Blue Jeans Network Adds Cisco, SuccessFactors Veterans To Exec Team


Upstart video conferencing services vendor Blue Jeans Network fattened up its executive team this week with top executives from Cisco and SuccessFactors.

Ted Tracy is Blue Jeans' new vice president of engineering and comes from Cisco, where he was most recently senior director and general manager of Cisco's TelePresence Exchange and in charge of all engineering for the unit.

James Matheson is Blue Jeans' new vice president of marketing, and comes from SuccessFactors, where he headed the SMB go-to-market strategy. He is one of the first major executive departures from the company since SAP announced its intent to acquire SuccessFactors earlier this month.

Krish Ramakrishnan, Blue Jeans' CEO, said the company has seen rapid growth since emerging from stealth mode this past June, and now has customers in more than 1,500 cities in 150 countries.

"This is a key moment in time for Blue Jeans Network," said Krish Ramakrishnan, Blue Jeans' CEO, in a statement. "We're excited to have Ted and James on board to help grow the business and continue to lead the charge in interoperable video conferencing."

Founded in 2009, Blue Jeans launched its Any(Ware) video conferencing service in June and has been attracting veteran videoconferencing and unified communications VARs ever since.

The Blue Jeans platform is a cloud-based video "meeting room" from which users can host, schedule and manage their own video conferences via a Web interface. Blue Jeans' appeal is that it can bridge any number of different video and audio protocols, thus providing interoperability between users of high-end telepresence systems and consumer-grade conferencing tools. Using Blue Jeans, a user of Cisco Telepresence could connect, for example, with a user on Skype or Google Talk, or a user with a LifeSize or Polycom video unit, or a user calling in via the PSTN.

Blue Jeans' contention is that videoconferencing won't truly catch on unless making video calls is as easy as making voice calls.

"Imagine if you wanted to do a traditional audioconference and you had to know what other type of phone the other person had," said Stu Aaron, Blue Jeans' chief commercial officer, in an interview with CRN earlier this year. "It's preposterous, but it's the way that video has always been."

IVCI, a Hauppauge, N.Y.-based solution provider, MSP and longtime A/V integrator, was the first U.S.-based VAR to adopt Blue Jeans, and now uses the Any(Ware) service to power its video managed service offering.

"There isn't anything I've seen that works, that ties in the business with what I could 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," Chris Bottger, IVCI's senior vice president, managed conferencing services, said last month. "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."