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In the technology industry, we like to swing pendulums too far one way or the other and make general statements like “everything is moving to the cloud” or “everything is connecting over wireless,” and those statements are, of course, false. There are still more on-premises workloads than cloud ones, and there’s a huge world of devices that are connected with wires.
The collaboration industry is no different, as there has bee a significant rise in the number of tools to improve virtual meetings. We have web conference platforms, audio bridges and advancements in video. And recently there has been an explosion in the number of team messaging products. All of these products help workers conduct virtual meetings.
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In the sports world there is no team more revered by its city than the Montreal Canadiens. With all due respect to Green Bay Packer, New York Yankee or New England Patriots fans, you don’t know the absolute die-hard devotion of a Canadiens supporter. The team has also had an unparalleled level of success in North American sports with 24 Stanley Cup Championships and an equal number of players in the recently released NHL’s top 100 players of all time.
The home of this storied franchise is the Bell Centre in downtown Montreal. When one walks into the building, its easy to understand what “Canadiens tradition” means, as there are reminders of the legends who played for this franchise and the promise of future greatness, which is why the fans come out in droves no matter what. Through success and failure, good times and bad, the seats always sell out.
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Companies looking for a new video- and teleconferencing system have a fresh face to turn to in the market: Amazon Web Services.
On Monday, the public cloud provider announced the launch of Amazon Chime, a new service that’s designed to compete with the likes of WebEx, Skype for Business and GoToMeeting. It’s a powerful swing at some very entrenched enterprise software players by the public cloud provider.
AWS launched the service with native applications for Windows, MacOS, iOS and Android. Chime’s infrastructure is based in the U.S., but Gene Farrell, AWS’s vice president of enterprise applications, said that the service can be accessed worldwide.
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It all started with Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP). Prior to VoIP, the PBX was totally independent with its own server connected to proprietary endpoints (telephones) over a proprietary network. VoIP enabled telephony to co-mingle with other servers, networks and endpoints.
Telephony grabbed hold of the concept of unified communications (UC) and made “PBX” a legacy term. A single UC client could support voice, voicemail and instant messaging (IM). UC APIs offered communications capabilities to other applications.
+ Also on Network World: Office, Outlook, Slack, Handoff: The digital workplace reborn +
While the UC industry has done a great deal with multi-modal communications, it has not been successful at unifying communications. In many ways, we are more connected and converse more than ever before, but most of these conversations occur outside of the UC suite.
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Amazon today announced Chime, a unified communications as a service (UCaaS) offering hosted in Amazon Web Service’s cloud.
Amazon is entering a crowded market of UC solutions, some of which are already cloud-based and others that run on customer premises. Nevertheless, analysts who track Amazon say the company has an opportunity here.
Chime uses a mobile or desktop application that is available across iOS, Android and Windows environments. It uses noise-cancelling wideband audio, which Amazon says allows it to deliver high quality audio and video experiences. When a meeting starts, Chime calls all the participants, who can join by clicking a button; there is no PIN required. Chime shows a visual roster of all attendees, which Amazon says eliminates the “who just joined” questions that can occur on conference calls. Any user has the ability to mute a noisy participant. Advanced editions of Chime allow IT to centrally manage users and settings, including integrating it with existing corporate directories.
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Fuze, the Cambridge, Mass., unified communications-as-a-service company that recently scored an additional $ 104 million in funding, has named 25-year-plus tech industry veteran Colin Doherty as its CEO.
Most recently Doherty oversaw internet performance management and DNS service provider Dyn during exciting times: He joined in October, later that month the company got hit with a massive DDoS attack and then Oracle bought the vendor in November.
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Google appears to have accidentally revealed its new group videoconferencing service for businesses on Tuesday, a week before a big user conference.
The service, called Meet, appears to be its offering for businesses that want to do group meetings over the Internet. According to a saved iOS App Store listing captured by AppAnnie, it will support high-definition video meetings with up to 30 participants. That’s an upgrade over the company’s existing Hangouts instant messaging and video calling service, which only allows meetings of up to 10 people.
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Last week, Cisco held the European version of it’s Cisco Live event in Berlin. At these events, Cisco typically makes several product announcements and demonstrates many of its new products. Cisco Live is also a time for the company’s alliance and technology partners to showcase their own wares as they look to add value to the Cisco ecosystem.
One of the more interesting announcements by an technology partner at the 2017 show was from VOSS Solutions, which extended its platform to support Cisco Spark Hybrid Services. The Spark platform has been red hot of late, as Cisco has made it the company’s main UC platform. During the show, the Spark Board garnered a lot of attention, including being part of Ruba Borno’s day 1 keynote.
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Avaya is one of the largest providers of enterprise communications products and services. It is a complex company of 158 separate entities that employ about 9,700 people worldwide. Most of its entities in North America, representing about 3,800 of its employees, filed for Chapter 11 reorganization earlier this year.
Avaya reported 2016 revenue at $ 3.7 billion. Despite an annual adjusted EBITDA of $ 940 million and positive free cash flow, it has a debt problem. It owes about $ 6 billion due to multiple investors spread over multiple maturity dates over the next several years.
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