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Zoom into Our New Video Conferencing Services

UIT evolves offerings to improve your video conferencing experience
Thursday, May 18, 2017

Video conferencing is increasingly becoming an essential service for Stanford, where rich communication and collaboration are cornerstones of our success. That’s why University IT has revamped our video conferencing services, making it easier for you to use the technology and integrate it into your daily work.

We are announcing a new video conferencing service, Zoom, which is available at no charge to faculty, students, and staff. It replaces BlueJeans, which will no longer be offered after July 1.

We selected Zoom based on input collected from a broad array of faculty, students, and staff members during real-world testing. The effort was led by a committee of cross-functional, senior IT leaders representing Stanford schools and departments, who conducted a thorough evaluation of video conferencing tools.

“Our goal was to ensure university-wide alignment on this important collaboration platform,” said Michael Halaas, Chief Information Officer at the School of Medicine and the committee chair. “We achieved that with Zoom, and are eager for the broader university community to leverage it and experience its benefits.”

Zoom is now Stanford’s preferred service

In early May, Zoom became Stanford’s recommended video conferencing tool and is available at no charge to faculty, students, and staff with a full-service SUNet ID.

Why? The committee ranked Zoom as the clear winner with top ratings from pilot participants for ease of use, audio and video quality, and enhanced instant messaging, screen sharing, and whiteboard functions. It also received high ratings for installation simplicity, connection stability, and feature consistency across Windows, Apple, and Android devices.

These results led the committee, which included representatives from University IT, to recommend that Zoom replace BlueJeans as Stanford’s preferred video conferencing tool. UIT implemented that recommendation and introduced Zoom at the start of May.

We encourage you to give this new tool a try. We’re confident you’re going to like it. 

Links for downloading Zoom desktop and mobile applications and browser extensions, as well as instructions for performing most common Zoom tasks, are available on our new video conferencing website.

WebEx is also available; BlueJeans service to expire

University IT knows that some departments continue to rely on WebEx and have previously arranged for their own WebEx licenses. If your department is still committed to WebEx, there is good news for you, too.

Recently, University IT worked with Cisco to consolidate several individual contracts into an enterprise agreement. This single Stanford agreement not only results in significant savings for those units, particularly Stanford Health Care, but also allows us to make WebEx available to faculty, students, and staff for no additional cost.

On July 1, Stanford’s BlueJeans service will expire. If you’re a current BlueJeans user, you should begin to transition to Zoom. We want that transition to be as straightforward as possible for you and have included instructions for the most common Zoom tasks at our new video conferencing website. Additionally, we’ll be providing more information in May to help you with that transition. But for now, start trying out Zoom.

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