Video conferencing has picked up steam as a key business tool, with users choosing between Microsoft's Skype and Lync, Google's Chromebox, Cisco's WebEx and others. Mountain View, Calif.-based Blue Jeans Network is now upping the ante, going from 25 simultaneous users for its cloud-based, multi-platform service to 100.

To minimize audio disturbance when dozens join in, new controls include auto-muting for new participants in a meeting. Up to nine of the most recent speakers can be featured on one screen. The company is also unveiling cloud-based recording capability so meetings can be easily shared, without downloading issues.

'A Single Tool'

Founded in 2009, Blue Jeans Network has distinguished itself in large part by its interoperability with other systems, such as its integration last year with Salesforce, and its ability to allow conferencing from virtually any device or service, including Skype, Polycom or others. Blue Jeans, along with other startups like Fuze, are challenging the more specialized approaches taken by older competitors.

As it becomes a more essential business tool, where is video conferencing heading? Blue Jeans executive Stu Aaron said in a statement that the marketplace is increasingly demanding "a single tool to manage all kinds of business collaboration cohesively."

A newly released online survey from the company supports that vision. The survey, conducted by uSamp, queried 400 business makers in the US this spring.

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An infographic from Blue Jeans Network's survey results

Learning Opportunities

It found 85 percent of respondents want a single service for all remote and online meetings, instead of separate ones for video conferencing, web conferencing and audio conferencing.

Prefer One-to-One Video

About 76 percent felt a video-conferencing all-in-one meeting, with presentations, was likely to keep attendees' attention better than a web conference with presentations, because of difficulties with understanding what was being said, knowing who is talking and knowing who is joining or leaving the meeting in the web conference.

Nearly all – 98 percent – of respondents would record specific meetings if that was an option, in large part to resolve disagreements about what went on – and 88 percent stated they have so disagreed. Additionally, more than three-quarters report they'd rather use face-to-face video to go over sensitive HR issues, talk to a manager or speak with a customer.

Image from Blue Jeans Network