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Conferencing Featured Article

April 23, 2012

Blue Jeans Intros the MCU Alternative to Video Conferencing

By Mini Swamy
TMCnet Contributor

In an effort to narrow the divide between audio-conferencing and video-conferencing usage, audio-conferencing company InterCall (News - Alert) has entered into a partnership with start-up Blue Jeans Network, a cloud-based service that makes video conferencing a breeze.

The Blue Jeans platform is well known for its ability to set up impromptu video calls with participants on consumer-based systems like Skype (News - Alert), according to company officials.

Video conferencing systems are not being used to their full potential because they are very complicated to use, expensive, not interoperable and use proprietary technology. By enabling multi-device, multi-vendor and multi-party service, Blue Jeans hopes to position itself as a disruptive player in the industry.

“I really view this as a great opportunity to bring video to the masses,” said Robert Bellmar, senior vice president for Conferencing and Collaboration at InterCall. “It lets videoconferencing users who have been operating in closed ecosystems get the best value out of that technology.”

It’s a win-win for both companies. While InterCall can drive up the utilization of video with the partnership, Blue Jeans will be vetted by a company that is trusted by many large video-conferencing players, making it easier for large enterprises to subscribe to Blue Jeans through InterCall.

Bellmar spoke of the advantages of the partnership with Blue Jeans and noted that as no special software was required beyond a consumer-based system like Skype, video-conferencing was no longer limited to connecting only those locations that were specially equipped.

The Blue Jeans service, based in the cloud will charge its subscribers just like a wireless phone plan. The organizer will send participants the details of the meeting via e-mail and a link to join. When the meeting commences, users just need to click on the link to join the meeting, be seen and heard.

This is in contrast to a room video-conferencing system, which limits the role that users who call in by phone play. Blue Jeans has sought to change all that by extending the ability to actually join in on the conference from a desktop, laptop or even a tablet with its virtual multi-point control unit model.

By transcoding video in the cloud, Blue Jeans delivers the signal and resolution that is appropriate for each separate device that users connect with.

In other news, Blue Jeans Network recently announced  new pricing plans that give customers the opportunity to experience business grade multi-way videoconferencing in the cloud, without the high cost of entry and interoperability constraints of traditional on-premise bridging hardware (commonly known as multipoint control units, or MCUs).

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