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Unified communications for reals

VoIP News November 9, 2017

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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Network World Unified Communications

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Unified communications firm Fuze hires well-traveled CEO to lead it to IPO promised land

VoIP News November 5, 2017

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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Network World Unified Communications

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RingCentral aims to unify ‘unified communications’

VoIP News October 29, 2017

I started my career as an analyst in 2001, and one of the first reports I wrote was on the topic of “unified communications,” or UC as it’s more commonly called today. The concept is pretty simple: Workers use lots of communications tools, so why not bring them together into a single, easy-to-use tool? Makes sense, doesn’t it? 

However, a funny thing has happened over the past 15 years. In an effort to give workers more functionality, many specialty UC vendors popped up. I understand the term “specialty UC” is somewhat of an oxymoron, but this is the state of the industry because we now have UC vendors for video, web conferencing, chat, audio conferencing, VoIP, document sharing, file storage and the list goes on. 

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Network World Unified Communications

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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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