Blog Archives

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

😉

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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)  

 

🙂

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….

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

IOCOM Releases Visimeet Statistics

I love stats!

When I was at ESnet (http://www.ecs.es.net) I built Perl programs to sift thru the Gatekeeper stats to give me almost any bit of interesting usage information I could calculate.

Until today, my stats were the only video conferencing industry stats I had ever seen.

The press release I got today from IOCOM changed all that!  🙂

Being greedy, I asked for more detail (I will post here if I get more..), but, I also held back as I could have asked for MUCH more.  🙂

Summary:  Video conferencing usage on Visimeet is increasing by leaps and bounds…here is the press release.

NOTE TO OTHER CLOUD BASED VIDEO CONFERENCING PROVIDERS:  Release your stats, I will post!!  🙂

Chicago, IL, October 4, 2012: IOCOM, a leading provider of universal video conferencing solutions, today announced a significant growth in customer usage of their software-based collaboration platform, Visimeet. Over the last year, several of IOCOM’s most active customers held over 200,000 meetings covering more than 500,000 hours or 30 million minutes. The majority of these meetings are held between at least two different endpoints (telepresence suites, PC desktops, Linux laptops, iPads, etc.).

“Many of our customers work across multiple locations and need a reliable collaboration solution that allows them to accomplish their business goals without having to spend resources on travel. We’re glad that Visimeet is that solution,” said Gary Refka, Vice President of Operations and Customer Support for IOCOM. “The numbers clearly show the value Visimeet brings to our clients, who have, at most, only one person across the entire organization dedicated to supporting the system, only further emphasizing its ease of use and reliability.”

IOCOM notes that customers most often take advantage of data sharing functionality during collaboration sessions in which users can share data, in real time and its native resolution. Other features include instant messaging, file transfer, independent camera and audio control, and desktop sharing.

“Providing our customers with the best possible tools to enhance their productivity is our number one priority, and with Visimeet’s interoperability across Mac, PC, Linux, iOS, and Android devices, more and more organizations are turning to IOCOM to fill their video conferencing needs,” said Tim Hackett, IOCOM CEO. “The bring your own device (‘BYOD’) trend is thriving in many corporations today and we are pleased to have compatible collaborative solutions”.

Visimeet is a software-based solution that keeps people connected through video, audio, and data conferencing and gives users the ability to transfer files and share and view data in real time. Its solutions can connect with different endpoints simultaneously, including room systems, desktop PCs, notebooks, and mobile devices as well as telephone, ISDN, SIP, and H.323 connections. IOCOM focuses on delivering high performance solutions that provide superior quality audio and video without the cost and complexity of proprietary systems.

Users can sign up for a free Visimeet account by visiting http://try.iocom.com/.

About IOCOM

Founded in 1998, IOCOM develops, markets, and supports enterprise video conferencing and collaboration software and solutions that enable multi-point communication for business processes. IOCOM delivers innovative on-premise and cloud-based solutions that enable multiple groups or individuals to instantly collaborate anytime and anywhere over their chosen medium. IOCOM is the first collaboration software company to integrate high performance multiple data and video windows with high performance audio. To learn more, visit www.iocom.com.

###

Contact

Tim Hall
IOCOM
312.786.9169 x115
thall@iocom.com

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:

Thank You!

Just wanted to give a big THANK YOU! to Mark @ MIVNET for loaning me this really cool H.323 unit for testing cloud-based video conferencing services!  🙂

VidTel: A Cloud Based Video Conferencing Service

For those who read this blog, you know one thing:  I love cloud-based video conferencing.

But why?

Well…..I was sitting back the other day pondering life when it hit me (yeah, I am slow).  I proposed, then designed, the ESnet H.323 architecture starting in 1999, then ultimately put it into production in January 2004:   The ESnet Collaboration Architecture was probably the first (maybe second next to Ohio State’s Megaconference) “cloud-based” video conferencing service.  We were “cloud-based” before cloud-based was cool (love ya, Barbara).

Anyway…..ESnet H.323 ultimately served well over 1,500 endpoints (from research organizations to universities to companies) worldwide with an efficient “ad-hoc” (we were also the first ad-hoc dial in) service that saved millions in ISDN connection fees.  FYI….Many of the the LHC scientists used ESnet collaboration during the LHC design phase.

An added benefit to H.323 vs ISDN was fast, reliable, inexpensive, and high-quality.  Win, win, win, win.

My friend, Tom Mills (Polycom) turned me on to VidTel, and since I do not remember hearing about VidTel…..I took a quick peek at their web site, and what I see is 2/3 interesting and 1/3 confusing.

According to the web site, it looks to me that VidTel has three components.

Let’s look at the interesting, and easy to understand, first.

VidTel’s MeetMe (which appears to be ad-hoc dial-in by the way) is a cloud-based service capable of connecting multiple vendor endpoints, including, mobile devices.

With the correct registration you can meet via the cloud with colleagues using virtually any VC endpoint, anytime the urge strikes.  Simple and cool.

The VidTel Gateway interconnects the MeetMe service meeting participants with Google Talk / Chat and Skype.  Very cool and needed.

Now the confusing:

The VidTel Connect which allows two endpoints to connect point-to-point.   I would like to chat with a VidTel techy about this, but, maybe firewalls are the culprit here??  To me….dialing an IP address (or E.164, or whatever), is, maybe only to me, viable since you can simply put the number in the phonebook and dial it when needed.

None other than the CEO of VidTel replied (see also the comments):

Our Vidtel Connect service is, in fact, about helping customers get through firewalls. As you know, the common practice today is either to put video units outside the firewall on the public internet (what could go wrong?) with difficult IP configuration or behind the firewall with hard to access b2b calling.

We provide a publicly accessible address (an email-like address because it’s based on SIP e.g,number@vidtel.com) and NAT/firewall traversal + unlimited point to point video calling. We can also add PSTN functionality like a regular phone number and the ability to make unlimited phone calls in N. America – all for the price of a monthly phone service.

Back to firewalls.  Remembering how we did it at ESnet, we used the MCU’s to connect 2 to XX endpoints in a meeting. In other words, to get around any firewall issues at the far end, the “trusted” ESnet MCU’s / Gatekeepers were allowed to connect, so even point-to-point meetings went through the trusted MCU’s.

VidTel may be doing something similar here….???  Comments welcome!

VidTel Costs

I do not get involved with costs since they sometimes require a PhD in Finanace to understand, so here is a link.  🙂   I will study that at a later time….

Conclusion

Cloud-based video conferencing makes sense from every perspective.  It is here to stay and will change the way companies (small to medium to large) do business.

Love it!  🙂

8×8 Video Conferencing in the Cloud

Surfing the Internet for some information on Polycom (my next blog entry on Products and Services) I ran across the mention of 8×8 cloud based video conferencing.

Knowing 8×8 from WAY back (see the picture above for one of my 4 units of….well the old timers should know what it is)…. I was surprised, and pleased, to see that they are still around and still innovating.

It seems like the 8×8 cloud based service is a nice collaboration between 8×8 and Polycom. And judging by the V-E-R-Y  L-O-N-G video posted below (with my old friend Ira Weinstein looking very stiff in the bottom left…yes, he does talk later in the video) the video and audio quality are both very good.  Data sharing is in the feature list.

As a good video conferencing cloud based service should…it “easily” supports endpoints from your mobile phone, to a computer with a web cam, to some nice Polycom endpoints that I will talk about in the upcoming blog entry.

Excellent!  Have I mentioned that I love cloud based video conferencing?  I now know why…Clint and I WERE a cloud based service (at ESnet).

Until then, enjoy this video.  And NO…I did not watch the whole thing (I skipped forward to see if Ira actually said something, hey, he knows his shit).  If you listen to the whole video…you are way better than I.    🙂

Video conferencing:  Anytime, anyplace, anyone.

LifeSize versus Cisco

Surfing the Internet and I found this interesting article on Bloomberg.

A snippet:

LifeSize Communications Inc., a unit of computer-mouse maker Logitech International SA (LOGN), expects revenue to jump as it competes with rivals including Cisco Systems Inc. (CSCO) to add clients in the videoconference market, set to more than double in the next five years.

LifeSize’s sales are forecast to rise two to three times faster than the market, which is expected to grow 15 percent this year, Chief Executive Officer Craig Malloy said in a phone interview. Revenue at the Austin, Texas-based company rose 34 percent to $36.5 million in the fiscal first quarter, making LifeSize Logitech’s fastest-growing business.

“We’re seeing very, very rapid growth in videoconferencing,” the CEO said. “We’re going to piggyback on key trends and accelerate our growth.” LifeSize is targeting $1 billion in revenue in coming years, Malloy said, without giving a precise timeframe.”

Now…I was around when the Wainhouse folks predicted multiple times (in the 90’s) that the video conferencing industry was going to be a $1 billion industry, so, truthfully, I do not listen to estimates anymore.

What I look at is what the companies are offering now and what they plan to offer in the future and see if that fits “Mike’s” idea of what I think is good or not.  I can be wrong, but, more times than not, I have been right.  Still poor…..but right, that has to count for something, somewhere.  🙂

Based on the research I just completed on LifeSize, and the research I am now in the middle of on Cisco (and, sorry, as much as I LOVE Tandberg)….LifeSize is probably gonna kick Cisco’s butt.

One (but not the only) reason why….see the top picture.

More to follow when I post my blog entry on Cisco / Tandberg in a week or so…

Just sayin….