Verizon is acquiring video conferencing platform BlueJeans Network in a deal that it hopes can boost its B2B software offerings.
The deal sees Verizon snap up BlueJeans’ cloud-based video service, which targets both SMBs and global brands, helping them continue to work as close to normal as possible during the ongoing global remote working trend.
The move not only adds BlueJeans Network’s existing 15,000 business clients to Verizon’s portfolio, but it also provides the telecom giant with a viable option to video conferencing apps such as Zoom which have seen huge growth recently.
- Video conferencing apps saw record downloads in just one week
- How to hide your background in video conferencing
- Tencent targets video conferencing
In spite of its growing popularity, Zoom has often made headlines for the wrong reasons in recent weeks. This includes incidents of ‘Zoombombing‘, where uninvited guests crash a meeting, and issues related to privacy after it was discovered that personal data of users were being targeted with ads.
Besides allowing Verizon to offer a better-integrated 5G product roadmap, the deal would also allow BlueJeans to directly compete with the likes of Zoom and Microsoft’s Teams in spite of the fact that it does not have a free version and is primarily focused on business users.
The San Jose-based BlueJeans Network was founded in 2009 by Indian-American entrepreneurs Krish Ramakrishnan and Alagu Periyannan who wanted to position the product away from the enterprise-focused ones of Cisco and Polycom that existed then. The company raised up to $100 million by 2013 and had partnerships within the US, Europe and Australia.
Verizon says it had been planning this acquisition for more than a year with CEO Hans Vestberg being quoted on CNBC suggesting that telecom giant’s distribution network would allow BlueJeans to better compete with others in the video conferencing and online events platform, especially when its 5G network gets rolled out.