Blue Jeans Reduces Travel Time & Improves Face-to-Face Collaboration
BCNET finds an easy to use, reliable personal desktop video conferencing solution to complement existing systems
Over the past 24 years, BCNET has evolved to meet the diverse needs of its higher education and research members in British Columbia. From its roots as a high-speed, high-capacity advanced research network organization to its recent expansion as a shared IT services organization, BCNET has grown its mandate to help its members deliver cost-effective solutions and enable strategic success.
The progression is a result of BCNET’s highly collaborative, member-driven culture that provides a safe-haven for many institutions to explore common technology challenges and potential solutions. The revised mandate opens opportunities for BCNET members to share technology services and reduce costs at a time when campus IT budgets increasingly face pressure.
Exploring opportunities to share services is collectively discussed amongst BCNET’s multi-institutional, member-focused committees and working groups. One such group, known as the Collaboration Technology Working Group, was tasked with overseeing the evaluation of desktop tools to improve collaboration for British Columbia’s leading research universities and institutes. Their goal was to utilize existing investments in video collaboration endpoints already deployed on campuses, while making it easier for users to attend meetings anywhere and anytime.
17 Video Conferencing Vendors Evaluated
In its quest for effective collaboration tools, BCNET’s project team systematically evaluated 17 desktop video conferencing solutions and ran vendors through a 3 phase testing process that included evaluation of criteria ranging from video and audio quality to ease of use, reliability, and price.
BCNET Chooses Blue Jeans to Bridge its Desktop & Room System Video Collaboration Strategy
After three months of initial testing and evaluation, BCNET chose Blue Jeans to improve meetings and communication with its Board, committees, working groups and project teams.
“The [Blue Jeans] service has been easy to administer, especially with respect to connecting Skype users to a meeting”
~ BCNET Collaboration Technologies Working Group Board Report on Desktop Video Conferencing Solutions
In early 2012, they signed a one-year service contract that is not only servicing their own communications requirements, but also helping campuses to explore the feasibility of adopting Blue Jeans as a campus-wide, multi-institutional shared service. A wider contract could mean seven or more campuses in a province-wide service agreement.
“With Blue Jeans you get a high quality video experience which makes it better than other desktop solutions. The type of connectivity Blue Jeans offers with Skype and room system connections will be used more and more, allowing people to connect from anywhere, anytime – that’s true flexibility.”
~ Mark Zuberbuhler, Executive Producer - Digital Media, Centre for Teaching, Learning and Technology, University of British Columbia
Since its initial roll-out, usage of the Blue Jeans service has been steadily climbing. Participation in meetings has been rising, and user satisfaction is high with 95% of users reporting they’d use the service again, and 87% of respondents saying they’d recommend the usage of Blue Jeans to others.
“In February alone, we had over 30 Blue Jeans meetings with our members, project teams, working groups and committees who are located at campuses across B.C. Not only is our face-to-face communication more effective, but participation in meetings has greatly improved as people have the option to join the meeting from their home or office.”
~ Keir Novik, IT Manager