The Data Behind Online Meetings: Parsing User Statistics
BlueJeans product manager Shailesh Hegde has a couple of go-to phrases that guide his work with Command Center, where BlueJeans customers go to monitor their online meeting usage, troubleshoot online meetings, and even calculate, using the handy tool, their return on investment (ROI) for having purchased BlueJeans to conduct video calls.
“If you can’t measure it, then you can’t improve it.”
The beauty of BlueJeans Command Center is that even if you’re not an IT guru, you can readily assess your company’s virtual meeting usage, track audio and video call quality, and monitor user feedback. Any IT person can easily troubleshoot video conferencing calls and live streaming sessions. “Without metrics,” notes Hegde, “how can you can be fully sure you’re operating a good online meeting service, and that your users are having a good experience with their online meetings? Command Center gives you the features to achieve those goals.”
Competitors’ products don’t always “check all those boxes,” he notes. “End user feedback is not something they tend to offer, even though ultimately, the end user perception is what makes a customer renew or move on from the product. You constantly need to poll and listen to your users. If I’m the company CIO, and I can note at a glance that 85 percent of the employees are happy with their BlueJeans video calls, then I’m likely to renew BlueJeans.”
Evaluating Virtual Meeting Effectiveness
Hegde describes a new feature that involves proactive alerts to IT admins, perhaps about a user leaving poor feedback on the quality of their latest video call or online meetings having problems due to network issues, or a video conferencing room unexpectedly getting disconnected. “We’re always thinking about new ways to minimize reaction time on the part of IT and the helpdesk.”
Hegde also reiterates that many pieces of Command Center are perfectly comprehensible to not just IT folks, but normal users. His department is currently exploring ways of taking pieces of Command Center and deploying them to such users. Wouldn’t it be great for everyone to readily access statistics made simple or straightforward graphic displays, for instance of the number of online meetings you’ve run in the past week? Your average video conferencing call quality? And if Command Center could automatically notify you that you’re having particular troubles with, say, video calls to Australia, perhaps you might proactively shoot a quick note to IT or the helpdesk and get on top of their troubleshooting queue!
Other measurable statistics they’ve dabbled with in the past included “video quotient” or “video density.” Basically it’s the adoption rate of audio only video calls on online chats. If all of the company’s BlueJeans users have their video muted (cameras off) all the time for their online meetings, the video quotient is 0. If all of them are using both video and audio for every single BlueJeans online meeting, the video quotient is 100.
“Customers want information, not numbers.”
Notwithstanding all that, Hegde and his team also realize that video conferencing numbers alone are never as helpful as interpretations of numbers.
“It’s great to have detailed numbers for your virtual meetings or live streams, but as you dig deeper into the stats, many customers may understand the terms—jitter, package loss, et cetera—but have no idea what’s good or bad. We’re always thinking about how we can make things easier to parse.
“It sounds so simple—and it was relatively simple for our engineers to implement—but one great feature of Command Center is that we’ve color-coded in an intuitive way some of the video conferencing statistics like jitter, based on whether they are great, acceptable, or problematic. If the number is red, there’s a problem. If not, then all is good.”