Unified Communications and Collaboration
Microsoft cuts the hassle from email encryption with Office 365 upgrade.
Two big complaints people have had about encrypted email often derail its use outside of a small circle.
Size matters in the unified communications business, according to Mitel Networks and Aastra Technologies, two Canadian vendors that plan to merge early next year.
Mitel will pay about $392 million Canadian (US$374 million) for all of Aastra's outstanding shares under a deal approved by both boards of directors, the companies announced Monday. The transaction is subject to regulatory and other approvals and is expected to close in the first quarter of next year.
Office Web Apps, the browser-based, pared-down version of the Microsoft suite, now lets people co-edit documents in real time, a capability its main rival Google Docs has had for more than two years.
Until now, people could jointly edit Office Web Apps documents but changes had to be saved for other collaborators to see them. With the new live co-authoring feature, colleagues will see each other's modifications as they're made.
When Google Apps arrived in 2006, it stood on the cutting edge of Web-hosted email and collaboration suites for businesses, a bold pioneer clearing a path in the new, wild frontier of enterprise cloud computing.
Seven years later, complacency has diluted that innovative spirit, and Google Apps now trails competing suites from IBM, Cisco, and Microsoft in areas like enterprise social networking (ESN) and unified communications (UC).
Jive revamped the employee directory of its enterprise social-networking suite to make it easier for users to find colleagues whose expertise they can tap.
The suite's Social Directory component, designed to hold detailed profiles, now lets people endorse each other, a new feature Jive feels will make even more evident the skills and expertise of employees.
"It's hard to find people to get work done," said Nathan Rawlins, Jive's vice president of product marketing.
Cisco will boost its enterprise collaboration stack with products designed to simplify the way companies secure communications, interact with external parties and manage their collaboration tools.
The new wares, which will be announced on Wednesday at the company's annual Collaboration Summit, signal a renewed push from Cisco in this market, where it battles rivals like Microsoft, IBM, Avaya, Alcatel-Lucent, Siemens and Citrix.
Polycom has released research results revealing that 96% of business decision makers believe video conferencing removes distance barriers and improves productivity between teams.
Respondents who use video conferencing today rated video’s top advantages as:
Avaya is making it easier to drop its unified communications capabilities into business applications, removing a layer of complexity that may be holding developers back from writing communications-enabled apps for businesses.
Siemens Enterprise Communications has changed its name to Unify and now hopes to take advantage of a growing interest in hosted unified communications.
The rebranding comes at time when the way enterprises communicate is changing. Thanks to trends such as bring-your-own-device, employees are no longer tied to a desk and a desk phone for their work.
Adding convenience possibly at the expense of security, Google will now let people without a Google Account view documents stored in its Apps cloud suite.
The move is meant to simplify how Apps customers share files with outsiders.
Until now, Apps customers could only grant document access to users with a Google Account. People who didn't have an account or who weren't logged in to their account couldn't get into the documents even when invited to do so via an emailed link from an Apps user.
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