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BlueJeans Network Disrupts Premise MCU

Late last year, in Blue Jeans Network: Interoperability For Skype, Lync and More, I was pretty excited about their “pay-as-you-go plan.” After hearing feedback from their customers, BlueJeans Network is now offering hosted multi-party videoconferencing on a per port/per month service in the cloud with a price of $299 per port/per month.

The new offering allows customers to license a variable number of concurrent connections (virtual ports) from BlueJeans. This enables businesses of all sizes to get in the game at a much lower cost while avoiding the headaches associated with purchasing, installing, maintaining, and managing traditional on-premise MCUs. Other headaches of running your own premises-based videoconferencing system include ensuring adequate bandwidth and capacity planning. This can lead to another nightmare when doing what traditional telephony did for decades--planning for peak busy hour traffic for that one busiest day or season of the year. This can equate to higher costs and under-utilized resources.

With BlueJeans, customers can still pay for what they need as an average and then elect to upgrade or pay overages for those one-time events. This same flexibility isn't possible with a premises-only solution, where adding more endpoints into the infrastructure has the ripple effect of adding more costs to the infrastructure. Then, with video conferencing expecting robust growth ahead, there's the churn of onsite equipment.

For customers with embedded hardware, BlueJeans is still a cool alternative as an adjunct service or for capacity. Customers contemplating premises video solutions should consider BlueJeans' claim that they cost 75% less than traditional premise based MCUs--definitely a disruptive price point. Scalability, cost, ease of use and interoperability are immediate wins with BlueJeans.

BlueJeans definitely struck a nerve with me. Trying to right-size a moving target such as video conferencing isn't any easy guess, and no ratio that someone comes up with--X-number of users for X-amount of video conferencing--will likely suffice either. Bandwidth is another concern, and spiking the network utilization on big videoconference days may not be in the best overall interests of companies still running a business.

Wainhouse Research published a whitepaper in 2005, "The Business Case For Internal Video Bridging" and I believe that some enterprises will still follow the old model of doing their own premise-based solutions. What they may want to consider doing differently is adding in BlueJeans to leverage the cloud and services with embedded infrastructure to reduce costs and improve services and availability. Voice-only conferences may still dominate conferencing, but as video demands continue to push into all businesses and government; new models that are affordable, easy to use and acquire translate to the delivery and the kind of value that BlueJeans promises.