Unified Communications and Collaboration
In a blog post last week, Microsoft’s corporate VP for Skype Gurdeep Pall revealed changes for Microsoft Lync with a new name, a new user interface, and new features. In his blog, Pall said, "In the first half of 2015, the next version of Lync will become Skype for Business with a new client experience, new server release and updates to the service in Office 365."
Microsoft's upcoming Skype for Web service will use the new WebRTC standard so it works in all modern browsers -- but not right away: early users will have to download a plugin that's only available on Mac and Windows. That's something Microsoft has already done for years in its Lync universal communications product.
IBM's new enterprise email aims to organize your day. IBM is going up against cloud-apps powerhouses Google and Microsoft with its next generation e-mail client, called Verse, designed to enrich email with social media and analysis.
Cisco will package and deliver enterprise collaboration capabilities via a mobile and Web app built to replicate the ease of use of consumer software but designed for ad hoc, workplace team interaction.
The app, called Project Squared, joins a growing number of "consumerized" enterprise mobile and Web apps built by startups and designed to put a spin on collaboration, messaging, productivity, video conferencing and communications.
Unify has formally released Circuit, previously known as Project Ansible. Circuit provides voice, video, screen sharing, messaging, and file sharing from a single pane of glass, removing the need to switch between multiple applications. The platform also stores and manages information through associations and conversations.
As it fights to remain a leader in enterprise social networking (ESN) among giant rivals, pure-play vendor Jive Software has been furiously integrating its suite with the most popular business software, now adding the Google Docs productivity applications.
Google is taking another crack at email overload, but this time around it's resorting to drastic measures, developing a new product apparently built from scratch without relying on Gmail.
The new email application out of the Googleplex is simply called Inbox, and, according to a blog post from Google Android and Apps head Sundar Pichai "it's not Gmail: it's a completely different type of inbox, designed to focus on what really matters."
Canadian business communications vendor Mitel is offering $540 million for ShoreTel, a U.S.-based competitor, going public with the bid after saying it was snubbed earlier this month.
Mitel and ShoreTel sell enterprise phone systems and unified communications software and services. Mitel says the industry is consolidating and it wants to be a consolidator. In January, Mitel completed its acquisition of Aastra, another Canadian communications company.
BroadSoft introduced Broadsoft Labs, unified communications portfolio enhancements, and a new corporate identity at its annual user conference earlier this week.
Microsoft has created a classroom assistance application for OneNote and SharePoint Online in Office 365, soon after Google released a similar one for its Apps email and collaboration suite.
With OneNote Class Notebook Creator, teachers can set up individual notebooks for each student, a common library for class documents and materials, and a group collaboration space for collective activities, hosted in SharePoint Online and using OneNote as the front-end interface.
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