Verizon to acquire BlueJeans – with 5G integration on the horizon

James is editor in chief of TechForge Media, with a passion for how technologies influence business and several Mobile World Congress events under his belt. James has interviewed a variety of leading figures in his career, from former Mafia boss Michael Franzese, to Steve Wozniak, and Jean Michel Jarre. James can be found tweeting at @James_T_Bourne.

Here’s an acquisition that makes sense to everyone in this current climate: Verizon has announced it is to acquire enterprise videoconferencing provider BlueJeans Network.

The move will see BlueJeans move into the Verizon Business portfolio around unified communications, with Verizon promising the platform will also be ‘deeply integrated’ into the operator’s 5G roadmap.

As a result, there is both a short-term and long-term goal at play. The Covid-19 pandemic, and the subsequent working from home measures adopted by the vast majority of companies, means an obvious opportunity, particularly as Zoom’s surge in usage has led to a surge in security issues with it.

Longer term, the 5G opportunity is evident, with Verizon looking at BlueJeans as a facilitator for areas such as telemedicine, distance learning, and field service work. This may be accelerated by the coronavirus crisis; when companies emerge into the ‘new normal’, some parts of the current lockdown – with improvised distance learning and telemedicine already taking place – may stick.

“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 in a statement. “Collaboration and communicagtions have become top of the agenda for businesses of all sizes and in all sectors in recent months.”

Mike Fasciani, research director for unified communications and collaboration at Gartner, agreed that Verizon in particular can leverage their investments in 5G network services with new content for enterprise customers.

“The shift to working from home has shown enterprises all over the world that video meetings are the best way to emulate the face to face experiences and remain productive,” Fasciani told Enterprise CIO. “Short term, this is a great time for Verizon and BlueJeans to catch that wave.

“Longer term, the use of video as part of daily business operations is sure to grow,” Fasciani added. “Telemedicine, remote banking, field service work, online university classes, virtual events, and sales and service engagements across all industries will see benefits in reducing costs and improving trustful experiences.”

As part of his remit, Fasciani explores security around collaboration software and, amid the ongoing pandemic, wrote a blog post exploring best practices for secure videoconferencing earlier this week.

According to Fasciani, service providers and organisations’ IT leaders have an equal role to play in maintaining security – much as the shared responsibility model for cloud security applies between vendor and customer.

“Service providers in the enterprise video solutions market are responsible for systemic level security of its platform and network and the data it collects from its customers,” Fasciani wrote. “IT leaders and security officers have an equally important role ensuring the use of these services meet corporate security policies.”

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

(c)iStock.com/RiverNorthPhotography

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