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Polycom RealConnect makes multi-vendor videoconferencing easy

VoIP News June 7, 2016

Videoconferencing and the enterprise have had a good old love-hate relationship over the past few decades. It’s kind of like what’s happening with Tom Brady and the NFL. Both know they’re better off with each other, but there’s so much historical pain that it’s hard to move on and give each other another shot.

Enterprise video has come a long way over the past five years, but there are so many painful memories of how things were that many IT and business leaders don’t want to give video another chance. However, it’s worth taking another look. Complicated user interfaces have been replaced with easy-to-use touchscreens. IT no longer has to roll around carts and spend half the meeting time trying to dial the other side’s ISDN SPID. Quality issues have all but been resolved, and modern systems work fine now even over low bandwidth connections.

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Network World Unified Communications/VoIP

772 total views, 1 today

Microsoft reportedly scrubbed an $8B bid for Slack

VoIP News June 7, 2016

Slack is the darling of the enterprise software world, and Microsoft reportedly considered buying it for a huge sum of money.

The tech giant was supposedly mulling a bid as large as US$ 8 billion before ultimately deciding against a purchase, according to a report in TechCrunch. An acquisition could have made sense for Microsoft, which has been picking up companies left and right over the past few years.

Slack is right in its wheelhouse, considering that Microsoft has purchased several other productivity-focused startups, including email app Acompli and calendar app Sunrise. Those deals formed the backbone for some of Microsoft’s newer productivity applications, including its Outlook app for iOS and Android. 

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Network World Unified Communications/VoIP

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IDG Contributor Network: Wi-Fi 911: Running with scissors?

VoIP News June 6, 2016

Emergency 911 services first materialized in the United States when the Alabama Telephone Company established the service in the sleepy little town of Haleyville on Feb. 16, 1968. At that time, phone companies knew the installation address and phone number of each and every telephone device, and calls were routed based on this information. While seemingly unsophisticated by today’s standards, at the time, it was considered quite a feat of engineering.

The process remained valid until Sept. 21 of 1983 when the world changed forever. In a historic decision by the Federal Communications Commission, the Motorola 8000X, the world’s first commercially available portable cell phone, was approved for service and personal mobility took on a brand-new meaning. What was the cost of this miraculous technology? For just under $ 4,000, consumers could ‘cut the cord’ that tethered them to the wall — a small price to pay for a device that would revolutionize and redefine telecommunications history.

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Network World Unified Communications/VoIP

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Polycom brings a wide variety of video solutions to Microsoft Unified Communications

VoIP News June 5, 2016

Microsoft was a late entrant into the unified communication market. In a very short period of time, the company has jumped from relative obscurity to the No.2 market share vendor and now offers a robust premises-based solution with Skype for Business (formerly Lync) and burgeoning cloud service within Office 365. Microsoft’s best partner throughout this journey has been Polycom, which is the main supplier of IP phones to Microsoft Skype for Business or Office 365 customers.   

This week at the Enterprise Connect conference, Polycom made a number of announcements that expands the partnership to bring video to conference and huddle rooms. It seems a switch flipped inside Microsoft over the past six months.  Historically, Microsoft has seemed almost dismissive of the value of video, perhaps because so much energy was spent legitimizing Lync, now Skype for Business as a credible voice platform. Whatever the case, Microsoft seems to developed some religion around video and is looking to make a big push into conference and huddle rooms.

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Network World Unified Communications/VoIP

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6 secrets to mastering Slack

VoIP News June 4, 2016

Communication is the most important aspect of working on a team — without it, there is no team. Slack is all about making that invaluable communication more efficient. Slack allows for public channels, private groups, and direct messaging, giving team members the options to communicate in the mode appropriate to the topic. Plus, the ability to join multiple teams makes it easy to switch between work, recreational, and topic-specific chats.

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(Insider Story)
Network World Unified Communications/VoIP

153 total views, 1 today

Mitel’s acquisition of Polycom has game-changing potential in UC market

VoIP News June 3, 2016

After months of speculation, Mitel finally pulled the trigger on acquiring Polycom for $ 1.96 billion.

Competing in the unified communications (UC) market means having to butt heads with not just one, but two 800-pound gorillas named Cisco and Microsoft. The combined “MiPolycom” will be a much bigger, stronger, $ 2.5 billion revenue company—much more capable of competing with the big boys.

Mitel’s acquisition of Polycom is a bit of an unusual situation. Polycom is bigger than Mitel in both revenue and market cap, but Mitel was able to secure a $ 1.05 billion loan from Bank of America and Merrill Lynch to complete the deal. Under the terms of the agreement, Polycom will continue to run as a separate business unit under Mitel and will retain its brand. Rich McBee, Mitel’s CEO, will be the CEO of the combined organization, which will be headquartered in Ottawa, Canada.

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Network World Unified Communications/VoIP

178 total views, 1 today

Skype for Business finally makes its way to the Mac

VoIP News June 2, 2016

Microsoft’s new business communication product is finally coming to the Mac after the company launched it for PC users last year.

The company announced the first technical preview of Skype for Business for Mac on Tuesday morning, giving users of Apple computers an easy way to connect to meetings they have scheduled through Microsoft’s professional audio and videoconferencing software. 

When users sign into the app, they’ll see their Skype for Business meetings for the current day and the following one, and be able to easily join them to discuss whatever business things they want to with the other people invited.

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Network World Unified Communications/VoIP

154 total views, 2 today

IDG Contributor Network: Enterprise 911 — Lost in translation

VoIP News June 1, 2016

If you work in an office, your work days include the standard routine of commuting to work and taking your place at a cubicle in a corporate facility amid your fellow employees.

Most likely, your employer has provided you with a desk and a laptop, and on your desk is a telephone connected to the corporate multi-line telephone system (MLTS) known as an MLTS/PBX. Alice in accounting or David in sales is easily reached by directly dialing that person’s extension number. Reaching someone outside of your company is just as easy. First, an access code is dialed, then the 10- or 11-digit telephone number of the desired remote party. The rest is telephone network magic that is likely out of sight and out of mind.

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Network World Unified Communications/VoIP

148 total views, 0 today

Yammer adds external groups feature

VoIP News May 31, 2016

Microsoft’s message board/social network for business, Yammer, now allows administrators to invite people from outside of the Yammer network into groups for discussions and other messaging. The company made the announcement in the Yammer blog last week.

Yammer is a high-powered message board Microsoft acquired in 2012 for $ 1.2 billion. It lets groups stay in regular contact while working on projects and has become a major component of Office 365. However, it operates in any environment, including stand-alone, to serve as an internal messaging platform the way Notes and cc:Mail tried to do years ago.

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Network World Unified Communications/VoIP

173 total views, 1 today

Microsoft Flow allows apps to all work together

VoIP News May 30, 2016

Microsoft has tried in the past to make apps communicate, like with Object Linking and Embedding (OLE) in the 1990s. It worked, but in a limited fashion, allowing for linking data between Word and Excel. But if you wanted to share data from non-Microsoft apps, you were out of luck.

Now, however, Microsoft has come out with a service (it’s not right to call it an app) called Flow, which brings the If This Then That (IFTTT) functionality of the Web to desktop apps. IFTTT is a feature for Web services that generates actions based on conditions. It’s how Twitter informs you when someone follows you, likes your tweet or responds to your tweet, for example.

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Network World Unified Communications/VoIP

174 total views, 1 today

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