Comprehensive software reviews to make better IT decisions
Verizon Acquires BlueJeans for $400-500 Million
Verizon has acquired BlueJeans for between $400-500 million, according to the Wall Street Journal. The move will see BlueJeans integrated into Verizon’s 5G plans, utilizing BlueJeans' advanced and encrypted video-conferencing solutions for telehealth, eLearning, and field service work.
Version Business CEO Tami Erwin stated that, “We are excited to combine the power of BlueJeans’ video platform with Verizon Business’ connectivity networks, platforms, and solutions to meet our customers’ needs.”
Though this acquisition comes at a time where web conferencing use has spiked due to COVID-19, the move has been in the works since June 2019. BlueJeans was already a partner of Verizon, with its app resold to end users under the Verizon banner.
Source: SoftwareReviews Web Conferencing Data Quadrant. Accessed: April 4, 2020
Despite the timing of the acquisition, this is the result that BlueJeans has been wanting for a while. BlueJeans has not been growing at the same pace and with the same popularity as its competitors: Zoom, Microsoft, and Cisco. Indeed, SoftwareReviews lists BlueJeans as only 9th out of 16 top web conferencing vendors. After being acquired by Verizon, this move enables BlueJeans to invest much heavier into its solutions, backed by Verizon’s deep pockets.
For Verizon, BlueJeans’ secure communications tools add reputative weight to the offerings it plans to roll out through its 5G roadmap. Though BlueJeans only had around 15,000 customers, these were customers such as Facebook and Disney – customers that were willing to pay a premium for BlueJeans’ security. If Verizon can get its BlueJeans solution up and running with a fast turnaround, the result will be a product that could take advantage of a disillusioned Zoom user group worried about end-to-end encryption.
Of course, for BlueJeans users in the early 2010s, this acquisition may come as a surprise. At a time where interoperability between productivity suites was hard to come by, BlueJeans provided that integrative glue to bring end users together through web conferencing. Now that BlueJeans will fully merge with Verizon’s unified communications and collaboration platform, some end users may feel a sense of loss. However, given Zoom largely holds that crown – the web conferencing tool that integrates with almost everything – the loss is nostalgic, rather than pressing.
Source: SoftwareReviews BlueJeans Scorecard. Accessed: April 4, 2020.
Want to Know More?
On February 24-25, 2021, Zoho held its annual ZohoDay – a conference aimed at communicating the state of the business and product roadmaps. The event coincided with Zoho’s 25th year as a company, testament to Zoho’s long-term business approach: grow organically, have zero debt, zero external investments, remain cashflow positive, and plow cashflow back into the business and customers.
On October 29, 2020, Verizon briefed on BlueJeans’ product vision and direction. This note outlines the new and upcoming features that users can expect from BlueJeans for the rest of 2020 and into 2021. However, with the table stakes margin for features rapidly increasing in the web conferencing marketspace, BlueJeans’ new features are less a way to stand out from the crowd and more as a necessity to keep up.
On November 5, 2020, Cisco briefed on its upcoming virtual legislative session tool Webex Legislate. With a range of features that governing bodies around the globe have desired throughout the extent of the pandemic, Webex Legislate surely becomes the must-have tool for conducting virtual and hybrid sessions – especially if an agency is already leveraging Cisco products.
On September 1, 2020, Info-Tech briefed with Cisco about current and upcoming features of its Unified Webex app for September. Significant changes include the introduction of Cisco Webex Classrooms and the Webex Control Hub, with notable updates also coming to Webex for Education, Webex Meetings, and Webex Teams.
On September 4, 2020, Info-Tech briefed with Zoho about current and upcoming features of Zoho Workplace, a global enterprise collaboration platform. Organizations, especially SMBs, that want to look outside of Microsoft’s and Google’s office productivity suite duopoly should consider shortlisting Zoho Workplace as a viable option.
Enterprise Connect’s virtual conference and expo for 2020 featured a wide variety of sessions on communications and collaboration for the enterprise. In this fourteenth note of fourteen, I report on Recon Research’s latest study on how COVID-19 has cemented web conferencing as the future of the workplace.
Zoho Workplace – a global enterprise collaboration platform – has reported that it is now supporting 15 million users and is experiencing a surge in usage for its business applications. However, compared to Microsoft’s Office 365 and Google’s G Suite, Zoho still has a long way to go in this marketspace.
Google has announced several updates to its G-Suite offering, which aims to heavily integrate and better secure its teamwork applications. The move represents a clear attempt by Google to directly compete with Microsoft’s office productivity suite, with several of the G-Suite updates mirroring the logical architecture of Office 365.
As of July 1, 2020, over 70,000 small business users receiving their Microsoft 365 services from Navisite will now receive them from Intermedia. The move means that Navisite’s users now have access to a range of Intermedia offerings, including Unite, Contact Center, and AnyMeeting.