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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
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.
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.
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.
OK, here we go.
I have started work on a new series of blog posts introducing various videoconferencing vendors and their products, services, applications and philosophy (Thanks, Dave! Gotta love Coworking!).
I hope to be able to introduce my loyal reader of this blog (yeah you! :-)) to the various options you may have for implementing video conferencing in your organization and to provide a snapshot of current video conferencing technology in late 2011.
I need your help! As I progress, I will need technical folks at each of the vendors to ask technical questions of.
IF you are willing to help (and put up with my questions!) comment below and / or email me (see the email to the right –>). Sometimes the questions will be stupid, sometimes insightful, sometimes thought provoking…
After I am done with those (and any that I may have forgotten, please comment below!), I will proceed to the service providers, the less well known / smaller vendors or providers, consumer oriented, free, etc.
Thoughts? Comments? Let me know below! Did I miss someone important?
Ah yes, I remember it well. I remember the day when I had to order an ISDN line at home (remember 2B+D?) to attend a videoconference from home (hey…I practice not just preach telecommuting!).
Then, what seems like a short time later (and after ATM and Token Ring fell by the wayside…) we set-up pretty close to the first (Dr. Bob and Tim Poe were right there with us) H.323 videoconferencing network (which grew to be the largest IP-based video conferencing network in the world for a time, at ESnet). THAT was FUN! We played with (yes, technology is FUN!) gatekeepers, QCIF (the old timers know) MCU’s, newly developed numbering plans, evolving H.323 endpoints, and Clint and I running it all with military precision. Yeah right…
The picture to the left shows the old way…our way.
The very expensive MCU, Gatekeeper and H.323 endpoints (I left out a Gateway to ISDN…since well, ISDN is dead) required Clint and I to keep it all running, configured, etc etc. Some companies have a whole team of people. Lots of money invested, and you have to have a beefy Internet / Intranet to boot. More money.
BUT…the results were ground-breaking-ly awesome (for the time).
Again time passed all too swiftly, and now people are talking about the “cloud” (just another name for the Internet), your damn cell phones can do video conferencing, and now one company, BlueJeans Network, tells us that they are doing “video conferencing via the cloud”.
Hmmmm, so now, Clint and I are gone (actually, we are!) replaced by a company out there on the Internet with a bunch of Clints and Mikes taking care of some amorphous infrastructure cloud that connects all these cell phones, Skype, the old H.323 stuff, and telepresence fancy dancy rooms together easy as 3.14???!!!
FREAKIN AWESOME! Except for the fact Clint and I are out of jobs…..hmmmm..
Note: I actually tested BlueJeans when they were asking for help. I referred them to several of MY old customers so they could put BlueJeans through it’s paces, where I could not (being a starving blogger and coworking location owner.).
Now BlueJeans has been released and open to anyone. Go here to see the cost.
Imagine: Small businesses, independents, freelancers, can now have the same video conferencing capabilities that only the huge companies could afford only a few short years ago. And, to me, best of all, your GrandMa or brother in the Navy can connect to you at your H.323 conference room at work via Skype from the ship or porch.
Here is a sweet video that explains the BlueJeans Network concept:
For the ten billionth time, I repeat: Video conferencing ANYTIME, ANYPLACE, ANYONE.
If you have to drive to participate in a video conference…that is, hmmm, s-t-u-p-i-d….DUH.
BlueJeans rocks! I wish them the best!
Well, it seems that Facebook now offers point-to-point video chatting from within Facebook.
Good for them! BUT…point-to-point is kinda useless…just saying. I have more than one friend I like to chat with, and all the Bay Shore Kids could have a reunion.
HoHum, but, at least video conferencing is now reaching the masses. After 20 years….my work is done?! 🙂
Google+ (if anyone is actually using it…I cannot seem to get connected) offers multipoint video chat (using, I think, Vidyo software). At least that is what I heard….
I have been saying for MANY years now that videoconferencing should be for anyone at anytime from anyplace.
Big fancy rooms that cost $500,000 each are simply not needed…DUH…each participant should stay home (#telecommuting = #coworking) and video chat into a meeting. Save gas, save time, save money, save the environment.
Just wanted to post this video as an introduction to a new company, StarLeaf, started by some old friends (from Codian).
I’ll be learning more in the coming weeks (I may be meeting with them in July) and will keep you posted. By the way, when the Codian came out, I was one of the first supporters, and LOVED it from day one and, eventually, built the ESnet H.323 videoconferencing architecture around Codians (with a Radvison gatekeeper).
Needless to say, I am anxious to see StarLeaf in action.
Oh yeah…as a reminder of who was FIRST with Personal Telepresence….go here. 🙂
My loyal reader probably remembers when I first saw ooVoo (this is a reclaimed blog entry since the original was lost with all the movement). I thought at the time that ooVoo was the greatest video conferencing application I had seen in awhile. Over time, I loved it even more that it included multi-person (3 and then up to 6) videoconferencing…..for free.
We used it all the time (the above picture shows Christian in Paris, Sheila in Chicago, and Me in Tracy, CA).
Then they changed, and started to charge for multi-way video chat. Damn…
Guess what? Free 3 (maybe 6?????) way multi person video chat is baaaacccckkk…not sure how long this has been the case, but, I just found out (and that is all that matters….right? haha).
Give ooVoo a try….and get 2 (maybe 5????) friends to try it with you…
I HATE the way they do their web site….it is VERY deceptive (my not so humble opinion). In fact, their Facebook page also insinuates the same 6 way for free (that is why I clicked over).
“ooVoo Lisa sayz “A wallet is a terrible thing to waste! Why pay for Skype when you can get ooVoo 6-way for Free! Like if you agree!”
Looking at it, you would think that 6 way calling is free, right? Well according to their web pages…..it is NOT.
Go to this page to get the real story.
Buyer beware…the Facebook comments seem to suggest 6 way is free till May 31 (they do not say which year).