Blue Jeans Nabs Citrix GoToMeeting Star For New Position Of President

Blue Jeans Networks has nabbed former Citrix executive Mike Mansbach for its newly created role of president. Mansbach was key to the development and growth of Citrix's GoTo product line, including GoToMeeting.

"We developed GoToMeeting, which in many cases continues to be the industry standard for Web conferencing, and what we did right was we created a product that was so easy to use that people started flocking to it," said Mansbach in an interview with CRN. "The basic [thing] there was, create fantastic end-user experiences. The video industry is ripe. … The time for video is now and the technologies are there to make the experience such that people will adopt it in droves."

Cloud-based video specialist Blue Jeans created the new role for Mansbach as it gears up for "major expansion" on the heels of receiving $76 million in new funding in September, according to the company. The Mountain View, Calif.-based company received the funding led by NEA, including participation from former New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter.

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Mansbach spent a decade at Citrix, including six years as vice president and general manager of global sales and client services for its Software-as-a-Service division, before becoming CEO of SaaS specialist PunchTab in 2014. Under his leadership, Citrix SaaS revenue grew from $40 million to more than $500 million, according to a release.

Mansbach said he took the new position because he sees Blue Jeans' delivering the next generation of video tied alongside "extraordinary relationships with corporate IT."

"They've invested in creating a video experience people love, and that's the next generation of video -- that's why I'm here and what I'm excited about," said Mansbach.

Blue Jeans channel partners represent around 50 percent of the company's revenue, according to Mansbach, and the future holds new enterprise video-as-a-service opportunities for partners, he said.

"Video-as-a-service is not new, but what you do with it in the enterprise probably is," said Mansbach. "As we build out this enterprise video cloud, you're going to have the opportunity for partners to really focus on customization around certain verticals or industry markets, where the enterprise video cloud will be a framework, but the execution of it will be highly customized company by company. … The channel is going to be able to benefit from what Blue Jeans is doing."

Blue Jeans says it's achieving record growth for revenue and subscriptions, providing more than 1 billion minutes of real-time video collaboration annually to more than 25 million users across 5,000 companies, according to a release. The vendor provides a single platform for audio, video and Web conferencing as well as document sharing that is compatible with nearly every major hardware and software platform, the company said.

"We are embarking on a new and exciting chapter at Blue Jeans," said Krish Ramakrishnan, CEO of Blue Jeans, in a release. "Mike shares our vision and understands the value of real-time video and the power it has to transform the culture of the enterprise."

In regard to the larger players in the market, such as Cisco and Microsoft, Mansbach said, Blue Jeans is different in how it offers customers best-of-breed solutions, compared with needing to buy into a complete "wall-to-wall" solution set.

"Whether you're talking about Cisco or Microsoft, where they excel is where you've gone wall to wall with either Cisco or Microsoft," said Mansbach. "What Blue Jeans has been and continues to be is a very democratic approach to best-of-breed video and video communications."

He said he believes the consumerization of video is going to drive a "democratic" approach to how customers expect to use video inside the workplace, which plays into Blue Jeans' strengths.

"We're going to focus very much on not only interoperability -- video to video within an organization enterprise -- but also across the firewall," said Mansbach. "The focus here is on ensuring we're able to deliver to IT a consumer experience that everybody can enjoy."