The end of BlueJeans: Exploring video conferencing alternatives
As technology advances, so do the options available to us. With the recent end of BlueJeans, users are now searching for suitable alternatives to fulfil their virtual communication needs.
In the rapidly evolving digital communication landscape, video conferencing platforms have become essential tools for businesses, educational institutions, and individuals.
One such platform that gained popularity over the years was BlueJeans, known for its user-friendly interface and reliable features.
In this blog post, we’ll explore the reasons behind BlueJeans’ discontinuation and delve into some of the top alternatives currently making waves in video conferencing.
The Evolution of BlueJeans
BlueJeans emerged in 2009 as a pioneer in the video conferencing space, offering a seamless way to connect with colleagues, clients, and collaborators across distances.
They also boasted a few firsts. They were the first to connect to; integrate with Skype Rooms and with Facebook Live, enable desktop, mobile and rooms systems in one meeting and first to provide interactive large events.
The simple user interface and robust features quickly gained favour among businesses and organisations of all sizes. With features like screen sharing, video recording, and integrations with other collaboration tools, BlueJeans addressed the growing demand for remote work and virtual meetings.
However, the tech world is known for its rapid changes and fierce competition. As giants like Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and Google Meet entered the scene with their feature-rich platforms, BlueJeans faced an increasingly competitive landscape. This, coupled with evolving user expectations and demands, likely contributed to the company’s decision to discontinue its services.
In an email to BlueJeans’ service members on August 8, Verizon (owner of BlueJeans) announced that the product is being ‘sunset’, meaning the end of an era for BlueJeans. They attributed the end to an evolving and volatile market.
EMEA and APAC boss Joe McStravick broke the news on LinkedIn, saying:
“I want to thank all my amazing friends, colleagues, partners and customers who have reached out to check in on me and the team over the last 48 hours. It means a lot.
This outcome is different from the team, who are some of the best I have had the honour to work with, and if you are looking for incredibly talented individuals, please reach out on this post, and I will connect you with outstanding talent.
The first phase of the sunsetting is that BlueJeans Basic and free trial offerings will reportedly be discontinued as of August 31, 2023, and customers’ access to the services will be halted. Customers can still access those services until this time. All paid-for subscriptions appear to have been removed from the BlueJeans website.”
There is no news on whether enterprise customers are being restricted after the deadline. We’ll share this once we know more.
BlueJeans was a massive acquisition for Verizon, the American telecoms giant. Verizon acquired BlueJeans in Spring 2020, at the height of the pandemic. Verizon paid a reported $400 million. The main reason was to compete with Zoom, Teams and Google when the video conferencing market was booming.
BlueJeans joins a list of video conferencing companies that have struggled in 2023.
Reasons Behind the End of BlueJeans
Failure to monetise BlueJeans: The challenge for standalone video providers is how to monetise their product when video conferencing is bundled into most unified communications and collaboration software. Plus, many users are happy with the free version, making it difficult for users to pay for extra features. This is the key reason Verizon wasn’t mentioning it in investment updates. It wasn’t making money!
Increased Competition: As mentioned earlier, the video conferencing space has seen a proliferation of platforms, each vying for its market share. Established giants and newcomers are constantly innovating and introducing new features and functionalities to attract users. BlueJeans’ relatively tiny market share (0.1%) and resources made keeping up with the competition challenging.
Evolving User Needs and a changing landscape: The COVID-19 pandemic dramatically shifted how people work and communicate. Video conferencing platforms became lifelines for remote work, online education, and virtual social interactions. But users began to seek platforms that facilitated communication and offered additional tools for collaboration, external calling, project management, and document sharing. Also, cloud phone systems such as 8×8, RingCentral, Teams, Unify, etc., have video calling built into their platform. They were negating the need for another software platform for video calling.
Oversaturated market, waning interest: The boom of the video conferencing industry in 2020 is starting to take its toll. As mentioned, we’ve already lost two companies in 2023, with BlueJeans being the third. When there are too many companies and not enough interest, something has to give. “Zoom fatigue” and a shift back to the office or hybrid working are to blame. “Changing market conditions in a post-pandemic landscape” was the reason BlueJeans gave for their unravelling. The surviving companies provide additional solutions, E.g., Microsoft Teams, Google Meet and Zoom.
User Experience: User experience can make or break a platform in the competitive software world. The ease of use, intuitive design, and consistent platform performance influence its adoption. Some users faced difficulties navigating BlueJeans or experienced lag. This could have led to dissatisfaction and a search for more user-friendly alternatives.
Verizon Lost Interest: According to The Register, BlueJeans didn’t get a mention in their Q1 or Q2 2023 earnings calls. For the new Verizon Business CEO, Kyle Malady, the focus was to “drive sustainable growth in mobility and deliver on the revenue growth opportunities within fixed wireless, 5G private wireless and mobile edge computer solutions.” No mention of collaboration.
Top Alternatives to BlueJeans
Microsoft Teams: Part of the Microsoft 365 suite, Teams combines video conferencing with document sharing, collaboration, and project management tools. Its deep integration with Microsoft apps makes it a powerful choice for businesses already invested in the Microsoft ecosystem.
Zoom: Undoubtedly the most recognisable name in the video conferencing sphere, Zoom offers many features, including breakout rooms, virtual backgrounds, and cross-platform compatibility. Its popularity has led to widespread adoption and a thriving ecosystem of integrations.
Cisco Webex: With a focus on secure communication, Webex offers advanced security features alongside video conferencing capabilities. It’s suitable for businesses that prioritise data protection and confidentiality.
GoTo Meeting: Known for its reliability and ease of use, GoToMeeting offers features like drawing tools and keyboard and mouse sharing, enhancing collaboration during meetings.
Google Meet: Integrated with Google Workspace (formerly G Suite), Google Meet provides a seamless experience for users familiar with Google’s tools. Its real-time captioning and easy access for Google account holders make it convenient.
Unified communication platforms: Most cloud-based phone systems include video within their solution. Consider companies such as 8×8, RingCentral, 3CX, Gamma Horizon Collaborate, Unify, Microsoft Teams, and Cisco. We’re finding that more companies are opting to have their communication and collaboration solutions in one place. This is why many companies are opting to use the video capabilities that come with their UC provider.
Choosing the Right Alternative
With the end of BlueJeans, a decision on alternative video conferencing platforms should be based on a thorough assessment of your organisation’s needs and priorities.
Here are some factors to consider:
Features: Evaluate the features that are essential for your organisation. Do you need breakout rooms, recording capabilities, or integration with other tools?
Phone system integration: Consider how well the platform integrates with your existing phone system. A seamless integration with your phone system means users don’t need disparate systems for your communication needs.
Security: Prioritise platforms with robust security features, including end-to-end encryption and privacy controls.
Scalability: Ensure that the chosen platform can accommodate your organisation’s current and future needs as it grows.
User Experience: A user-friendly interface and reliable performance contribute to a positive experience for all participants.
Budget: Different platforms offer varying pricing models. Compare costs and features to fit your organisation’s budget best.
The end of BlueJeans marks a significant shift in the video conferencing landscape. As technology continues to evolve and user needs evolve with it, choosing the suitable alternative becomes paramount. Whether it’s Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Google Meet, or another platform that aligns with your organisation’s requirements, the plethora of options available ensures that you can find a solution that suits your virtual communication needs.
Standalone video conferencing providers are finding it more challenging to compete with unified communication and collaboration tools (Microsoft Teams, 8×8, RingCentral) that have video conferencing tools built into their software.
Remember that the right choice isn’t just about replicating the features of BlueJeans but also about embracing the potential for enhanced collaboration, security, and user experience that these alternatives bring to the table.
This is where Croft can help. Our specialist team can meet with you and understand these requirements and suggest a suitable platform. This takes the guesswork and time out of researching alternatives yourself. Lean on our expertise.
Our team can provide you with a demo to help you understand more about the video conferencing solution you require and get the various stakeholders invested.
If you’re using BlueJeans, you’ll want to look at alternatives soon. Contact our team to book a meeting.