Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella may have said it best when describing the way we work today at this year’s World Economic Forum in Davos: "I don't think there's any going back to 2019. But at the same time, it's not as if we're in 2020. We're all trying to crack that combination."

Between the noise surrounding office mandates, questions around worker productivity, ensuing power struggles between employers and employees, and economic uncertainty still looming overhead, another workplace shift is slowly underway. 

As part of this shift, organizations are rethinking and reinvesting in their office spaces in limited capacity, with plug-and-play meeting room solutions that can be quickly deployed across many meeting rooms gaining momentum. According to Omdia, “Endpoint revenue, which includes multipurpose rooms, desktop systems, videobars, and videophones, was up 14% YoY in 3Q22.”

Organizations looking to lure employees back into the office need to emphasize flexibility and inclusivity in their office workspaces. This requires a MultiService strategy to ensure that collaboration remains fluid, regardless of how employees are trying to connect from the office. However, the reality is that most existing video conferencing hardware implemented today doesn’t interoperate with all different video conferencing services—getting in the way of on-site employees being able to collaborate effectively with external partners.  

To better support cohesiveness in this next phase of how  we work today, BlueJeans is excited to advance our longstanding partnership with Microsoft by announcing the upcoming General Availability for Direct Guest Join.  Direct Guest Join provides a one-touch experience that allows users to easily join Microsoft Teams Meetings from a  BlueJeans Room using an embedded web experience on newer Windows- and Android-based devices.  Similarly, Microsoft Teams Rooms users will easily be able join BlueJeans Meetings directly from their MTR and integrated controller.  Because Direct Guest Join is web-based, there is no additional software or hardware required and this interoperability feature is included with standard Rooms licensing.  Customers should expect to see this new capability on their devices by the end of Q2 2023.  

Considering certain technical limitations with the web-embedded experience that powers Direct Guest Join (i.e., single monitor support, limited screen sharing), BlueJeans continues to offer our Microsoft certified cloud video interop solution,  BlueJeans Gateway for Microsoft Teams, that enables organizations with existing standards-based endpoints to easily connect to Microsoft Teams Meetings with a more robust feature set for video collaboration.  

To date, BlueJeans serves nearly 1,450 Gateway customers who logged over 100 million device-enabled Teams Meeting minutes in 2022, a 40X increase over the previous year.  Gateway’s  pure SaaS approach compared to other infrastructure-intensive CVI solutions in the market, continues to garner customer preference for its  ease of deployment, ease of management, and ease of use.  

Recent Gateway enhancements improve overall meeting quality and provide in-room meeting attendees with better insight into who’s in the meeting and what’s being shared.  Gateway’s new Fit-to-Frame feature automatically resizes incoming attendee streams to optimize poorly cropped participant feeds.  Advanced controls have been added to Large Gallery View, enabling in-room users to switch to this mode directly from the supported endpoint.   Additionally, Gateway now presents an attendee’s Teams profile picture if they are not sharing video for an overall more inclusive experience.  Gateway-supported users will now also receive a notification if other users are trying to share content from Excel Live, PowerPoint Live, OneDrive, and the Teams Whiteboard, which are not supported via CVI.  Finally, BlueJeans Gateway has incorporated BlueJeans’ proprietary predictive quality score, MScore, within its set of room system health monitoring metrics to better alert administrators of call quality or network issues.  

Ultimately, our belief is that conference room-bound  employees deserve the same ease of use for joining meetings across different platforms as  remote employees who simply open different apps on their desktop.  Furthermore, we want to support a collaboration ecosystem where office-based employees have the optionality to experience both a simple web-enabled approach and a more robust SIP-based approach that offers more interactive video calling features. 

Across the rest of the calendar year, BlueJeans will continue introducing more SIP-based interoperability options directly within our Android experience for more seamless meeting joining for Zoom and Webex, in addition to what we already offer customers through our dual-pronged approach with Microsoft.  Historically, BlueJeans has offered this level of MultiService on traditional standards-based endpoints, and now we are excited to bring our interop expertise to the Android platform.  

There’s no doubt that the ground has shifted under our feet and video conferencing has established itself as the primary communication tool for today’s workforce.  It’s now more critical than ever that organizations adopt a MultiService strategy to limit communication disruptions and fuel the hybrid workforce of the future.  BlueJeans has served as the industry leader in interoperability for over a decade and we are excited to carry the torch into this next era of MultiService collaboration. 

Learn more about the BlueJeans Gateway for Microsoft Teams here.