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Verizon Jumps Into Video Conferencing with BlueJeans Network Acquisition

Verizon phone in blue jean pocket

In a surprise move, Verizon Business is acquiring BlueJeans Network, a video conferencing and event platform, and one of Zoom’s key rivals.

The acquisition expands Verizon’s unified communications portfolio. The acquisition is expected to close this quarter. Financial details of the deal weren’t disclosed.

According to the Silicon Valley Business Journal, Verizon is shelling out “hundreds of millions” in the deal.

BlueJeans Network’s cloud-based video service serves clients ranging from small organizations to some of the world’s largest multinational brands. It helped these companies continue operations during the ongoing work-from-home surge.

The transaction will combine BlueJeans Network’s platform with Verizon’s UCaaS business immediately. Customers will benefit from a BlueJeans enterprise-grade video experience on Verizon’s global networks.

In addition, the platform will be integrated into Verizon’s 5G product road map. That will provide engagement solutions for telemedicine, distance learning and field service work.

Keep up with the latest channel-impacting mergers and acquisitions in our M&A roundup.
Verizon's David Longo

Verizon’s David Longo

David Longo is director of North American channels for Verizon Business Markets. He tells Channel Partners the acquisition will benefit partners and create new opportunities for them.

Longo also is a member of the Channel Partners Business Advisory Board.

“We know that Verizon’s distribution and product bundling can help scale BlueJeans Network direct sales and channel relationships,” he said. “And effective video conferencing capabilities have rocketed to the top of every CTO’s and CIO’s wish list as we move to an ever-increasing remote working paradigm as our new normal. We will be able to amplify BlueJeans distribution with our direct sales force and channel partnerships. We will also be able to bundle with existing advanced communications products (e.g., One Talk) which should drive adoption through our existing customer base.”

Advanced communications represents a Verizon Business priority and BlueJeans will enhance Verizon’s presence in the UCC market, Longo said.

451 Research's Raul Castanon-Martinez

451 Research’s Raul Castanon

Raul Castanon is senior analyst of workforce collaboration for 451 Research/S&P Global Market Intelligence. He said Verizon is acquiring one of Zoom’s key rivals, which comes with a strong brand and a substantial number of enterprise users.

“This should strengthen its position in the UCaaS space against Cisco and Microsoft,” he said. “It also raises its profile against other key competitors including 8×8, Mitel, RingCentral and Vonage, which have recently revamped their respective UCaaS offerings with new video collaboration services. According to 451 Research’s Voice of the Enterprise: Digital Pulse, Coronavirus Flash survey, video has become top of mind for IT decision-makers in the past month, as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.”

In addition to supporting employees working from home, physical distancing has led health care organizations, schools and universities, among others, to switch their operations to video conferencing practically overnight, Castanon said.

“Our research shows this will lead to permanent changes for a substantial number of organizations,” he said. “The integration of BlueJeans should allow Verizon to accelerate its 5G product road map and support its customers with digital transformation initiatives in key areas such as telemedicine and distance learning.”

BlueJeans' Quentin Gallivan

BlueJeans’ Quentin Gallivan

“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,” said Quentin Gallivan, BlueJeans’ CEO. “We are very excited about joining the Verizon team and we truly believe the future of business communications starts today.”

BlueJeans’ founders and key management will join Verizon to lead the continued growth and innovation of the business.

Patrick Graves, TetraVX‘s vice president of channel sales, doesn’t think other teleconferencing giants are too worried about the acquisition.

“They have established a beachhead that will be hard to overcome,” he said. “Zoom has won users over with its simplicity. Microsoft has a comprehensive story around full stack integration. Cisco owns a large percentage of corporate voice and network environments. It’s unclear where there is significant room left for BlueJeans.”

If BlueJeans is able to replicate Zoom’s simplicity, this news means more, Graves said.

“If it’s just another corporate conferencing play, I don’t really see a big shakeup,” he said. “Zoom, Cisco and Microsoft have a big head start.”


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