Unified Communications Featured Article

Unified Communications Week in Review

January 25, 2014

A Unified Communications system in place within a business or corporation has proven time and again that it is an essential tool in running a business – and running it well. Being able to communicate with not just employers and employees but other corporations across the globe is vital in progressing and staying up to date with the latest business practices. This week has been a positive one in terms of the latest news in the UC realm – with new advancements in  products as well as company financing, better enabling UC companies to bring you the best in Unified Communications technology.

Skype, one of the world’s most popular video conferencing solutions for individuals as well as businesses, has announced it can now offer two-way HD video calls on the iPhone 5S, iPad Air and Retina iPad Mini. It is hard for Skype to be any more commendable by its customers – for its instant messaging, voice and video call options have always been free, yet the company is now offering an updated service on a user’s other devices, making video conferencing even more accessible. (Users can now even receive chat messages when the service is closed on the device – talk about convenience!) Skype isn’t the only program getting an upgrade this week. AVST, a UC software provider, has released its newest version of its UC platform, CX-E 8.5. This new version has mobility and security enhancements, and according to Tom Minifie, chief technology officer at AVST, “Our UC interoperability is the ‘glue’ that enables enterprises to leverage existing and future technology investments across a rapidly evolving and multi-vendor UC landscape. We provide our customers choice, while delivering functionality that makes their work-life more productive and engaging.” Seems as if it is a win-win for everyone.

Kensho, a provider of cloud-based intelligent computer systems, has received $10 million in seed funding, with investors such as Google Ventures and NEA participating. The funding is mainly due to Kensho’s latest project ‘Warren,’ a virtual marketing research assistant, which can currently answer numerous natural language questions on various topics. The CEO of Kensho, Daniel Nadler, comments on the prospects of Warren, stating, “If you look at what Apple is doing with 'Siri,' what IBM is doing with 'Watson,' and what Google is doing with 'Now,' it is clear that the most powerful technology companies are investing immense resources to make virtual intelligent assistants ubiquitous before the end of the decade. Until now, we haven't seen systems optimized for finance—one of the largest industries in the world.” This proves there are big things to come in the world of virtual assistants. The global Web conferencing market is prospected to reach revenue of $2.88 billion in 2017, according to Frost & Sullivan, with a compound annual growth rate of 9.8 percent. This just goes to show the UC world is growing, and growing fast. Tune in next week for more of the latest and greatest in Unified Communications!

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