multi-way videoconferencing in the cloud, without the high cost of entry and interoperability constraints of traditional on-premise bridging hardware (commonly known as multipoint control units, or MCUs).

Additionally, Blue Jeans expanded the addressable market to more than 2.3 billion people who have access to a Web browser.  In Q2 of this year, Blue Jeans became the first and only service allowing anyone with a browser and camera to join video meetings with other participants who could be using any combination of room-based videoconferencing systems (i.e. Polycom, Cisco, LifeSize, Sony, etc.), as well as Skype, Google, Microsoft Lync or audio connections.

Since rolling out these offerings, Blue Jeans’ business has exploded to the point the company has grown by 50 percent in just over one quarter.  Furthermore, Blue Jeans customers have saved an estimated $15 million by avoiding the MCU infrastructure market altogether by taking advantage of the new subscription-based “virtual ports” pricing plans in the cloud.

According to Wainhouse Research, the video conferencing infrastructure market currently represents a yearly market of approximately $700M and is dominated by Cisco and Polycom.

The browser access option has allowed participants to connect to a Blue Jeans meeting with nothing more than their Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, or Safari browser and a camera.  The adoption has been phenomenal.  In just a few months, Web browser-based video conferencing has surged to comprise 25 percent of all endpoints in Blue Jeans video calls.

“Video conferencing has traditionally been expensive to purchase, difficult to deploy and complicated to use.  By being first with an interoperable MCU in the cloud offering and a WebRTC based browser option, we have clearly hit a nerve in the industry and tapped in to an unmet need,” said Krish Ramakrishnan, CEO of Blue Jeans Network.  “Our surge in demand is a testament to the growing business appetite for both videoconferencing and an infinitely scalable, cloud-based alternative to the traditional MCU.”

For more information about Blue Jeans cloud-based MCU bridge alternative visit http://bluejeans.com/mcu

More information on Web Browser access is available at http://bluejeans.com/works-with/browser

About Blue Jeans Network
At Blue Jeans Network, our mission is to make video communications as easy and pervasive as audio communications, enabling more effective collaboration at work, at home, and on the road.  Our cloud-based conferencing service makes this possible by enabling customers to connect with each other seamlessly any time, anywhere, and from practically any device. The Blue Jeans Network extends high quality video communications beyond the traditional boundaries of specialized conference rooms and into the mainstream, allowing individuals and employees throughout an enterprise to interact more effectively with each other, and with their customers, partners, suppliers, family, and friends.  Blue Jeans Network is a private company headquartered in Mountain View, California.  For more information go to: http://bluejeans.com or follow the company @BlueJeansNet

Press Contact
Tim Smith
Element PR
415-350-3019
tsmith@elementpr.com

Bryan Hellard Reviews: Zoom.us

Zoom.us

It’s not often that I am really, really impressed with a product. This is one of those times.

Ease of Use

Zoom.us required a small download from their website to get started. The only slightly unfortunate thing is that the product requires a login using credentials from either Facebook or Google, for reasons that I can only speculate about. This is only necessary if you want to initiate a meeting. To join someone else’s meeting you only need to be given an invitation via email (which is incredibly easy for the host to provide), download, launch the application, type your name and you are in the meeting.

Joining via iPad is a matter of inputting the room id that is provided at the top of the screen by the host via an obvious button called “Join Video Meeting”. It is possible to initiate a meeting from the iPad, which some other products aren’t able to do.

There aren’t many bells and or whistles to complicate things. There’s no way to change quality settings, but from what I found it’s not needed as I’ll go into below.

Quality of Product

The video image quality was excellent. Even full screen on a 23” monitor, the image from my iPad looked very good with just some pixelization but not enough to notice unless you are looking for it. Video from the desktop on the iPad was excellent as well. Latency between iPad and desktop was as close to non-existent as I’ve seen in a software product. Audio to video sync was virtually spot on. For this test, I pointed the camera at my online radio’s webpage (that I was also streaming at the same time). The web page has a meter that lights up as people speak in sync with the audio. I took my iPad into another room so I could hear the radio and see the meter through it. Sync was incredibly close, by far closer than any other product.

Screen/application sharing was easy and fast. I shared a web page from the desktop and going from page to page appeared very fast on the iPad. Sharing over the web and having to wait for a PowerPoint slide (or whatever) to change while the presenter either has to wait until you see it or just starts talking before you see the information is a little painful to me. No problem with that here.

Zoom also handles fast motion very effectively (tested via my hand waving in front of the camera technique).

Note the clean interface on both desktop and iPad

Pricing

Up to 15 participants in a meeting, free. A friend told me that Zoom.us is in beta, but I didn’t see that officially. The TOS on their website though has a heading labeled “CHARGES” so I assume it won’t be free forever, especially with language like “Zoom may change prices at any time without prior notice, including changing from a free service to a paid service…”. This is disappointing for a cheapskate like me and I wonder what the end price will be and conditions they will set. Hopefully, it will still be free for maybe three or four participants and charge for more than that. Even the Skype model of charging for multipoint would be acceptable for me so I can still use the free model.

Conclusion

I would highly recommend this product. When/if pricing is involved I reserve the right change my mind.

Evaluating Cloud Based Video Conferencing: VidTel

(reliable, high quality, virtual meetings)

The True Value of Video Conferencing

Scroll down for the YouTube video of a VidTel meeting…

A few blogs ago (on TelBitConsulting.com) I proposed how I would evaluate the cloud based video conferencing services that are becoming so popular…here is a summary of what I am looking for:

A cloud-based video conferencing service provides an easy-to-use, dial-in, ad-hoc, virtual meeting space for anyone, anytime, anywhere using any endpoint.

Easy…simple….to the point.  At least in theory, implementing that simple concept is a bit harder, believe me, I know…I did it starting way back in 1999 for the Department of Energy (see http://www.ecs.es.net).

I started looking at VidTel a couple of weeks ago and found out how much I missed having my own virtual meeting space.  After a week or so of meetings with people across the country (some of whom want to remain anonymous) I came to this conclusion:

VidTel MeetMe is a fantastic cloud-based video conferencing option for your corporate needs.

Note: If you want to meet with multiple people via video conferencing but don’t have the in-house expertise, or the budget, to support the expensive infrastructure needed to support these meetings…cloud-based is the way to go.

In my original blog, I stated several important keys to a successful cloud based service (at least to me…):

Registration process, using the service, administration tools, support, cost.  Since I only have 500 words…I will get right to the point:

VidTel MeetMe Evaluation (watch the video below for a really cool meeting with the VidTel folks and my good friend David Maldow from Telepresence Options….).  Visit the VidTel web site for a ton of information, and to sign up for a free trial or to use the service:  http://VidTel.com

Registration process:  Easy as 3.14

Using the Service: Dial-in, ad-hoc, using any H.323 / SIP endpoint, Google Talk (Chat?), Cell Phone (i.e. telephone), or Skype.  You get a virtual room to call into, then give the people you want to meet with that number (there is a PIN option as will, and it works great).  Everyone calls in when it is time for the meeting…wow!

Administration Features (real-time adding or dropping participants, muting participants, etc.):  None as of this time.  This is a future enhancement due out soon.

Support:  Call in 6 AM to 6 PM PST: 1-877-MY-VIDTEL, email: support@gmail.com, VidTel offers 24×7 support for resellers.

Cost: Unlimited, normal business use, 5 users, $149/mo SD, $299/mo HD.  Link to the VidTel MeetMe cost web site.

My Findings

I registered via the web site and was sent information on how to call into my own virtual meeting room.  My room was:  2819.  I then sent out dialing instructions to my list of meeting participants that looked like this:

H.323 endpoint:  65.50.196.118 then 2819  to enter the conf room
SIP EP:  2819@vidtel.com
Google Chat:  2819@vidtel.com
Skype:  vidtel.2819.2, or vidtel.2819.1 (add these “rooms” to your contact list first…then do a video call)
Phone:  1-650-741-7616 then 2819

At one point during the meeting, the real-world hit me as my Comcast line was CUT!  Once I figured out the problem, I called back into the meeting with my cell phone!  VERY cool!

A couple of times, my Polycom HDX friends called in and I saw black screen, they hung up, tried again, and all was cool.  Not sure what the issue might have been.

Conclusion

VidTel is a great option for small to medium (heck even large) businesses who do not have the in-house resources (people or $$) to implement and support a video conferencing infrastructure, but, who need to meet via video conferencing.

My old-as-the-hills camera does not show the true quality of the call… believe me, the quality (video and audio) was excellent: