Blue Jeans Network, a provider of interoperable video collaboration services, has expanded its video-centric collaboration service with several new enhancements that better integrate audio participants, round out web conferencing and content sharing capabilities, and expand the reach of the service to Android-based mobile devices.
“These new enhancements come at a time when Blue Jeans has captured over 30 percent of the worldwide video conferencing services market. The company is also seeing greater than 25 percent growth month over month and has recently closed $50M in new funding to invest aggressively in sales and marketing, international expansion, and continued product innovation,” said Stu Aaron, CCO, Blue Jeans Network. “With every new feature, partnership, and customer, we continue to disrupt and extend the reach of the video communications market, proving that today the most powerful tool for business is still the human face.”
To enhance the audio experience, Blue Jeans has partnered with InterCall, one of the world’s largest audio and conferencing service providers to integrate Blue Jeans Network video with InterCall Reservationless-Plus audio conferencing. Additionally, Blue Jeans has also introduced new audio quality enhancements that address low bandwidth environments, and counteract common causes of echo and other audio disruptions.
On the web conferencing and content sharing front, Blue Jeans has added built-in chat capabilities, enabling meeting attendees to more effectively communicate by sending reminders to speakers, conducting side-bar conversations, exchanging commentary, and more. Blue Jeans is also offering a new screen sharing “widget” that allows presenters to view other meeting participants simultaneously while they are presenting content from their desktop. This feature helps presenters to gauge the audience’s reaction to their presentation, and adjust their delivery as needed.
Finally Blue Jeans is extending its mobile offering to support Android-based tablets and smartphones with a native app that will be available tomorrow in Google Play. This complements the existing Blue Jeans iOS app which is currently the 180th most popular iPad business app in the Apple Store. Today nearly one-third of Blue Jeans meetings have at least one mobile device in them. IDC projects that smartphone shipments will surpass 1.8 billion mobile phones this year and Android will represent a 75 percent market share.
Underscoring the importance of video-centric business collaboration, Blue Jeans has also released the results of a national survey, conducted by Instant.ly, showing that while 94 percent of respondents state that face-to-face communications improve business relationships, the vast majority (91 percent) have never seen many of the people they work with on a daily or weekly basis. Six percent of respondents admit to having fallen asleep on an audio conference.
Other interesting findings from the survey include:
· Nearly three quarters (71 percent) of respondents said they believe they lost a deal due to the lack of face-to-face interaction.
· If an in-person meeting is not possible, more than half (54 percent) of respondents say that video conferencing is the best alternative, while web conferencing ranks as the option of last resort with only 8 percent of people selecting this as an alternative to in person. In fact, people would prefer to email (14 percent) or have an audio only call (23 percent) rather than a web conference.
· Nearly three quarters (74 percent) of respondents admitted to ever having multitasked on audio only conference calls, and when you can’t see people, what are they doing? Many (72 percent) have talked to colleagues. Sixty-nine percent admit they have passed the time Facebooking, tweeting or taking other calls and some people have actually taken a nap (6 percent).
· Nearly all respondents (94 percent) are at least somewhat surprised by an associate’s appearance after speaking on the phone. More than half of respondents regularly misread tone or message via email or phone (60 percent) and 40 percent have mistaken someone’s gender before they’ve had a visual connection.
Blue Jeans also has hired James Campanini, a former Cisco and WebEx executive, as VP/GM EMEA based in London. This move capitalizes on a rapidly growing presence in Europe. The UK already boasts nearly 700 businesses consuming approximately 10 million minutes a year on the Blue Jeans service, making it the second largest market for Blue Jeans behind the US.