Government // Mobile & Wireless
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12/18/2012
11:35 AM
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Blue Jeans Offers Free Videoconferences For Military Families

Home for the Holidays allows up to 25 military members and their families to connect from PCs, mobile devices or videoconference rooms during the Christmas season.

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Members of the U.S. armed forces who are unable to get home for the holidays in person will still be able to see their loved ones over a free videoconference connection.

The Home for the Holidays program runs from December 20, 2012 to January 2, 2013 and is supported by Blue Jeans Network in partnership with Military Association Benefits Group, Military Comm Networks and associated companies. Blue Jeans offers an inexpensive cloud-based videoconferencing service for bridging between different brands of videoconferencing equipment, mobile devices and other services like Skype and Google Video Chat. To get on a call, service members will be able to take advantage of any of these channels or Blue Jeans' own browser-based video client.

"We tried to roll out this program last holiday season but ran up against interoperability and scalability challenges," Dennis Butts, CEO of Military Association Benefits Group and several affiliated companies, said in a statement for the press release. "With Blue Jeans on board, having soldiers and family members spread across Google, Skype and a host of room-based systems used by the military is simply not an issue."

[ Reducing travel expenses are a common reason SMBs turn to videoconferencing, but there are other benefits to consider. See 4 Uses For Videoconferencing Beyond Cutting Costs. ]

To make a reservation, contact the Military Association Benefits Group (MABGI) at homefortheholidays@mabgi.us or call 715-395-7076.

"There are over one million servicemen and women who are away from their friends and family over the holiday season," added Krish Ramakrishnan, CEO of Blue Jeans Network. "Whether serving overseas, or stationed at one of hundreds of bases in the United States, there shouldn't be any impediment to these families seeing each other over the holidays."

For families without computers or mobile devices, physical locations have been reserved throughout the United States where the families will have access to the videoconference resources they require. A complete list of locations is available at http://mabgi.us/Association_Connect.html.

Follow David F. Carr on Twitter @davidfcarr or Google+. The BrainYard is @thebyard and facebook.com/thebyard

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