Verizon adds BlueJeans video conferencing platform to its portfolio

The wireless carrier will integrate the company into its 5G product roadmap.

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There's one less independent video conferencing provider in the market now that Verizon has acquired BlueJeans. The telecommunications company announced on Thursday that the platform will be integrated into its 5G product roadmap to provide secure and real-time conferencing for telemedicine, distance learning, and field service work.

CNBC reported that Verizon is paying $400 million for the company

Mike Fasciani, senior research director at Gartner, said the acquisition is positive for both companies, with BlueJeans benefitting from Verizon's distribution and reach across all market segments. 

"Verizon benefits from building in their own enterprise video meetings and content creation platform which they can now bundle into their UCaaS and 5G mobile network offers," Fasciani said.  

SEE: The tech pro's guide to video conferencing (free PDF)

By buying BlueJeans instead of partnering with them, Verizon gains the benefit of shaping the video experiences delivered by the video conferencing platform to the Verizon portfolio of enterprise services, networks, and devices.

Currently Verizon resells Cisco and Zoom video conferencing services. Fasciani predicts that this acquisition will marginalize Zoom in the Verizon portfolio, given Verizon's long-standing relationship with Cisco across multiple enterprise services.

"As for the wider video meeting solutions, I don't think this will have much bearing on Zoom in the near future," he added. 

The long term challenge for Verizon will be integrating BlueJeans into other enterprise services to make its offers more appealing and feature-rich.  

BlueJeans founders and management team will join Verizon and BlueJeans employees will become Verizon employees after the close of the deal.

According to Grandview Research, the global video conferencing market size was valued at $3.85 billion in 2019 and is expected to register a CAGR of 9.9% from 2020 to 2027.

Gartner estimates that by 2022, 40% of formal meetings will be done virtually and by 2024 only 25% of enterprise meetings will be in person.

Demand for video conferencing is up sharply since the start of stay-at-home orders due to the coronavirus. In April, AT&T reported that video web conferencing minutes spiked more than 400%, though the increase now appears to be plateauing.

BlueJeans and its competitors

Gartner's 2019 Magic Quadrant report for Meeting Solutions puts Zoom in the upper right Leaders quadrant along with Cisco, Microsoft, and LogMeIn. BlueJeans appears in the lower right Visionaries quadrant with Pexip, StarLeaf, and Lifesize. 

The Gartner Magic Quadrant report listed these strengths of the BlueJeans platform:

  • Robust video meeting service 
  • Strategic partnerships with Dolby (including a Rooms-as-a-Service option), Microsoft and Facebook
  • New capabilities, such as more efficient meetings processes through its smart meetings initiative
  • Service reliability and improved ease of use 

The platform's drawbacks include: 

  • Only SaaS-based delivery with typical licensing models
  • Low market awareness compared to better-capitalized leaders in this market
  • Weak global sales and customer service presence

In the Gartner report, video conferencing buyers listed these preferences in a product:

  • Creating operational efficiencies
  • Managing costs
  • Driving innovation
  • Improving business process agility
  • Enhancing decision making

Vendors are responding to these priorities and other factors in the meeting solution market by delivering

  • New designs based on ease of use for simplification of host controls, quick joining to meetings, and integration to conference room systems
  • Blended asynchronous (messaging, content, scheduling, tasks, recordings) and synchronous (voice, audio, screen sharing) collaboration in persistent rooms or workspaces
  • Equal capabilities across diverse endpoint types, from group video system codecs to desktops, laptops (through browsers or clients), smartphones, and tablets
  • Transcription and language translation for delivering webinars, town hall meetings, and quarterly business reviews
  • Artificial intelligence (AI)-influenced technologies that improve the video conference room experience by automating the meeting join and content sharing processes
  • Optimization of delivery to enterprise networks — for example, by supporting security via VPN or broadcast via CDN
  • Pricing models that include low-end freemium and high-end premium services

Also see

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Image: BlueJeans