FuzeBox Moves to Early Adopter Phase of Internet2 NET+
This post is somewhat overdue; I realized I’ve been spending a lot of time talking to folks individually about the new Internet2 NET+ FuzeBox offering, but hadn’t clued in the my friends in the blog-o-sphere. But if you haven’t heard, but we’re pleased to announce that FuzeBox has moved to the Early Adopter phase of the NET+ service process!
This is a big deal in a couple of ways – first, it signals that the universities who participated in the service validation process have given the thumbs up for all the major attributes of the FuzeBox service, including the pricing model, legal agreements, security and compliance attributes, network connection, and identity integration. But second (and most importantly) – new institutions are now signing up. Of course the purpose of the early adopter phase is to help us shake out any remaining kinks that might have sneaked through the service validation, but if you’d like to help us do this, we’d be more than happy to have you.
Let me talk a little but about the FuzeBox service for those who aren’t familiar. It’s a completely cloud hosted solution, such that all you have to worry about are your video endpoints (or not even those if you choose to go all soft clients). The underlying SVC video technology allows for high quality HD video at low latency that performs well even with poor networking conditions (there’s always going to be that one participant on overloaded wifi at Starbucks, right?). A big differentiator is how FuzeBox blurs the lines between “video conferencing” and “web conferencing” – each Fuze Meeting can have up to 12 people interacting on video, but up to 125 total participants watching the video and slides and interacting on chat. Also, content sharing isn’t just limited to what’s on your screen – slides and other content can be uploaded straight to the Fuze cloud and displayed natively within the application. This opens the door to running a meeting with slides even if all you have is your smartphone.
Speaking of smartphones, one of the other things I like about FuzeBox is the plethora of ways you can connect to it. They have not only Mac/Windows/Linux(!) clients, but they also have a nice iOS/Android solution. And of course they offer traditional H.323/SIP interoperability, through hosted gateways.
Finally, we worked hard with FuzeBox to come up with a pricing model that would facilitate entire institution adoption. As such their pricing tiers don’t limit the number of users, or meetings, or minutes, or anything like that – just one flat price for either all faculty/staff or all faculty/staff/students. As someone who has administered video environments, I can say that not having to worry about how to allocate a limited pool of capacity is refreshing – and really opens the door to encouraging broad adoption and maximum use of the technology.