Verizon Buys Zoom Competitor BlueJeans as Video Usage Grows Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

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As the world continues to adjust to a new teleworking environment as COVID-19 continues to spread, with more than two million confirmed cases globally, technology vendors are making the transition possible.  The unified communications and video conferencing solutions on the market are enabling workers to function (somewhat) normally, despite so many being in unfamiliar work environments.

Not surprisingly, usage has spiked massively for most of these providers during the past month as businesses, governments, and schools try to maintain operational continuity.  Video conferencing provider BlueJeans, for instance, has seen usage more than double in 47 U.S. states, for instance, including 350% growth in New York State – which has the most confirmed cases in the country – and 230% in Washington state – which saw the first outbreak in the country.

The company says, beyond just the increase in conferencing, several collaboration features are also seeing significant usage growth, including whiteboarding and in-meeting chat.  It’s the result of workers trying to mimic their normal in-office experiences with the technology available to them at home.

The sudden and massive increase in use is likely to extend well beyond the coronavirus crisis, and many believe the business world will be forever changed as a result now that businesses have seen how valuable cloud-based communications and collaboration solutions can be in enabling remote and mobile workforces and flexible work arrangements.

That seems to be what Verizon Business sees as the future of work.  The company has announced it is acquiring BlueJeans, which will expand its unified communications portfolio and add a proven video conferencing and live streaming platform to its business solutions.  With the acquisition, Verizon business will be able to immediately add its own enterprise-quality video collaboration component to its UCaaS solution.

Last year, Verizon partnered with BlueJeans competitor Zoom to bring video to its UCaaS customers.  That apparently has not worked out as well as Verizon hoped but, more importantly, having its own solution will allow Verizon to deliver a fully integrated solution and compete more effectively against cloud communications competitors like 8x8, RingCentral, and Vonage.  Verizon also holds an advantage in the competitive market with its network and connectivity solutions, and says it will build the full UCaaS platform into its 5G roadmap.

“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,” said Tami Erwin, CEO of Verizon Business.  “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.”

ITEXPO has always offered businesses the opportunity to learn and about and see firsthand the latest business technologies that are driving innovation in business communications and collaboration.  Part of the TechSuperShow, ITEXPO, along with many of its collocated events, is coming to the brand new Miami Beach Convention Center, February 9-12, 2021.  Along with MSP ExpoSD-WAN ExpoFuture of Work Expo, and more, ITEXPO offers an unprecedented opportunity for education and networking for   Enterprises and SMBs, service providers and carriers, MSPs, and channel partner to explore the latest technologies that are driving business success.  




Edited by Erik Linask

Group Editorial Director

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