Wednesday, 03 March 2021 23:17

BlueJeans by Verizon offers purpose-built solutions for Microsoft Teams for the hybrid workspace


Verizon has announced new enhancements to its BlueJeans Gateway for Microsoft Teams solution, BlueJeans Gateway, as organisations look to advance their hybrid workplace initiatives.

BlueJeans by Verizon said its BlueJeans Gateway "gives organisations the ability to extend their Microsoft Teams collaboration capabilities — regardless of where employees are located," and given the continuing pandemic, this is obviously going to be of assistance to many organisations that rely on BlueJeans for their video conferencing and collaboration needs.

Additionally, we're told Microsoft named Verizon as an "early launch partner for their new Operator Connect platform."

Operator Connect "creates a direct peering relationship between the Microsoft Teams platform and Verizon's far-reaching SIP trunking network giving customers a more secure and enterprise-grade, end-to-end telephony solution and automation of provisioning and management processes."

“The pandemic has intensified the need for organisations to have enterprise-grade collaboration solutions for their global workforces to stay connected and work more effectively from every possible environment,” said Sampath Sowmyanarayan, President of Global Enterprise at Verizon Business.

“These latest updates to our advanced communications portfolio with the BlueJeans Gateway and Microsoft’s new Operator Connect platform, further simplify how enterprises can readily deploy solutions at-scale to streamline connectivity, extract the most value from existing investments, and future-proof collaboration infrastructure to meet the most pressing demands of the hybrid workplace.”

With Microsoft Teams reaching 115 million daily active users (DAU) in October 2020, we're told that "IT and business leaders are now tasked with accelerating their approach for ensuring business continuity and Microsoft Teams connectivity for employees once office doors open back up. As a certified gold Microsoft partner, Verizon is uniquely positioned to support organisations of all sizes as they seek to unlock the full potential of Microsoft Teams."

With these latest additions to the BlueJeans Gateway, Verizon said it is "able to offer customers a more comprehensive communications solution for enhanced team connectivity, whether in the office or working remotely."

With more than 1 billion cloud-connected room system minutes supporting thousands of different room system configurations, Verizon reminds us its Microsoft-certified BlueJeans Gateway for Microsoft Teams is "a pure SaaS solution that enables customers to use their existing H.323 and SIP-based endpoints to join Microsoft Teams meetings from any conference room or huddle space."

To date, the company proudly boasts "close to 650 customers have chosen BlueJeans Gateway for Microsoft Teams as their cloud video interop (CVI) solution of choice for connecting their existing hardware infrastructure to join Microsoft Teams meetings. Layering onto BlueJeans’ existing rich feature set, today’s Gateway updates include greater CVI management controls to further simplify and enhance the room-based Microsoft Teams meeting experience."

  • Auto-Join: Ensuring compliance with Covid-related protocols, Gateway-enabled room systems can now choose to automatically join Microsoft Teams meetings without the touch of any buttons. This hands-free option provides an added degree of confidence for employees as they return to the office. If there is an existing meeting going on, the new meeting will not start unless prompted.
  • 1080p HD Video: With add-on support for 1080p HD video quality, customers can experience high quality video from their room systems using their existing hardware.
  • Video Quality Enhancements: Reduce pixilation during Microsoft Teams video meetings from standards-based room systems with adaptive FPS support. Providing improved video refresh rates in bad network conditions, this feature delivers the optimum video experience in low bandwidth situations.
  • Calendar Integration in the Cloud: Administrators can now deploy BlueJeans’ proprietary one-touch join experience for Microsoft Outlook calendar integration without having to deploy an on-premises listener service.
  • Skype Invitation Parsing: Supporting both generic and customised invites, customers using any SIP/H.323 device with BlueJeans calendar integration can now receive Skype for Business calendar invitations on their Gateway enabled endpoint and can join Skype calls with one-touch simplicity.
  • China Premium Access: BlueJeans Gateway is the first CVI solution to announce a dedicated network to handle video conferencing traffic into and out of China. Available soon, this paid add-on ensures a better meeting experience for endpoints joining Microsoft Teams meetings when facing poor in-country network conditions.
  • Spotlight Support: By extending the Spotlight function of Microsoft Teams meetings to Gateway-enabled rooms, conference room participants are now able to see the spotlighted participant on the room screen.
  • Enhanced Mute: When warranted, admins now have the ability to ensure endpoints enabled with BlueJeans Gateway can remain unmuted even if the original Microsoft Teams meeting has ‘Mute for All entry’ settings enabled.
  • Customised Alternate Dial Strings: To further streamline end user access, organisations now have the ability to create an instruction page containing alternative VTC dial strings, based on specific network configurations and video endpoint types. 

With team members actively splitting time between remote and on-site office locations, Verizon said "it’s critical they have the ability to join Microsoft Teams meetings from wherever they are. These latest enhancements help to bring dispersed teams safely together — across conference rooms, personal workspaces, and in-home offices — to foster better employee, customer and partner communication."

Verizon notes that "China Premium Access for the Gateway will be available soon", and as you'd expect, the company invites all to learn more about the BlueJeans Gateway for Microsoft Teams by taking a "Gateway Test Drive."

With the Microsoft Ignite Virtual event on now, the company also invites you to visit the BlueJeans virtual booth March 2–4 2021.

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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

Alex Zaharov-Reutt is iTWire's Technology Editor is one of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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