Blog Archives

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….).  🙂

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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

WebRTC Video Conferencing Test via Vidtel

Me meeting with me

Video conferencing with myself. 🙂

Got an email from Vidtel a few weeks ago announcing the ability to connect to Vidtel video conferencing using WebRTC on my Chrome browser.

I did a really quick test since I think this technology is awesome and will move video conferencing one step closer to ubiquity.

What I Did

Since my first review of Vidtel, they have left a room on their system for me to test with (thank you Vidtel!!).  So using that room (2819) and entering the correct pin, I did the following.

1. Dialed my Vidtel virtual room using Chrome.

Figure 1: Connected to room need to enter PIN

Figure 1: Connected to room need to enter PIN

2. Entered the correct pin to connect to my room.

Figure 2: Connected to the meeting room, waiting for participants.

Figure 2: Connected to the meeting room, waiting for participants.

3. Dialed my Vidtel “MeetMe” room using Google Chat on my Smartphone.

video-conference-via-androi

Figure 3: Android smartphone video conferencing participant entered the meeting

Once connected, I changed the layout (figure 4) and then added the keyboard (figure 5).

Figure 4:  Changed the layout.

Figure 4: Changed the layout and moved me.

Figure 5:  Popped up the keypad

Figure 5: Popped up the keypad

There is so much more you can do…give it a try!

Conclusion

Using WebRTC to connect to a video conference is one more, albeit it major, step to bringing video conferencing to the masses.

Using your browser makes connecting to a video conference super easy. Once connected, the audio and video quality are excellent.

I love to see companies move the technology forward.  Bravo Vidtel!  🙂

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….

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

List of Cloud Based Video Conferencing Companies

Cloud-based video conferencing is a great way for small to medium sized businesses to get involved with multi-point video conferencing.

These businesses do not need to purchase expensive infrastructure components, nor do they need the support personnel needed to run that infrastructure.  Simply sign up for a relatively inexpensive cloud-based service and meet with your clients, colleagues, friends, and family.  The quality is great and the services are on 24 x 7.

Use this blog post as your jumping point to the world of cloud-based video conferencing.

This is a living breathing blog post that will grow over time, so check back often!   🙂

Comment below with more to add to this list….

Blue Jeans Network

http://BlueJeans.com

Google Chat, Skype, H.323, Telephone call-in, Web RTC browser, Microsoft LYNC,  SIP is in Beta.  Schedule a meeting or an instant meeting to fire up the virtual room.  People call in or the system can call them.  Full administration to add, drop, mute, etc.

TelBitConsulting.com review coming soon.

EasyMeeting

http://EasyMeeting.net

This snippet is from their web site: “The easyConference3 or 6 is a cloud service that enables several video conferencing systems to connect in the same meeting. This is a service where you can seamlessly collaborate with any videoconferencing system, and Win/Mac, iPhone/iPad. To join, you only need to dial the EasyNumber and meet ”

LifeSize Connections

http://LifeSize.com
H.323 EP’s supported: LifeSize Endpoints (Passport / 220 / Unity Series
SIP EP’s supported:  LifeSize Endpoints (Passport / 220 / Unity Series

Completely ad hoc and guaranteed availability e.g. reservation-less
Virtual WaterCooler call in is supported, up to 12 hour call duration on multiparty, unlimited on one to one calls.
Adminstration:  All call participants have the ability to add/drop participants, share content etc. Connections is chair-person-less.

Liveconf

H.323, SIP, Skype, and Audisoft Frontline Communicator  connectivity.  Supports Android and iOS mobile devices as well as “kits” available for Windows and Mac computers.  Up to 10 participants in a meeting, can share presentations, etc.

MyEasyConnection (G2J)

http://www.g2j.com/solutions/c1/my-easy-connection.html

This is from the G2J web site:  ”

Using G2J’s virtual rooms, you can connect all these people to the same meeting:

VeaMea

http://www.veamea.com

H.323 and SIP EP’s.  Dial-out only (dial-in due 2013), administration for add, drops, mutes, etc, schedule a meeting or fire up an ad hoc meeting via presence and instant dial-out.  Mobile apps are now in alpha…

Vidtel

http://Vidtel.com.

Ad-hoc dial-in using Google Chat, H.323, SIP, Skype, Telephone call-in.  Virtual WaterCooler like meeting rooms always available.   Administration features coming soon.

See my review.

VidyoWay

http://Vidyo.com

From the Vidyo web site:  “Enables seamless inter-connectivity of Cisco, Polycom, Lifesize, and other legacy H.323 and SIP-based endpoints, supports Microsoft Lync and voice only devices, provides free mobile client for users without access to legacy VC or MS Lync”

WebEx

http://www.webex.com/plans/meetings-plans.html

Downloaded app on your browser, presentations / desktop sharing, video conferencing (3 for free).  Mobile apps available.

More to come soon….help me build it!  

Comment below!  🙂

Evaluating Cloud Based Video Conferencing Services

OK….I am getting ready to evaluate several cloud based video conferencing services.

My definition of a decent cloud based video conferencing service is basic and simple (in theory…in practice, it may be a lot harder):

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.

Before I proceed, I want to look back at what we did at ESnet back in the dark ages….

ESnet H.323 Architecture Basic Goals (circa 1999 to 2004)

From the customer perspective, our most important goal was to provide a video conferencing service that was easy to sign up for and, more importantly,  easy-to-use.

Fundamental goal:  Think telephone.

Making a telephone call is simple, anyone can do it with very little training.  To make a telephone call you do not need to “schedule” the call.  It is pure “ad-hoc”.  And you call another phone using an easy “phone number”.

Video conferencing should be the same.  You need to make a call….you make it.   You need to have a meeting…everyone in the meeting dials into the same “virtual” conference room by dialing a simple phone number.

  • On a train?  Dial in using your cell phone and use voice only.
  • In a fancy conference room?  Dial in using the room based system.
  • Sitting at your windows desktop computer?  Dial in using your desktop videoconferencing application.
  • Use Linux or a Mac?  Use open source Gnomemeeting to call in.

We met these goals (and by late 2004 we had possibly the worlds largest production H.323 implementation) with these features:

  • Web-based, automatic, registration (see actual web site here)
  • Ad-Hoc (no scheduling)
  • Dial-in only (using a “simple” 6 digit E.164 number)
  • Supported ALL the standards-based endpoints available at the time
  • Supported meeting participation via voice only (ie gateway…)
  • Supported video call-in via ISDN (gateway again..)
  • Provided worldwide access to our service.
  • Of course we included a lot more features including:  Various bit rate connections, different displays (various continuous presence to video switched), transcoding, gateway access, support hundreds of calls and thousands of hours of conferencing, always up and working, great support :-), etc etc.

What I Will Look for in Today’s Cloud Based Video Conferencing Services

A good cloud based service (according to me as a small business owner who needs to video conference with the outside world) consists of five parts:

Registration, Use, Administration, Support, and Cost

With that in mind, here the basic list I plan to use to compare cloud-based video conferencing services for this blog.

During the connection: I want to get a feel of each services architecture, goals, and future plans (if they can tell me).

How easy is the registration process?

Can I use the service as an “ad-hoc” dial-in service?

Does the services support ANY standards-based (H.323 / SIP) endpoint ?

Does the service also support popular video chat apps (Skype?, Google Chat?, Google Hangout?….other)?

Can I call in using my cell phone / telephone?

Can anyone, anywhere register and use the service anytime?

What is the video, audio quality during a meeting with two, three, or more people?

Does the service support data sharing / whiteboarding / screen sharing?

What administration features are available?

Can I add a person on the fly?

Can I mute people?

Can I drop people?

Can I change the default display (CP (and different flavors) or video switching)?

Can I record the meeting (video, audio, and data)?

What kind of support will I get?

live support via telephone?

email?

live via chat?

other?

Cost

I will send people to your web site for cost information, as that can sometimes be confusing…

Conclusion

Let the evals begin!