Ah yes, I remember it well. I remember the day when I had to order an ISDN line at home (remember 2B+D?) to attend a videoconference from home (hey…I practice not just preach telecommuting!).
Then, what seems like a short time later (and after ATM and Token Ring fell by the wayside…) we set-up pretty close to the first (Dr. Bob and Tim Poe were right there with us) H.323 videoconferencing network (which grew to be the largest IP-based video conferencing network in the world for a time, at ESnet). THAT was FUN! We played with (yes, technology is FUN!) gatekeepers, QCIF (the old timers know) MCU’s, newly developed numbering plans, evolving H.323 endpoints, and Clint and I running it all with military precision. Yeah right…
The picture to the left shows the old way…our way.
The very expensive MCU, Gatekeeper and H.323 endpoints (I left out a Gateway to ISDN…since well, ISDN is dead) required Clint and I to keep it all running, configured, etc etc. Some companies have a whole team of people. Lots of money invested, and you have to have a beefy Internet / Intranet to boot. More money.
BUT…the results were ground-breaking-ly awesome (for the time).
Again time passed all too swiftly, and now people are talking about the “cloud” (just another name for the Internet), your damn cell phones can do video conferencing, and now one company, BlueJeans Network, tells us that they are doing “video conferencing via the cloud”.
Hmmmm, so now, Clint and I are gone (actually, we are!) replaced by a company out there on the Internet with a bunch of Clints and Mikes taking care of some amorphous infrastructure cloud that connects all these cell phones, Skype, the old H.323 stuff, and telepresence fancy dancy rooms together easy as 3.14???!!!
FREAKIN AWESOME! Except for the fact Clint and I are out of jobs…..hmmmm..
Note: I actually tested BlueJeans when they were asking for help. I referred them to several of MY old customers so they could put BlueJeans through it’s paces, where I could not (being a starving blogger and coworking location owner.).
Now BlueJeans has been released and open to anyone. Go here to see the cost.
Imagine: Small businesses, independents, freelancers, can now have the same video conferencing capabilities that only the huge companies could afford only a few short years ago. And, to me, best of all, your GrandMa or brother in the Navy can connect to you at your H.323 conference room at work via Skype from the ship or porch.
Here is a sweet video that explains the BlueJeans Network: (Updated 2/22/2019)
For the ten billionth time, I repeat: Video conferencing ANYTIME, ANYPLACE, ANYONE.
If you have to drive to participate in a video conference…that is, hmmm, s-t-u-p-i-d….DUH.
BlueJeans rocks! I wish them the best!