• Verizon has been aggressively expanding and marketing the “BlueJeans by Verizon” offer since the acquisition five months ago.
• BlueJeans by Verizon will continue to play a key role in Verizon’s UC&C portfolio going forward.
In just five months, BlueJeans by Verizon has become a centerpiece of Verizon’s UC&C portfolio and larger advanced communications strategy. Verizon has left no stone unturned. Product features, integration with existing Verizon offers, sales, marketing, and support have been carefully considered. Very compelling is Verizon’s decision to operationalize BlueJeans as something of an independent start-up within the larger Verizon organization. Despite significant progress, the BlueJeans story at Verizon is not yet complete as more change lies ahead.
Verizon offers the entire BlueJeans portfolio: BlueJeans Meetings, BlueJeans Smart Meetings, BlueJeans Events, Bandwidth Management, BlueJeans Rooms-as-a Service, BlueJeans Gateway for Microsoft Teams and BlueJeans Command Center.
BlueJeans plays an integral role in Verizon’s advanced communications portfolio strategy, which is based on the premise that customers prefer buying product suites. One suite Verizon provides consists of Verizon-branded offers encompassing meetings and events, calling, contact center (coming soon) and other business services. This suite affords Verizon the benefit of ownership economics. The second suite consists of contact center and UC&C services delivered with partners. Here, Verizon has kept its name in the mix by “bundling” these offers with Verizon’s global network access, security, and professional services.
Verizon brands BlueJeans as “BlueJeans by Verizon” across four Go-to-Market groups, each managing their own sales and marketing efforts: Business Markets (SOHO, SMB, and mid-markets), Global Enterprise (Fortune 2000 and Global MNCs), Public Sector (e.g., universities and state/local associations), and Wholesale.
Verizon targets customers in each Go-to-Market group with specific BlueJeans capabilities as a lead-in and markets additional capabilities and/or related services once a relationship is established. It is interesting to note that Wholesale customers have expanded their traditional role of reselling Verizon network capacity and now have a co-branding relationship marketing BlueJeans under their own brand name (e.g., “Airtel BlueJeans”).
Sales support for all Go-to-Market groups is provided by a network of stores and direct/indirect sellers. With respect to customer support, each Go-to-Market group has its own team. Overall, Verizon is responsible for Tier 1/Tier 2 support with the BlueJeans team responsible for Tier 3 support.
BlueJeans has always relied heavily on free trials and waived fee offers to attract new customers and convert them to paying customers. Traditionally, more than 90% of leads have been generated through this method. Now that it has been acquired by Verizon, BlueJeans has a marketing capability it lacked previously. And while customers will see a lot of marketing from the combined entity, the lure of free service will remain a tool in its arsenal.
In an interesting move, Verizon is intentionally separating the BlueJeans product and R&D teams from the remainder of the company. In essence, BlueJeans is being treated as a start-up.
Verizon has added an impressive total of more than 50 features to BlueJeans since the time it was acquired five months ago. Examples include transcription, automatic closed captions and restricted meetings.
Verizon has aligned the BlueJeans architecture with its network infrastructure, resulting in significant savings of more than $1 million per month.
Here is a sample of what’s next for BlueJeans.
The BlueJeans platform will provide Verizon a potential springboard for deeper involvement in technologies such as 5G, MEC, IoT and security.
Verizon is integrating the BlueJeans and OneTalk UI’s (currently in beta). Users will be able to work in one app and jump to the other; for example, begin a person-to-person phone call in OneTalk and expand it to a multi-person conference using BlueJeans.
In a display of creativity, starting this fall, Verizon will launch a webinar series sponsored by BlueJeans and Yahoo Small Business to help small companies leverage the online channel to grow and maintain their businesses and sell more effectively.