By Lindsey Westbrook
There is a shift going on among enterprise customers for live video conference software. Not long ago, audio and video-enabled conference rooms were reserved for high-level executives, and companies might spend up to hundreds of thousands of dollars on building them out—but only a few, given the limited usage and big expense.
Today, the corporate mindset has dramatically shifted to imagine video calling as something for everyone, thanks in part to the emergence of low-cost solutions that are easier to manage for IT and helpdesk folks.
“It’s video for the masses!” says Joe Mann, BlueJeans Technical Manager for Sales Engineering. “When BlueJeans was first founded, our big value proposition was interoperability, meaning, we readily enable connections among conference room calling systems, desktop users, people on their mobile phones, and so on. But from my perspective, the keyword these days is integration, meaning, from a workflow perspective, we bring near-seamless video meeting capabilities to anyone using any number of existing software applications, from Microsoft Outlook to Slack, Google Calendar, or Microsoft Office 365.”
It comes up a lot, he reports, especially with the enterprise market segment, that more and more people on staff want to have video meetings, but the company has already invested in a lot of hardware, for instance the aforementioned wired conference rooms. The bosses feel compelled to integrate that into the new infrastructural paradigm—they don’t want to throw all that hardware away, in other words—but it doesn’t make sense to replicate it for all employees. So leveraging video conference software like BlueJeans to offload some of the costs and complications becomes a perfect solution.
“A major factor that sets BlueJeans apart is its ability to take disparate video conference solutions and blend them together into a seamless system,” notes Mann. “Previously, it would have been massively difficult to get video conference room systems to talk to desktop users. And forget about mobile users, or meeting participants outside the company! But with BlueJeans those are straightforward integrations we tackle with customers every day.” Existing infrastructure is leveraged, costs are minimized.
Another big growth area Mann notices is town hall and all-hands meetings: “We see it all the time that customers want their corporate culture to become more interactive, when previously the best they could do was get part of the company on an audio-only telephone call, or webcast video unidirectionally, such that the employees can watch live, but can’t interact. BlueJeans Events enables people to interact live, give feedback live, participate in Q&As live, thanks to multidirectional live video streaming.”
Notable examples of happy customers of BlueJeans Events? Mann can name quite a few. “We’ve done lots of work with the sports entertainment sector, for instance. But we have so many customers across all sorts of industries who see a need to evolve as the company is growing. They are figuring out how to engage their global workforce. You’ve got more people are working from home, new offices opening up, suddenly you’ve got a global footprint, and so how do you get folks in the same time and ‘place’—recognizing that for many of them, that place will be virtual—to interact?”
He’s observed it again and again: say, the Lebanon office is video conferencing live to the Sydney office for the first time. They’re communicating naturally with gestures and facial expressions. “The impact on the corporate culture is always wonderful to see.”