Verizon BlueJeans

Verizon tailors BlueJeans conferencing functionality, inks IBM 5G IoT deal

Newly acquired video-conferencing suite gets feature enhancements as Verizon inks IBM partnership to focus on enabling industrial productivity in 5G-enabled IoT technologies

In a flurry of activity covering perhaps the most in-demand application of “new normal” working and also empowering connected industrial applications, comms giant Verizon has announced partner integrations and feature enhancements to its BlueJeans Events platform. It is also joining forces with IBM to work on enabling the industrial sector to improve operations, optimise production quality and enhance worker safety via 5G-enabled internet of things (IoT) technologies. 

In a hugely strategic play, given the increased mass reliance on conferencing and collaboration systems and no real end in sight to their use, Verizon entered into a definitive agreement to acquire BlueJeans Network in April 2020.

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. By the end of March 2020, it reported seeing daily conferencing traffic to its meetings grow by over 200% in Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK, compared with the previous month.

In what is the first upgrade since the acquisition agreement, BlueJeans has added functionality to its BlueJeans Events platform to improve attendee recruitment, engage diverse audiences and follow up after events. The aim is to match audience expectations for modern, virtual experiences and to enable event managers to more closely simulate on-site customer connections, such as the ability to host up to 150 speakers and 50,000 attendees.

Over the past three months, BlueJeans is said to have witnessed an eightfold increase in the use of Events as organisations look to go beyond the limitations of traditional webinars and seek safe ways to bring together large groups of people and host customer, partner and community events. 

Verizon believes the latest enhancements to BlueJeans Events will make it easier than ever to market and monetise such virtual events. The product captures attendee data with hands-free lead tracking for BlueJeans Events and Salesforce. Users can automate their marketing and sales follow-up strategy with integrated data sync for webinar attendees.

The partnership with IBM is designed to gain further traction after a wave of automation propelled by the Covid-19 pandemic, and support enterprises which are demanding real-time, actionable insights to find new ways to improve productivity and reduce costs, at scale. 

The companies say that many industrial enterprises are today seeking ways to use edge computing to accelerate access to near-real-time, actionable insights into operations to improve productivity and reduce costs.

To address this need, they have revealed that the first solutions planned from this collaboration are mobile asset tracking and management solutions to help enterprises improve operations, optimise production quality and help clients enhance worker safety. This will see the combination of Verizon’s 5G and multi-access edge compute capabilities, IoT devices and sensors at the edge, with IBM’s expertise in artificial intelligence (AI), hybrid multicloud, edge computing, asset management and connected operations.

In terms of specific solutions, the two companies plan to use Verizon’s wireless networks, including Verizon’s 5G Ultra Wideband (UWB) network, and multi-access edge computing (MEC) capabilities, alongside Verizon’s ThingSpace IoT platform and Critical Asset Sensor (CAS) product. These will be jointly offered with IBM’s market-leading Maximo Monitor with IBM Watson and advanced analytics.

The combined solutions could help clients detect, locate, diagnose and respond to system anomalies, monitor asset health and help predict failures in near-real time. 

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