SHARE



ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Michelle Burbick
Michelle Burbick is the Associate Editor and a blogger for No Jitter, UBM Tech's online community for news and analysis...
Read Full Bio >>
SHARE



Michelle Burbick | March 10, 2017 |

 
   

No Jitter Roll: This Week in Enterprise Communications

No Jitter Roll: This Week in Enterprise Communications This week's collection includes news from Microsoft, Cisco, LifeSize, Unify, and Modality Systems.

This week's collection includes news from Microsoft, Cisco, LifeSize, Unify, and Modality Systems.

With Enterprise Connect kicking off in just over two weeks, there's never been a better time to get up to date on everything going on in enterprise communications. News continues to pour out of every corner of this space. Just this week Google ramped up its enterprise initiatives with its Hangouts Meet and Chat solutions, 8x8 released its Communications Cloud, and Avaya has a bid from Extreme Networks for its networking business (also see, "Message to Avaya Customers, Channel: Don't Panic!"). And, in case you missed it, we announced the six Internet of Things companies that we have lined up to participate in the Enterprise Connect Innovation Showcase.

If all that wasn't enough for one week, well fear not, because I've got a round-up of some of the other news you may have missed this week in enterprise communications.

Microsoft Teams Approaches GA
Microsoft announced it is holding a special online event on Tuesday, March 14, at 8:30 a.m. PT to "celebrate" the global availability of Microsoft Teams, the chat-based workspace in Office 365 it began previewing in early November 2016. . While details are sparse, we do know that an unnamed special guest will be joining Microsoft VP Kirk Koenigsbauer and the two will talk about what's new with Teams and share customer stories. No doubt we'll hear more about Teams when Ron Markezich, CVP, Office 365, Microsoft, takes the stage at Enterprise Connect to deliver his keynote on Wednesday, March 29, at 10:00 a.m.

Cisco Invests in Startups
Alchemist Accelerator, a venture-backed initiative aimed at accelerating the progress of enterprise startups, announced it is looking to fund early-stage collaboration startups, including those that integrate with the Cisco Spark Service and those using Cisco Collaboration APIs for voice, video, and messaging.

Enterprise Connect 2016 attendees may remember that at last year's event, Cisco keynoter Rowan Trollope announced the Cisco Spark Innovation Fund, a $150 million investment aimed at developers. Cisco has now invested $1 million of that fund into the new Alchemist fund.

"Our relationship with Alchemist has given us exposure to a wide variety of enterprise startups," said Rob Salvagno, head of Cisco investments and VP of Cisco corporate development, in a prepared statement. "With this new fund, our goal will be to support a new generation of startups that are disrupting the collaboration industry by developing new features and functionality on top of Cisco Spark."

Alchemist has previously made investments in Assemblage and Synata, both acquired by Cisco (see "Cisco Collaboration 'Moving at Warp Speed' " for more details from Cisco Collaboration SVP and GM Jens Meggers -- also an Enterprise Connect 2017 keynoter -- about how acquisitions have fit into the company's roadmap).

Lifesize Introduces Live Stream
Video conferencing technology provider Lifesize announced Live Stream, the latest addition to its cloud-based Lifesize application. The solution is intended for high-definition live streaming of company meetings, training sessions, and other corporate events, the company said.

Lifesize Live Stream enables Lifesize virtual meeting rooms to stream content to up to 10,000 simultaneous viewers and up to 50 video-enabled sites. Users can join a Live Stream from any device, browser, or location. Lifesize offers a usage-based pricing model for Live Stream, allowing organizations to forego the need to buy a certain package or try to predict the number of events for which they'll need the service. Further, Live Stream allows for real-time Q&A from within the live streaming page, turning what is typically a one-sided event into an interactive session.

Unify Gets the DoD Nod
Unify's OpenScape Voice platform has gained the nod of approval from the Defense Information Systems Agency, following testing for interoperability and information assurance by the U.S. Department of Defense's Joint Interoperability Test Command. JITC tested OpenScape voice for virtual and physical environments, demonstrating 99.999% availability, according to Unify. With its placement on the approved products list, authorized officials, other federal agencies, state and local governments, and enterprises get access to assessment results and risk information for review when authorizing a system for use.

Modality Systems Launches Modality Labs
As a way of celebrating the company's 10-year anniversary, Modality Systems announced the creation of Modality Labs, a "free-thinking space" for developers to connect and collaborate with customers and partners on early-stage ideas and prototypes. Modality said it was driven to create the Labs as a way to raise awareness about developing products so it could gather user feedback on features and functionality before making them available as part of its portfolio of products and services.

"Innovation and invention are important to ensuring an 'evergreen' business and are at the heart of our core values," said Modality Systems CTO Nick Seagrave, in a prepared statement. "Modality Labs gives us a forum to engage with the wider market and share ideas for new products and applications that could help with transforming and futureproofing communications enabled business activities."

If you haven't yet registered for Enterprise Connect, taking place March 27 to 30, do so now using the code NOJITTER to receive $300 off an Entire Event or Tue-Thu Conference pass or get a free Expo Plus pass.

Follow Michelle Burbick and No Jitter on Twitter!
@nojitter
@MBurbick





COMMENTS



July 12, 2017

Enterprises have been migrating Unified Communications & Collaboration applications to datacenters - private clouds - for the past few years. With this move comes the opportunity to leverage da

May 31, 2017

In the days of old, people in suits used to meet at a boardroom table to update each other on their work. Including a remote colleague meant setting a conference phone on the table for in-person pa

April 19, 2017

Now more than ever, enterprise contact centers have a unique opportunity to lead the way towards complete, digital transformation. Moving your contact center to the cloud is a starting point, quick

July 14, 2017
Lantre Barr, founder and CEO of Blacc Spot Media, urges any enterprise that's been on the fence about integrating real-time communications into business workflows to jump off and get started. Tune and....
June 28, 2017
Communications expert Tsahi Levent-Levi, author of the popular BlogGeek.me blog, keeps a running tally and comprehensive overview of communications platform-as-a-service offerings in his "Choosing a W....
June 9, 2017
If you think telecom expense management applies to nothing more than business phone lines, think again. Hyoun Park, founder and principal investigator with technology advisory Amalgam Insights, tells ....
June 2, 2017
Enterprises strategizing on mobility today, including for internal collaboration, don't have the luxury of learning as they go. Tony Rizzo, enterprise mobility specialist with Blue Hill Research, expl....
May 24, 2017
Mark Winther, head of IDC's global telecom consulting practice, gives us his take on how CPaaS providers evolve beyond the basic building blocks and address maturing enterprise needs.
May 18, 2017
Diane Myers, senior research director at IHS Markit, walks us through her 2017 UC-as-a-service report... and shares what might be to come in 2018.
April 28, 2017
Change isn't easy, but it is necessary. Tune in for advice and perspective from Zeus Kerravala, co-author of a "Digital Transformation for Dummies" special edition.
April 20, 2017
Robin Gareiss, president of Nemertes Research, shares insight gleaned from the firm's 12th annual UCC Total Cost of Operations study.
March 23, 2017
Tim Banting, of Current Analysis, gives us a peek into what the next three years will bring in advance of his Enterprise Connect session exploring the question: Will there be a new model for enterpris....
March 15, 2017
Andrew Prokop, communications evangelist with Arrow Systems Integration, discusses the evolving role of the all-important session border controller.
March 9, 2017
Organizer Alan Quayle gives us the lowdown on programmable communications and all you need to know about participating in this pre-Enterprise Connect hackathon.
March 3, 2017
From protecting against new vulnerabilities to keeping security assessments up to date, security consultant Mark Collier shares tips on how best to protect your UC systems.
February 24, 2017
UC analyst Blair Pleasant sorts through the myriad cloud architectural models underlying UCaaS and CCaaS offerings, and explains why knowing the differences matter.
February 17, 2017
From the most basics of basics to the hidden gotchas, UC consultant Melissa Swartz helps demystify the complex world of SIP trunking.
February 7, 2017
UC&C consultant Kevin Kieller, a partner at enableUC, shares pointers for making the right architectural choices for your Skype for Business deployment.
February 1, 2017
Elka Popova, a Frost & Sullivan program director, shares a status report on the UCaaS market today and offers her perspective on what large enterprises need before committing to UC in the cloud.
January 26, 2017
Andrew Davis, co-founder of Wainhouse Research and chair of the Video track at Enterprise Connect 2017, sorts through the myriad cloud video service options and shares how to tell if your choice is en....
January 23, 2017
Sheila McGee-Smith, Contact Center/Customer Experience track chair for Enterprise Connect 2017, tells us what we need to know about the role cloud software is playing in contact centers today.