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Briefing: BlueJeans by Verizon
On October 29, 2020, Verizon briefed on BlueJeans’ product vision and direction. Since acquiring BlueJeans in May, Verizon has sought to rapidly enhance BlueJean’s collaboration features, maintaining pace with other market leaders and responding to customer demand.
The BlueJeans platform encompasses Meetings, Smart Meetings, Events, Rooms, the App Network, a Command Center, and Custom Branding. The following is a list of upcoming features BlueJeans users can expect for the rest of 2020 and into 2021.
- New: 5x5 video layout on all browsers, room systems, the Linux app, and Android tablets (this layout is already available on desktop and iPad Pro).
- From November: Pagination view.
- From December: Participant pinning, participant time zone display, and meeting reactions (e.g. Yes/No, Clap/Celebrate, drop the mic, emojis).
- By 1Q 2021: USB headset integration.
- Participants per meeting currently stands at 200. By 2Q 2021, participants per meeting will be 500; by 3Q 2021 it will be 1,000.
- From December for new BlueJeans users: 20-second reduction on app installation, network strength indicators, and a “What’s New” FAQ section.
- By 1H 2021: 7x7 video layout.
- In design: ability to send “running late” notification if meeting is going over time.
Security features in Meetings:
- New: Restricted meetings, quick lock, and screen share lock.
- By Q4 2020: Enhanced waiting room (where moderators can see who is waiting and attendees can knock), audio lock, and indicators for which participants are officially logged into their corporate identity provider on a trusted device.
Teaching and Learning features (1H 2021):
- Hosts can chat with any breakout room without joining it.
- Hosts can pre-assign breakout rooms.
- Enhanced whiteboarding, with multiple whiteboard collaborators, saved whiteboards, and out-of-meeting whiteboarding.
Smart Meetings (2021):
- Activate highlights workflow.
- Contextualize critical meeting moments.
- Bolster transcription with human perspective.
- Sync highlights with Slack channel.
- Search highlights within BlueJeans Hub.
- Closed captioning for desktop and mobile apps, recording playbook, Rooms, and additional languages.
- New: Attendee engagement index, restricted events, low-bandwidth mode, 50k participants, automatic CC, new integrations with real time translation, marketing, and automated ticketing.
- By Q4: Stream to any social network, 1080p at 30FPS, embeddable attendee player, MS Teams gateway, gallery layout, and together mode.
Leveraging Verizon infrastructure:
- 1H 2021: One Talk integration with any BlueJeans account, allowing invitations to be sent via SMS to participants using contacts, and launching meetings in the BlueJeans app.
- By 2021: Running at 4G/5G Edge, using Verizon Wireless.
- In design: BlueJeans running on all Edge cast CDN locations.
Verizon has made large strides to keep BlueJeans competitive against the team collaboration and web conferencing market leaders. Indeed, with the slew of updates announced at Ignite for MS Teams and Zoomtopia for Zoom, this is a fast-paced climate that will leave any number of tools behind if vendors do not tirelessly continue to add new features. The table stakes margin for features in the web conferencing market is increasing, it seems, every quarter. As such, BlueJeans’ new features are less a way to stand out from the crowd and more as a necessity to keep up.
Source: SoftwareReviews BlueJeans Meetings Scorecard. Accessed November 6, 2020
SoftwareReviews’ data gives a sense as to how competitive the web conferencing marketspace currently is. For while BlueJeans Meetings scores quite highly with an 8.0 composite score, this solution still only ranks 9 out of 12 in SoftwareReviews’ web conferencing category. The key for organizations to navigate this marketspace will be to divorce the capabilities your end users require from the tools themselves – a method that can be found in Phase 1 of Info-Tech’s Rationalize Your Collaboration Tools. Once you have a sense of what capabilities are necessary (and nice to have), you’ll be well-equipped for mapping which tools are better suited than others – that is, which tools lack key features and which ones will be overkill.
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