- Verizon Business is acquiring video conferencing provider BlueJeans for $500 million, according to a company announcement and spokesperson on Thursday.
- The deal will "deeply" integrate BlueJeans' platform into the telecommunication company's "5G product roadmap," according to the announcement.
- Verizon Business has offerings in the "advanced communications space and collaboration through integrated resale," according to the spokesperson. The company expects BlueJeans' addition to its portfolio to round out growth in telemedicine, distance learning and field service work.
Verizon's business with BlueJeans extends beyond the enterprise.
While BlueJeans fits into the fabric of Verizon's 5G goals, the platform speaks more broadly to getting involved in the business-to-business communication market.
The telecommunication company's stake in 5G is a stake in distributed computing. When 5G can replace broadband with sufficient speed and low latency, "an enterprise video conference platform will be able to fit in," Rolando Hernandez, vice president of mobile solutions at Valid, told CIO Dive.
Service from remote locations, such as taking a business conference call, "is now becoming more of a demand than a luxury," said Hernandez. The current state of the data network can't support where the demand is going.
Verizon's acquisition of BlueJeans, while a component of its 5G roadmap, are still separate services. "On one side you have the platform for establishing the communication — BlueJeans — and on the other you have the highway through which the data is sent — Verizon's 5G," said Hernandez. BlueJeans can function with or without the "highway," just as it does today.
Now is the time to be a communication or collaboration platform — as long as it's a reliable.
BlueJeans was named a "visionary" in Gartner's September 2019 Magic Quadrant for meeting solutions. At the time, Gartner forecast in-person meetings would decrease from 60% today to 25% by 2024. The coronavirus pandemic forced a change faster than anyone could predict.
BlueJeans, a Zoom and Microsoft Teams competitor, is known for its security standards, including end-to-end encryption, a feature Zoom has been criticized for lacking. While BlueJeans is limited to only supporting "SaaS-based delivery with typical licensing models," it has made strategic partnerships with Dolby, Microsoft and Facebook.
Hernandez expects more telecommunication companies to sign deals with communication platforms because those vendors "have a lot to gain in integrating 5G."
"I think we can expect to see mobile network operators expand their portfolios to these more enterprise focuses systems once they assure 5G can replace current systems," he said.