Verizon Business recently announced the sunsetting of its BlueJeans video conferencing solution, which it acquired only a few short years ago in April 2020 for $500M. At the time, the acquisition made sense for the telco giant as the pandemic forced many people to work remotely. But three years later, Verizon has decided to refocus its efforts on other priorities that include driving sustainable growth within fixed wireless, 5G private wireless and mobile edge compute solutions.
The decision to sunset BlueJeans isn’t surprising to those that followed the acquisition post-deal. The video chat business is both competitive and costly, and Verizon struggled to contend with the popularity of Zoom, WebEx (Cisco), Microsoft Teams, and Google Workspaces. Since the first of the year, Verizon hasn’t even mentioned BlueJeans during its quarterly earnings calls.
What Customers Can Expect
Here is the announcement from Verizon: “BlueJeans by Verizon products and services will be retired in the first half of 2024. Timelines for service availability will vary; however, if you are an existing customer, rest assured that you can continue to use your BlueJeans services as usual for now. We are getting in touch with all our customers regarding their specific service end dates, and our teams will be available to assist you once the transition begins.”
While Verizon has given enterprise customers some runway to migrate to a new solution, many could find themselves in the lurch if they don’t start preparations sooner than later. Forced migrations of key productivity and collaboration solutions often lead to customers paying above fair market value prices for competitive solutions. NPI recommends those enterprises invested heavily with BlueJeans begin a strategic search for a replacement as end of support looms.
Evaluate Market Pricing for Current (BlueJeans) and Prospective Solutions
NPI anticipates most large enterprises will not be able to continue using a collaboration platform like BlueJeans without a formal support plan that includes critical patching updates and actual helpdesk access, for example. These applications are often key to operational success so NPI wouldn’t expect solutions without them to meet most firm’s security requirements.
Although it may not be possible, NPI recommends those moving away from BlueJeans to remain vendor agnostic while protecting the reason new solutions are being sought. Competing vendors could use this opportunity to hike up initial offer prices to unsuspecting shops. NPI can assist as an impartial observer to help assess such RFP pricing exercises to ensure vendors don’t take advantage of any situational circumstances like this one.
Check Renewal Timelines and Contractual Language Against Timelines to Switch
As part of any due diligence, NPI recommends immediately identifying agreement expiration dates and to contact BlueJeans/Verizon for any options regarding existing deals. Those close to expiration dates may seek extensions instead of immediately switching away from the platform, for example.
NPI finds collaboration solutions like BlueJeans tend to have lower switching costs than many IT areas, but at the same time they are tightly intertwined with daily operations that still can make this an important and sensitive area. NPI suggests making sure at least two or more alternatives are identified as part of the process to evaluate new solutions.
Enterprise telecom costs are notoriously difficult to manage – they typically span multiple providers and it’s impossible to keep track of constantly changing services and usage requirements. Verizon’s decision to retire BlueJeans is a good example of how unanticipated change and complexity can lead to overspending if enterprises aren’t prepared.
Impacted by Verizon’s decision to sunset BlueJeans? NPI can help your enterprise formulate a migration strategy that ensures you don’t overpay. Contact us.
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