This week, I had the opportunity to chat with customer Casey Hammer, Director of IT at JLG Architects for our “5 Key Questions to Ask Before Choosing an Interop Solution for Teams” webinar. Casey has been a strong advocate of our BlueJeans Gateway and Microsoft Teams partnership since the beginning—starting along in this journey with us as a Beta customer under the Microsoft TAP program for the BlueJeans Gateway.
As the head of IT for one of the 50 most admired companies in the US, one of Casey’s key priorities has been improving communication and collaboration at JLG. As a Microsoft shop, making the transition to Teams seemed a natural progression for going to the cloud from on-prem, and choosing the BlueJeans Gateway—a cloud video interop solution—allowed him to consolidate dispersed communication tools into one single solution that would achieve cost savings.
In our webinar, Casey shared important insights about his Microsoft Teams initiatives and how the BlueJeans Gateway provided him with flexibility and cost savings, including how it was extremely important for him to consider a Cloud Video Interop (CVI) solution early in his Teams deployment plan. He wanted to ensure he could enable his rooms to have Teams meetings, while maintaining a superior user experience for his end users. He achieved it by using the BlueJeans Gateway on his Cisco endpoints, a simple, SaaS-based solution that is extremely easy to deploy with a few PowerShell commands and also includes one-touch join calendar integration with Teams Meetings.
A lot of our customers are eager to accelerate their Microsoft Teams deployment and that means enabling room systems with the power of Teams Meetings. With the BlueJeans Gateway, organizations with existing standards-based room systems can connect these endpoints to Microsoft Teams to extend the life of this hardware until they are ready to invest in new hardware.
Casey considers his Teams and Cloud Video Interop project a success. He tracks metrics such as support tickets to start meetings from rooms - which has gone down significantly since deployment of Gateway. He also mentioned having to conduct fewer trainings to get his users up to speed on how to run meetings and getting positive feedback from his users as key indicators for a solution that satisfied JLG’s needs.
Casey’s recommendation to others in his place, IT admins and managers who are rolling out Teams, is to make sure the backend foundation has been set up properly when deploying Teams and CVI for room systems.
We had an extremely engaged audience who asked us some great questions, a few of which I will summarize here:
Q. Did you use the BlueJeans Relay for one-touch or the Cisco TMS?
A. We had the BlueJeans Relay one-touch join feature. We did not have access to the Cisco TMS and we also wanted to reduce and eventually shut down our Cisco footprint. Relay was installed in one of our utility servers and this made sure that we did not need to open up our firewall.
Q. Any pricing information available for comparison to other vendors?
A. We are happy to provide pricing information if you reach out to us. We offer flexibility in licensing – as named host, full enterprise and concurrent ports. You can take advantage of these options to right-size your CVI deployment
Q. What was the estimated cost savings that you experienced from your CVI deployment?
A. We experienced significant cost savings from being able to keep our Cisco rooms online with Teams. I estimate it be something around $100,000 for our rooms.