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Verizon Acquires BlueJeans for $400-500 Million

What happened?

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

Our Take

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.

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