Tedd Fox, BlueJeans’ Principal Product Manager for room experience, describes how the mobile device lifestyle and user experience model is driving BlueJeans mobile video calling with delivery of fast, efficient telepresence solutions for large and small video-enabled rooms.
Fox has implemented a “#nolaptoplife,” referring to his preference—shared by consumers—for working on smaller, more mobile devices like a cell phone or tablet. As the software he frequently used began to develop mobile device apps, Fox found himself working primarily from his mobile devices. “The ways in which apps work today make it possible to do fully productive work from your cell phone or tablet.”
Fox also highlights a key historical aspect of mobile device technology: the evolution of passive consumption to active engagement. “Before, mobile devices were made for content absorption, not creation. Now, with work applications based on mobile devices, the speed and quality enables content creation that was once best performed on a laptop or desktop computer.” The post-PC era is about “shedding” (as Fox puts it) what isn’t necessary to perform the work you do on a daily basis. “The average knowledge worker only needs a few select tools that they use regularly—word processing or spreadsheets, for example.” This post-PC concept is the genesis of BlueJeans apps for iOS and Android: to unite and empower BlueJeans mobile video conferencing for rooms across workplace systems, office locations and mobile devices.
When a new site is opened within a company, and they haven’t connected to those locations yet, there can be issues with technology deployment. This causes IT personnel to have to target their time and focus on getting the new site up and running. This is where BlueJeans for iOS comes in. “It takes less than an hour to deploy BlueJeans for iOS across your enterprise,” notes Fox.
BlueJeans for rooms easily video-enables any room at a modest price with enterprise grade and management. “If you have all of the commoditized items like a webcam, a speaker and mic, and an iPad, then you can have a fully functional mobile video conferencing system without the investment of maintenance contracts and management infrastructure. We build it all into one interoperable platform.”
Every room is developed differently, depending on what it’s used for. One such application is a smaller room that is primarily used for more casual conversations or one-to-one meetings, for instance, which can be made more intimate by placing the camera at eye-level to better approximate what it would be like to actually be in the room together. The orientation of the furniture—facing the camera, with a coffee table in front—also lends to the more casual function of the video conferencing space. For a larger space, with a more formal purpose—such as a board or conference room that is for conducting video meetings with remote clients or weekly team meetings—the camera is placed higher within the room to capture all attendees. “The requirements of each room are unique, so you have to have flexible, configure-ready options to accommodate the optical and audio needs of a video conferencing space—where the screens are, positioning of mics, and the size of the space.”
BlueJeans for rooms employ what’s known as a software codec, which compresses data to allow for greater bandwidth, and by extension, decreased issues. “This makes the mobile video conference experience even more optimal,” notes Fox, particularly when compared to hardware-based codecs. “A lot of organizations either use facilities to manage their hardware-based video conferencing room systems or IT. BlueJeans made it so that those management solutions are possible to operate independently or together.”
BlueJeans video conferencing systems are designed to revolve around the essential functions that you need for a best-in-class video or all-hands meeting: superior audio, visuals, interoperability and secure, reliable, and virtually effortless deployment. In other words, BlueJeans features prioritize and provide everything you need for a successful video meeting, and nothing that you don’t. This is a major differentiator when it comes to competitors in the software-based video conferencing space. “We look at the features that people use the most—such as file sharing—and build those into the BlueJeans platform.”
Building robust management functionality into the BlueJeans platform is a top priority. Whereas other software-based, mobile video conferencing features read like an a la carte menu—complete with different licensing agreements attached—everything you need for an optimal video meeting is built directly into, and included, with BlueJeans video conferencing software. “There are a lot of small video room systems that are purpose-built solely for their video conferencing platform, not for anything else. They are expensive. Often, they ask you to purchase a maintenance contract and a management consultation fee—not to mention the potential infrastructure for this that you might have to install on premise.”