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BlueJeans Updates FY2021 Roadmap

On March 11, 2021, Verizon provided updates to BlueJeans’ product vision and direction for FY2021. BlueJeans experienced dramatic adoption in 2020. This was particularly true for webinars and virtual events, which saw four times as many BlueJeans events in 2020 than in 2019, reaching 150,000 in total (or 23 million hours).

BlueJeans’ roadmap updates respond to new data from IDG about participants’ preferences when attending virtual events. Out of 200 organizations surveyed, 93% of them plan on evaluating new virtual event technology and 83% expect virtual event attendance to increase over the next year. For these events to be successful, 45% reference the quality/professionalism of video/audio and 38% point to the opportunity for audience discussion.

In this context, BlueJeans announced the following expected features on its tentative roadmap for FY2021:

  • Improved video capabilities: 720p active speaker (March), multi-participant pinning (Q2), and 7x7 video layout (2H).
  • Emphasis on quality: improved app installation and faster join times (March), alongside improved HID capabilities and CPU optimizations (Q2).
  • Support for larger meetings: participant capacity of 500 (in Q2) and 1000 (in Q3), alongside audio lock (Q3).
  • Breakout rooms control: re-assign breakout rooms (1H), open breakout rooms (1H), host able to chat with any breakout room session without needing to join (2H), timer and notifications (2H), and co-host controls (2H).
  • Enhanced collaboration: persistent whiteboards for asynchronous and synchronous collaboration (2H), file transfer (2H), polling (2H), and Q&A functionality (2H).
  • Event features: backstage chat for presenters and moderators (1H), embeddable chat and Q&A for embedded player (2021), and mobile app embeddability in design.

Our Take

There are several attractive takeaways from BlueJeans’ projected roadmap for FY2021. The breakout rooms control is certainly a capability that will position BlueJeans as a frontrunner in this space. For virtual workshops, classes, and, other use cases that rely heavily on breakout sessions, you will struggle to find better administrative control elsewhere.

However, BlueJeans is still generally catching up to other key players in the web conferencing space with other capabilities. For instance, most market leaders already have customization for a variety of grid layouts (including 9x9), while BlueJeans is only providing 7x7 video layout by the second half of FY2021. Moreover, features such as polling and file transfer have been available in this market for a while.

SoftwareReviews' data indicates that BlueJeans users do not rate this web conferencing solution high for its product features. While BlueJeans scores well for vendor experience, organizations looking for an overall market leader may not find the advanced features they need in BlueJeans.

Source: SoftwareReviews Web Conferencing Data Quadrant. Accessed March 23, 2021.

To aid your web conferencing software selection search, use Info-Tech’s Rapid Application Selection Framework to quickly short-list and score the best solution for your organization.

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