BlueJeans CPO Mark Strassman explains how BlueJeans product development and support networks have implemented a customer-first vision. We have all been there: during a conversation, the person on the other line cuts you off mid-sentence in exasperation: “You’re breaking up.” This experience, Strassman contends, is a certain (albeit learned) acceptance around the unpredictability of the cellular call. It’s just something we are conditioned to endure: it’s a built-up tolerance to mediocrity with the cell phone experience. But, when it comes to a video call? “People don’t have that same tolerance. If a call drops during a video call, there’s a problem with our product.”
The Dolby audio experience isn’t just a little bit better, it’s dramatically better. Among the key highlights of the Dolby Voice and Dolby digital integration across the BlueJeans video calling platform is spatial audio. Spatial audio enables hearing different voices in different places on the video call, and it’s a game changer. “Dolby Voice integration is about enhancing the overall meeting experience period. The least common denominator in any conversation is the audio.” Ordinary audio lets you get the job done, but as Mark points out, “You may miss nuances, or emotions,” which can affect overall meeting productivity. The traditional teleconference audio experience leaves much to be desired, but it’s unfortunately what we have come to expect.
In a traditional call, the audio picks the loudest voice; others aren’t as audible. “When you’re in a room,” says Strassman, “you can differentiate between voices because your brain can figure it out. With the Dolby digital integration, that’s exactly what you get. All voices are at the same volume, but are dispersed so that you can hear them in different places.”
With Dolby sound, if there’s any background noise, say at a coffee shop or while driving, “the unwritten rule in video conferencing is that you hit the mute button when you’re not talking,” says Strassman. That person who doesn’t remember to press mute is the person that wrecks the call, i.e. ‘we can’t hear anything because John he’s talking while driving down the freeway’. With Dolby Voice integration, the only people you hear are those that you intend to. Strassman states that this superior Dolby audio experience is transformational. “People don’t actually realize that it’s a problem because they have accepted traditional, mediocre experiences.”
After every BlueJeans video meeting, you can rate the video call experience on a scale from 1 – 5. Based on that rating, and any comments provided, BlueJeans can start to correlate and look at the causality of bad meeting ratings with other elements of the call, such as bandwidth, or the platforms that meeting attendees were on. Historically, feedback demonstrates that the more people in the meeting, the lower the meeting score goes, and Strassman points out that this is usually linked to audio quality. BlueJeans also conducts usability testing with thousands of users each month that helps drive product design. Strassman describes some of the observations that BlueJeans tracks: “Where are they clicking? Does text or an image need to be moved slightly to the left, or to the right? How are users navigating the app, and can they find what they need?”
The typical, sub-par audio experience doesn’t have to be the norm. Strassman describes the experience of demonstrating the Dolby Voice integration with BlueJeans users. “There are twenty people on the video call, with headsets on—they hear another person talk, and this grin appears on their face. It’s sort of the grin of enlightenment because they didn’t realize what they didn’t know.”
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