Unified Communications and Collaboration
IP telephony adoption has progressed slowly for more than a decade, but with hosted voice vendors now offering modular consumption models and shifting away from simply viewing hosted voice as a way to sell broader unified communications (UC) solutions, organizations can now pursue IP telephony services as a highly scalable stand-alone service.
Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise is evolving its businesses communications solutions by expanding and extending the OpenTouch Suite capabilities and applications -- including better native conferencing capabilities and support of mixed media.
ShoreTel has announced global availability of it latest release with ShoreTel 13, with enhancements designed to improve video communications and instant messaging. With the release, ShoreTel Communicator, the call manager application, enables participation in room-based video conferences using H.264 AVC technology -- making it easier for users to communicate via video from their desktop or laptop. ShoreTel is also working closely with partners to encourage wider adoption of video standards including H.264 SVC.
Zoho has integrated its cloud-hosted office productivity applications with the Google Drive online storage service, Zoho said in a blog post.
The integration lets Google Drive users open their files using the Zoho Office applications Zoho Writer, Zoho Sheet and Zoho Show -- word processor, spreadsheet and presentation creation applications, respectively.
Avaya today announced the latest version of its unified communication (UC) software, IP Office 8.1, which the company says brings UC features typically reserved for large enterprises to smaller ones.
Features in the latest version of the software include:
The unified communications (UC) space is ever expanding. Ever since the UC platform Microsoft Lync 2010 was launched, Internet protocol (IP) phones optimized for Lync have been thronging the market, because they provide advanced productivity.
Cashing in on the market trend for these devices and as a competitor to the Polycom range of Lync 2010 optimized phones, Aastra had introduced IP Phones Optimized for Microsoft.
Bring-your-own-device policies and are enabling the anywhere workforce and increasing the need for unified communications and collaboration (UCC) tools, according to recent studies. Ninety percent of 1,105 respondents to the 2012 IDG Enterprise Unified Communications and Collaboration survey said they plan to invest in UCC in the next year, with 52% spending on telepresence. Vendors are responding accordingly, with tools to enable UCC.
A range of small and large communications vendors are shifting their services to cloud-based delivery, giving customers the choice of having hardware that sits on their own premise, or accessing PBX and other unified communication (UC) platforms that are hosted by the provider or a third party. But some analysts say slow customer adoption points to customers being more concerned about managing their workers' mobile devices compared to traditional boxed communications systems.
Siemens Enterprise Communications announced that their OpenScape Office platform is now fully integrated with both VMware's Zimbra as well as the increasingly popular Mac OS from Apple. The move came in response to heightening growth in the SMB--small and medium-sized business-- markets, as well as increasing demand for unified communications-based systems across all business sizes.
As Avaya continues its transition from a hardware company into a communications and collaboration software provider, it is going through some growing pains, including a shakeup of executives and uncertainty around a potential initial public offering that's been rumored for months.
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