With COVID-19 changing the global work order, most companies have turned to work for home as more of a permanent solution. And work for home requires some really solid enterprise communication tools, video conferencing being one of the most critical of them. It is a market that is as ripe as a market can ever be, and has hence seen a plethora of both mid and large size companies as well as startups, launching solutions left and right.
Today, it is telecom’s turn.
Airtel and Verizon, two of the biggest telecom operators in two of the biggest internet markets around the world, have partnered up to launch the business oriented video conferencing platform-BlueJeans, in India. “As part of its integrated B2B play, Airtel is partnering with Verizon to offer “Airtel BlueJeans,” a range of secure, simple and seamless video conferencing solutions to enterprises in India,” said Airtel in a press release.
The two companies will offer ‘enterprise grade” security to the users of this platform, achieved by employing the best security practices in the industry. These include “meeting lock, secure transmission and storage, randomized meeting IDs, participant passcodes, fraud detection, and a variety of authentication options.” Security has become a key word in almost all video conferencing launch press releases, thanks to some initial hiccups (snowballed by media) on one of the few dedicated video conferencing solutions pre-COVID, Zoom.
For those unaware, BlueJeans is a pre-existing video conferencing solution offered by Verizon in the US. It is available across mobile, desktop, browser and conference rooms and has a long-standing history of providing simple, reliable and trusted solutions. And since most clients are banks, healthcare companies etc., hence security is prime.
In India, the solution will be marketed as ‘Airtel BlueJeans’.
“The platform uses open, proven standards for security as well as the WebRTC and HTML5 standards for browser-based access, enabling users to participate in meetings and events without requiring software downloads, a key requirement in some secure environments,” Airtel added.
Moreover, the companies want to offer the best video conferencing experience in the market, which they hope to achieve by enabling low latency and improved quality of service for India-based customers. This offering will be made available by Airtel’s existing cloud infrastructure in India, and by integrating the technology with “Airtel’s network, including its data centers, to ensure that customers are offered a state of the art, reliable and secure customer experience. ”
It also offers HD video quality and Dolby Voice. But then, we’ve heard these announcements from so many companies, that the market feels saturated. So how does BlueJeans plans on standing out? Well, the platform allows businesses to accommodate upto 50,000 users on a single video call! This far exceeds the capabilities of any app we have today, and will go a long way in facilitating company wide business meetings, which usually have a lot more viewers than 100. If Zoom offers a conference, BlueJeans is a video stadium.
“We are proud to come together with Airtel to help more Indian organizations benefit from our world-class communication product during this work-from-home era and beyond”, said Hans Vestberg, Chief Executive Officer of Verizon.
“We are delighted to collaborate with Verizon to bring Airtel BlueJeans to enterprise and SMB customers in India”, said Gopal Vittal, Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer of Bharti Airtel.
The platform will be available to businesses for free, at least for the first 3 months. Afterwards, companies can avail the BlueJeans experience at a very “competitive price,” said Gopal Vittal, chief executive of Airtel. Customized plans will be available, depending upon the size of your operation.
It will be competing with another Indian video conferencing app, the Zoom lookalike JioMeet, which is backed by the biggest telecom operator in the country. That, along with the multitude of other apps available in the region, including Google Meet and the king of its domain, Zoom itself, the journey ahead of BlueJeans is not going to be an easy one.