Verizon To Shutter BlueJeans Service As It Exits Videoconferencing Market
The carrier is exiting the crowded videoconferencing market by announcing that it will sunset its cloud-based BlueJeans videoconferencing service that it has owned since 2020.
Service provider heavyweight Verizon will be “sunsetting” BlueJeans, the videoconferencing service that it had for three years, citing “the changing market landscape” as its reason.
Verizon in May 2020 acquired BlueJeans, a cloud-based, business-focused videoconferencing service that first launched in 2011. The purchase came at a time when millions of employees all over the globe were working remotely as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Verizon paid “less than $500 million” for the company, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal at the time.
The move out of the videoconferencing arena comes as Verizon has recently taken action toward more efficiently and intentionally running its business. Specifically, Verizon during its Q2 2023 earnings call last month said that its newly appointed leadership team is focused on advancing the company’s core networking, cloud and 5G and wireless strategy.
To that end, the company last year revealed the creation of the Verizon Global Services organization, which the carrier said would help free up more capital to the tune of $2 billion to $3 billion by 2025 so Verizon could further invest in its core networking and telecom services.
Verizon in March named Sowmyanarayan Sampath the CEO of Verizon Consumer Group, shifting him from his position as Verizon Business CEO, which he had held for nine months. Kyle Malady, then executive vice president of global networks and technology, was appointed CEO of Verizon Business Group.
The carrier said in a note to users of the service that the first phase of that shutdown process will include an end to the BlueJeans Basic tier and free trial offers, which will no longer be available as of August 31.
“Verizon will be sunsetting the BlueJeans platform in 2024. The award-winning platform has successfully connected thousands of customers over the years. However, the changing collaboration marketplace has shifted since acquisition, leading to the decision to retire the suite of BlueJeans by Verizon products,” a Verizon spokesperson told CRN in an email.
The shift away from videoconferencing comes at a time when the larger collaboration market has slowed down as many employees are returning to the office or opting for a hybrid working model. Many of the market’s leaders are also feeling the effects.
Cisco Systems last year announced plans to lay off employees and right-size some of its business units, which included its Collaboration segment. During the tech giant’s most recent fiscal quarter, its collaboration segment’s revenue declined 13 percent year over year.
Zoom Video Communications in February announced that it would be reducing its staff by 1,300 employees, or about 15 percent of its staff after the company said it quickly staffed up during the pandemic to build out its platform, up its security, and manage the influx in global demand. But the company didn’t “thoroughly analyze” its teams or assess if it was growing sustainably and toward the highest priorities, Zoom CEO Eric Yuan said at the time.
In Verizon’s Q2 2023, total operating revenue for Verizon Business, which included the BlueJeans videoconferencing service, dipped 1.9 percent on revenue of $7.48 billion during the second quarter compared with $7.63 billion in the year-ago quarter.