Virtual meetings have enriched our lives and businesses through some challenging times. But using out-of-date video conferencing technology can really take the joy out of it — and can be costly.

France’s national meteorological service, Météo-France, had to deal with this challenge until recently. Users had to install an application to make or join calls with its previous video conferencing solution, a process that could be cumbersome for employees and frustrating for guests who might not be familiar with the technology.

To add to its predicament, the Paris-based agency could only use its 20 meeting rooms for calls between its offices. The rooms were based on a proprietary infrastructure that restricted access by external parties.

So as the pandemic led to more virtual meetings — and video conferencing costs — Météo-France decided to switch to a more flexible and open platform, opting for the enterprise-grade BlueJeans Meetings.

“One of the strengths of BlueJeans is the one-click access to video conferencing via any browser, thanks to the WebRTC standard that exempts users from having to install an application on their workstations without losing quality and the richness of features,” says Rémy Giraud, Météo-France’s Head of Infrastructure and Management Information Systems. “Many other systems force you [to install a software solution] or even impose it, which is not in accordance with our policy.”

Easing Access to Meetings While Reducing Costs

Employees and guests can now join meetings without downloading an app, and they get the same experience regardless of the device they’re using, dramatically increasing Météo-France’s number of meetings.

“During peak periods, BlueJeans ensured meeting quality, with up to 700 people connected simultaneously across different sessions — a testament to the strength and capacity of its infrastructure to scale up,” says Rémy Giraud. “Today, BlueJeans has increased our number of users fourfold and made it easier for external participants to connect, who only have to press the invitation link to join a meeting if they don’t have the app.”

Switching to BlueJeans has helped Météo-France to cut video conferencing licensing costs by a remarkable 300%. BlueJeans’ pricing model involves calculating costs per host. This offers everyone the full functionality of BlueJeans Meetings with no limit to meeting time or number of participants — and without additional costs for services such as storing recordings in the cloud.

“The licensing model of BlueJeans allows us to meet our strict, non-scalable annual budget commitments,” says Rémy Giraud. “We know exactly how much BlueJeans services are going to cost us over a period of time.”

Optimizing Room Systems

Fifteen of Météo-France’s existing meeting rooms are now used for both internal and external meetings, enabling it to get the most out of these systems. 

The rooms are equipped with Cisco and Polycom hardware, using the SIP (session initial protocol) or H.323 standard in audio-visual communication. They interoperate with BlueJeans Meetings flawlessly at no additional costs.

Météo-France has also since been able to record meetings in a standard format, allowing it to immediately use recordings. Previously, it had to convert recordings made in non-standard formats before it could use them. BlueJeans provides recordings in MP4 format, which is open and royalty free, simplifying content use and post-production. 

And by listing and documenting all the IP addresses of its cloud servers, BlueJeans has met Météo-France’s security requirements. This means that employees working remotely can join meetings without connecting to a virtual private network, increasing their connection speed and avoiding all potential points of congestion.

“We particularly appreciate the quality and relevance of the support provided by the BlueJeans teams and the creation of new functionalities demanded by the increased use of video conferencing since the start of the pandemic,” says Rémy Giraud.

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