This week I had the chance to talk about Microsoft Teams and the BlueJeans Cloud Video Interop solution, BlueJeans Gateway. This webinar, the third in a series, focused on the benefits of Cloud Video Interop to enable Teams Meetings in SIP and H.323 room systems and the user experience of the BlueJeans Gateway.
This webinar series was created to help our customers (and partners) better understand Microsoft Teams deployment process and to showcase the different considerations for successful implementation of Microsoft Teams. The first webinar discussed best practices for deploying Teams video meetings, while the second followed up with the different considerations to accelerate Microsoft Teams adoption.
I had the chance to wrap up this series to do a deep dive into the benefits of cloud video interop and how that helps organizations better manage their Microsoft Teams projects. Cloud Video Interop is a Microsoft qualified third-party solution that enables third party meeting rooms to join Teams Meetings. This is an option that organizations should consider if they do not want to rip and replace their existing hardware systems like Cisco, Lifesize and Poly.
Cloud Video Interop for Microsoft Teams
The idea of cloud video interop is quite simple. A call from a SIP or H.323 endpoint is connected to the BlueJeans Gateway infrastructure, which is hosted in Azure, which connects to the Microsoft Teams infrastructure. Microsoft has chosen BlueJeans as one of only three partners who can provide this solution for Microsoft Teams. The intention is to provide the same experience regardless of which client a user chooses – Teams native mobile and desktop clients, or from meeting rooms with standards-based hardware.
The BlueJeans Gateway has been developed with simplicity and speed in mind. The SaaS-based solution is the fastest and easiest way to connect your conference rooms with Microsoft Teams meetings. It’s easy across the board for the following reasons:
- Easy to deploy: BlueJeans Gateway can be up and running in about 6 PowerShell commands. Typically, this solution can be deployed in less than two hours no matter what size of enterprise. While BlueJeans provides all the support needed to deploy the Gateway, it’s so simple that admins can self-install without having to spin up another deployment project team.
- Easy to manage: BlueJeans Gateway is designed so that global failover and global load balancing is included and no additional VMs are required to run the service, reducing management time and freeing up IT resources. In addition, BlueJeans Command Center provides a one-stop shop to get real-time analytics for your Gateway rooms. SaaS means no updates to manage and nothing to host for the gateway.
- Easy to use: As I demonstrate in the webinar, it’s also really simple for your end-user which helps drive Teams meetings. It’s as easy as scheduling a Teams meeting and inviting the room of choice. The meeting will appear in the native display in the room and if you deploy BlueJeans one-touch join, users can just walk into a room and click the join button to start a Teams meeting.
Our customers underscore these same benefits that I talk about. In this webinar, we feature two of our Gateway customers and showcase the different benefits they have realized from the Gateway. JLG Architects experienced significant savings by being able to keep using their existing Cisco rooms and reducing IT support tickets for in-room meetings. A top 10 oil and gas company powered 900 Poly rooms with the BlueJeans Gateway. Our flexible licensing option allowed this company to right-size the Gateway deployment according to their specific needs. Overall, both organizations emphasized how having the Gateway enables more Teams video meetings – increasing Teams use and accelerating adoption among users.
We work with customers like JLG closely to develop our solutions. Our customers have a direct influence on our future roadmap. Based on customer feedback, we are bringing out new features like Custom IVR and Vanity URLs this month. We are close to adding two additional POPs for the Gateway in Australia and Germany in the next few months.
BlueJeans has been a proud Microsoft partner since 2011. My team and I work closely with Microsoft’s Product teams to co-develop solutions so that we are always able to provide the most robust and most advanced solutions for our customer.
If you missed the webinar or want a refresher, you can watch it here. We got some great questions from an engaged audience in all three webinars which I am summarizing below:
Q: What additional hardware do I need to deploy the Gateway?
A: None. That’s the best thing about the BlueJeans Gateway. Everything is hosted in the public Azure cloud, all you need are your existing room systems. If you want to deploy one-button to push, you just need to deploy a dinky, little, 40MB application called the Listener Service to push the upcoming meeting list and dial strings to those endpoints. This grabs the meetings from your calendar and makes it available in the room endpoint for end user bliss.
Q: How does the BlueJeans Gateway compare to the Crestron solution for Teams?
A: the Crestron solution is a Microsoft Team Room (MTR). You will not need a Gateway for that, and that is a solution if you want to rip and replace your existing hardware. They are purpose built to only join Teams meetings. However, if you have SIP or H.323 solutions BlueJeans Gateway is the perfect solution to have Teams Meetings. You can also have other video conferencing services in the same SIP or H.323 endpoint, which you can’t do with a Teams native Crestron device.
Q: Which endpoints are supported by BlueJeans Gateway?
A: We work with the majority of SIP and H.323 endpoints, with a couple of exceptions. But we support 19000+ combinations of hardware, software and firmware. If you don’t have a native touch panel, you can also use an iPad app that you can pair to the room and get the one-touch experience easily.
Q: Are there any requirements for this to be in Exchange online or can be it in Exchange on-prem?
A: This is built for O365 so it has to be Exchange Online. A lot of enterprises are prioritizing moving to Office 365 and so we have built the product to fill that need.
You have multiple options to try BlueJeans Gateway today. Try Gateway for free with our new Try a Meeting offer. You can also try the Gateway in your environment with the Gateway Free Promo. Don't hesitate to reach out to us to learn more and schedule a demo or proof of concept!