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Blue Jeans has wasted no time making its pitch to video VARs, and its initial recruits include Hauppage, N.Y.-based IVCI, which that uses Blue Jeans' platform as part of its managed services offering, as well as Matrix, and most recently, Eatontown, N.J.-based Yorktel.
IVCI, well-known in the video conferencing channel and a top VAR for both Cisco and Polycom in the space, began working with Blue Jeans before its commercial launch. IVCI uses Blue Jeans' cloud to power its IVCI Desktop Experience, a managed services offering that connects various desktop video clients and is both application- and appliance-independent. It works hand in hand with IVCI's Managed Video Experience, the managed video services offering IVCI uses for everything from multipoint bridging and ISDN service to endpoint and network management for customers.
Blue Jeans is a game-changer, said Chris Bottger, IVCI's senior vice president, managed conferencing services.
"They're isn't anything I've seen that works, that ties the business in with what I would call the prosumer and the consumer sides, and if there is, it's not as robust as the cloud offering that Blue Jeans has here," Bottger said. "Just the fact that you can do a video call with Skype clients and really make this easy. A lot of the customers who have done the demo are blown away by it."
A service like Blue Jeans' makes irrelevant the challenge of connecting various video endpoints and pieces of video infrastructure, and also makes more convenient the idea of on-the-go video, particularly from smartphones and tablets.
"If you think about it, probably 80 percent of the video calls we run on a daily basis have an audioconferencing bridge attached to them. You usually have more people than you have video systems available," Bottger said. "But now we can offer those people the ability to do video, as well, at their convenience. People need to be able to use the tools they're comfortable with."
Bottger disagreed with the idea that the shift toward selling the video experience would mean less emphasis on hardware-based endpoint and infrastructure sales. There'll be less opportunity to sell those things individually he said, but packaging them with managed video services will make the whole video solution a moneymaker for a company like IVCI.
"One feeds the other," Bottger said. "It feeds the services on the back side and we're also not shortchanging the hardware business -- it's continuing to grow. We're fairly evenly balanced: one-third services, one-third integration and one-third technology, meaning them buying it or us building it for them."
Matrix's Currie said she first tried out Blue Jeans as a customer, by signing up for a free trial following a pick-up in discussion around the service on various LinkedIn groups and message boards. The service gives a VAR like Matrix a different type of video pitch for smaller customers, she said, or those in cash-strapped vertical markets like education that would prefer desktop collaboration or low-end, consumer-centric services like Skype.
"There's a huge opportunity here in the small to medium business market," Currie said. "There are hundreds of endpoints deployed there, but it's also people who don't necessarily have the need or just find it cost prohibitive to put in infrastructure products. A hardware solution for an MCU just isn't going to make sense for them."
NEXT: Video's Inflection Point