Blue Jeans Network wants video meetings to be commonplace

June 27, 2012

One year after its launch, Blue Jeans Network has expanded the reach of its interoperable videoconferencing service and secured a third round of funding worth $25 million.

The company’s goal: making video meetings as functional as a pair of blue jeans.

Users of the service can access a meeting through Skype, Google, Microsoft Lync, Polycom, Cisco, traditional phone and now directly through their web browser. My interview with the Blue Jeans Network executives was a perfect test of Blue Jeans’ interoperability, with the four members of the conference on Skype, Polycom, a web browser and a landline phone.

Blue Jeans’ recent launch of a web browser platform increases the number of people who can join video meetings by more than 2.3 billion, its executives said. Access now requires only a webcam and Chrome, Internet Explorer, Firefox or Safari. Installing necessary plugins takes about 20 to 30 seconds, chief commercial officer Stu Aaron said.

Blue Jeans Network has also expanded its partnerships to include Cisco Jabber, Cisco TelePresence Systems and native SIP support. Aaron said the company’s approach to developing its platform has been “client-agnostic” so that users have the most options possible.

The videoconferencing platform allows for screensharing of presentations and documents in a user-controlled layout.

Because it is a cloud-based platform, Blue Jeans Network does not require heavy installation of hardware. It transcodes the video input from different services to allow them to work together.

Companies that use Blue Jeans range from Facebook and Gawker Media to Stanford University and Match.com, Aaron said.  Some 250,000 participants use the service, he added.

The latest round of funding comes from New Enterprise Associates, Accel Partners and Norwest Venture Partners. All three invested in Blue Jeans Network’s prior funding rounds, totaling $23.5 million.

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