Unified Communications and Collaboration

Top UC predictions for 2013

Topics that are discussed here:

The consumerization of UC

Unified communications (UC) was born to serve the enterprise market, with voice over IP (VoIP) as the prerequisite service needed to create the remaining UC portfolio. As with many services that users learned to value in the workplace, the portfolio of UC services is also gaining popularity among consumers. We have seen UC features offered to consumers by wireline providers, by over the top (OTT) providers, and (to a lesser extent) by wireless providers.

Alcatel-Lucent upgrades its OpenTouch Suite for SMB

Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise recently updated its OpenTouch Suite targeting the small medium business (SMB) market. The latest feature set is designed to give SMB employees new capabilities for using their own personal mobile devices (BYOD) and social networking communications.

The company's OpenTouch Suite for SMB includes the OmniPCX Office Rich Communication Edition (RCE) Release 9.0 and other solutions. Among the new additions:

Google ends small business' free ride on Google Apps

Google will start charging small businesses to use its Google Apps productivity suite as the company mines previously free services for new revenue streams. Businesses with 10 or fewer employees will now be charged $50 a year -- the same rate paid by larger businesses to use the Web-based tools, which include e-mail, word processor, spreadsheet and presentation graphics tools.

The move will allow the Web giant to focus on the quality of the business user's experience, Google explained today in a company blog post.

Avaya Aura Virtualized Environment debuts, brings added flexibility

Avaya announced its new architecture for virtualized unified communications applications, unveiling Avaya Aura Virtualized Environment (Avaya Aura VE). With the announcement, businesses can choose full virtualization with Avaya Aura VE, or continue with the dedicated hardware approach already offered by Avaya Aura. They can also combine virtualized and dedicated servers for application deployment.

The Case for UC Interoperability

The need for UC has been fueled in part by the way business is conducted today. Work groups are distributed, and many employees work from home, but they all still need to stay connected, work efficiently, and collaborate.

Chronopost choisit Google Apps

Le service français de livraison de colis express Chronopost International a choisi de faire appel aux solutions collaboratives en ligne Google Apps for Business. Ces services cloud de la firme de Mountain View sont aujourd’hui utilisés par plus de 5 millions d’entreprises dans le monde.

Cisco replaces collaboration group head again

Cisco has named a former Symantec executive to head its struggling collaboration group, which saw three different leaders in less than a year.

Verizon expands Lync service to hosted operations, management of UC

Verizon announced today it is extending its managed services offering for Microsoft Lync Server to its business customers by adding the ability to operate, monitor and manage unified communications and collaboration (UC&C) servers and functions.

RIP Windows Live Messenger, Microsoft to consolidate IM service on Skype

With the exception of mainland China, Windows Live Messenger will close in the first quarter of 2013, and its users should install the latest version of Skype, Microsoft said on Tuesday.

Users can sign into the Skype service with the credentials they use to access their Microsoft online services, including Windows Live Messenger. They will find their Windows Live Messenger contacts on their Skype contacts list. If they used both Windows Live Messenger and Skype, the contacts lists will be merged.

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