Blue Jeans Network looks for tight fit with UK channel

Latest Silicon Valley start-up to hit UK shores pledges to turn video into a mass market proposition, and signs up big AV channel guns Imago and InterCall

Video collaboration software specialist Blue Jeans Network has formally launched in the UK market, promising to help the channel add more value to its video conferencing hardware sales.

The three and a half year-old start-up was founded with a mission to democratise video conferencing, and make it into a true mass market proposition.

It trades on the idea that too many of the collaboration solutions on the market are complex, expensive and crucially, do not play well with others.

To this end it has developed a software solution that broadly speaking, functions in the same way an audio-conference bridge. It claims that with its solution in play, users can connect both business and consumer video conferencing tools – including but not limited to Cisco TelePresence, Skype, Google Hangouts, Microsoft Lync and others – on desktop browsers, tablets or smartphones into one meeting.

Although Blue Jeans has already sold into the UK – and boasts over 700 businesses consuming 10 million minutes per annum on its books – it took the decision to grow internationally after scoring a major round of financing in September.

It has now hired former Cisco and WebEx man James Campanini as its VP and GM of EMEA to ramp up its local organisation, and has already signed audio-visual sector specialists InterCall - part of a wider partnership that also covers the US - and Imago Group. It is also on the hunt for other partners, particularly those that have sold video hardware in the past.

Speaking to MicroScope, Campanini said he believed Blue Jeans’ technology could find a ready home in any number of other video vendors’ channel partner portfolios.

“We are not saying to any reseller you have made a mistake in selling other video brands, but that your video hardware has limited ROI [for the customer], and by buying Blue Jeans you can extend that,” he explained.

The cloud-based, SaaS nature of Blue Jeans will also bring benefits around recurring revenues and managed services, said Campanini.

Ian Vickerage, MD at Imago Group, said he believed Blue Jeans could create “immediate value” for customers that have invested in video conferencing endpoints and room systems.

“Now they can connect those endpoints with all the people that cannot access these rooms but have access to a desktop, laptop or mobile device with a camera. With so many colleagues now accessible over video with just a simple click, people will find it easy to do more video conferencing,” he said.

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