Online video conferencing service, Blue Jeans Network, has entered the Australian market.
The California-based company will use the local channel to bring its products to customers, and is currently on a partner recruitment drive.
Blue Jeans Network’s key product is an interoperable video conferencing system, which chief commercial officer, Stu Aaron, said tackles the common challenges of video conferencing.
“While video is seen as much better than audio, the reality is not everyone is doing video calls,” he said.
Aaron said the reason why pervasive video conferencing never took off is due to problems with legacy technology over the last 30 years.
“The first was complexity, as some of these solutions came with a remote control that had more buttons than a person could use,” he said.
Motivated by the desire not to look silly in front of their colleagues, the user would often push the remote aside and call IT.
“If you have to call IT to do anything, you’re not going to do it often,” Aaron said.
Another issue has been the incompatibility between platforms.
The example Aaron uses is checking which phone a person has before made a regular phone call.
“Imaging if I was on an iPhone or a BlackBerry, or on Telstra or Optus, and it was not going to work,” he said.
Aaron admits that the above concept “sounds ridiculous,” but that is how video conferencing has worked until now.
“If you wanted to use Cisco, Skype, Google or Polycom, it would not work,” he said.
This incompatibility only ended up putting too much burden on the meeting organiser.
So instead of just making a call, a user had to worry about where the other person will be and what they will be using.
The third problem with video conferencing until now has been the high cost.
“You essentially paid through the nose to see the other person’s nose,” Aaron said.
When all of those three issues come together, Aaron said it is no surprise that video was not catching on.
How BlueJeans attempted to overcome this situation was by creating a virtual meeting room in its Cloud, which can then be accessed from any browser on any device.
“If video meeting were as easy and affordable as an audio call, then that should enable people to shift from simply having audio meetings to video based ones,” he said.
Patrick Budmar covers consumer and enterprise technology breaking news for IDG Communications. Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_budmar.