Verizon acquires Zoom rival BlueJeans as video conferencing goes mainstream after coronavirus
Verizon Business has announced the acquisition of enterprise-grade video-conferencing and event software BlueJeans Network.
While terms of the deal are undisclosed by both parties, Wall Street Journal cited sources saying Verizon would have paid "less than" $500 million for BlueJeans.
The deal expands Verizon Business' presence, and will "supercharge" its Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) portfolio, BlueJeans said in a tweet. The BlueJeans founder, management team, and employees will join Verizon upon closing of the deal.
Tami Erwin, CEO of Verizon Business, said in a statement:
"Collaboration and communications have become top of the agenda for businesses of all sizes and in all sectors in recent months. As the way we work continues to change, it is absolutely critical for businesses and public sector customers to have access to a comprehensive suite of offerings that are enterprise ready, secure, frictionless and that integrate with existing tools."
California-based BlueJeans is one of the earliest cloud-based video conferencing services in the world. Since 2009, it has served a wide spectrum of users — from large enterprises and small organisations to MNCs and state authorities.
The platform's usage has grown significantly after coronavirus-induced lockdowns resulted in a "work-from-home surge" across the world.
"The transaction will combine BlueJeans’ simple, smart and trusted meeting platform with Verizon’s unified communications as a service business immediately. Customers will benefit from a BlueJeans enterprise-grade video experience on Verizon’s high-performance global networks," Verizon Business said in a statement.
Additionally, BlueJeans will also be "deeply integrated" into Verizon’s 5G product plans, and will offer secure and real-time engagement solutions to organisations engaged in high-growth areas like telemedicine, distance learning, field work, and so on.
This acquisition comes at a time when remote collaboration software and conferencing tools are hot property. BlueJeans' rival Zoom, which has been dubbed the 'King of the Quarantine Economy', reported a 20x growth in daily active users in just a few weeks.
Others like Microsoft Teams, Cisco WebEx, Adobe Connect, etc are also gaining in adoption as hundreds of millions of people take to remote working.
But, the mounting security concerns around Zoom (which is still the most popular by usage) is forcing organisations to scout for alternative tools and platforms.
BlueJeans allows businesses of all sizes to conduct multi-party video calls with the highest quality of audio powered by Dolby Voice. It also offers post-meeting highlights and transcriptions, along with real-time analytics, and automated alerts. It also offers both logged-in and logged-out access to its users. So, you can join a meeting by clicking on a link even if you do not have a BlueJeans account.
Quentin Gallivan, CEO of BlueJeans Network, said of the deal: "The combination of BlueJeans’ world class enterprise video collaboration platform and trusted brand with Verizon Business’ next generation edge computing innovation will deliver highly differentiated and compelling solutions to our joint customers. We are very excited about joining the Verizon team."