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Verizon Business zooms in to acquire conferencing company BlueJeans

With conferencing and collaboration rocketing due to the Covid-19 outbreak and no real end in sight to the increased usage, Verizon swoops in to acquire conference applications provider BlueJeans

With the end of the Covid-19 coronavirus lockdowns not likely to happen any time soon, conferencing and collaboration systems usage looks set to continue its huge increase in supporting teleworking.

In a move that will take advantage of this trend, communications and technology solutions provider Verizon has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire BlueJeans Network.

BlueJeans’ cloud-based video service currently serves a wide variety of business segments, from small organisations to some of the world’s largest multinational brands, and has played a significant part in continuing those companies’ operations during the ongoing work-from-home (WFH) surge.

The profile of the enterprise-grade video conferencing and event platform has rocketed over the past few weeks. By of the end of March 2020, BlueJeans reported seeing daily conferencing traffic to its meetings grow by over 200% in Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK compared with the previous month, reflecting the rapid and possibly lasting shift towards universal remote working at businesses that are able to support it.

As well as its conferencing capabilities, the product is said to be well-regarded for its security features and has become popular to support remote collaboration at enterprise level. Among other features, BlueJeans uses end-to-end, US federal government-approved AES 128-bit CMC encryption, works extensively with device manufacturers to ensure its service is optimised for secure use on various platforms, and has committed to stringent data privacy practices.

The exact financial terms of the deal have not been disclosed but, effective immediately, Verizon will combine the BlueJeans meeting platform with its own unified-communications-as-a-service (UCaaS) business. This, according to the firm, will mean that customers will benefit from a BlueJeans enterprise-grade video experience on Verizon’s global networks.

In addition, the platform will be deeply integrated into Verizon’s 5G product roadmap, providing secure and real-time engagement solutions for high growth areas such as telemedicine, distance learning and field service work.

BlueJeans founders and key management team will join Verizon to lead the continued growth and innovation of the business. BlueJeans employees will become Verizon employees immediately following the close of the deal.

BlueJeans video conferencing technology
Verizon is set to acquire BlueJeans Network

Commenting on the rationale for the deal, BlueJeans CEO Network Quentin Gallivan said: “As this current WFH era has shown us, having secure, reliable and high-quality collaboration tools like BlueJeans is essential to the productivity of any organisation. 

“By combining our trusted enterprise-grade video-conferencing platform with Verizon’s high-performance global networks and 5G innovation, we will be able to accelerate product development to innovate secure and immersive collaboration experiences for our customers.  

“In addition, we will be able to leverage the R&D [research and development] of both companies to create compelling innovations to enhance our offering in use cases like telemedicine, distance learning and field service.”

Commenting on the deal, Verizon Business CEO Tami Erwin said: “As the way we work continues to change, it is absolutely critical for businesses and public sector customers to have access to a comprehensive suite of offerings that are enterprise ready, secure, frictionless and that integrate with existing tools.

“Collaboration and communications have become top of the agenda for businesses of all sizes and in all sectors in recent months. We are excited to combine the power of BlueJeans’ video platform with Verizon Business’ connectivity networks, platforms and solutions to meet our customers’ needs.”

The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and is expected to close in the second quarter.

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