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London Underground strikes lead to surge in video conferencing

Increase thought to reflect the number of people working from home

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US video conferencing start-up Blue Jeans said it saw a rise in demand from London customers last week due to the two-day London Underground strike.

The figures, based on data from 900 Blue Jeans users in London, revealed a 27 percent rise in video conference meetings on Wednesday and Thursday (the height of disruption) compared to the same days in previous weeks this year.

The majority (84 percent) of conference participants joined using the web browser on their laptops, with smaller numbers using video conferencing hardware provided by their work place (18 percent) and their mobile phones or tablets (four percent).

Blue Jeans vice president and general manager for EMEA James Campanini said: “While tools like telephone and email have long been part and parcel of remote working, they do not provide the much needed face-to-face collaboration modern workers crave, especially when unexpectedly stuck at home for a number of days.”

Blue Jeans' cloud-based teleconferencing service can be used for video meetings and content sharing across conference rooms, desktops and mobile devices. The platform enables employees using enterprise class solutions, such as those offered by Cisco and Polycom, to talk to those using more consumer-orientated services, such as Skype or Google Hangout.

The video conferencing firm expanded its operations to the UK last year in a bid to capitalise on the remote working trend. The two-year-old Californian firm used a chunk of the $50 million (£30 million) it has raised so far to open a new London office and take on several new staff. 


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