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Unified Communications Week in Review: Alcatel-Lucent, MegaPath, IDC

September 06, 2014

It’s the end of another week, and time to take a look at some of the top stories in the world of unified communications.

Mercy Hospice Auckland, a not-for-profit hospice in New Zealand, has announced that it has upgraded its PBX to an Alcatel-Lucent OpenTouch UC solution. The firm operates one hospice and seven retail stores across the city of Auckland. The system replaces a wired PBX system that only handled voice calls with a new system that does that but adds email and text chat in a unified interface over a wireless network

MegaPath Corporation announced that it will start providing UC services. .The Unified Communications offering is a feature set within MegaPath’s Hosted Voice solution. Hosted Voice can be delivered over MegaPath’s access products (DSL, T1, Ethernet), but it is not a requirement.

AdvanTel Networks announced its own “next-generation” cloud unified communications system, vCloud.

“We've seen a huge increase in demand from executives for cloud applications," said Chris Atha, vice president of sales at AdvanTel.  "We are excited to offer a comprehensive, cloud-based alternative solution that helps meet the growing present and future needs of our customers."

With the move to UC from traditional communications systems, the market for physical video conferencing devices is slipping in favor of software. According to research firm IDC, the physical market dropped by nine percent at the end of the second quarter of 2014 compared to the same time the previous year. One of the things driving this move appears to be the lower cost of these software-based solutions compared to traditional video conferencing hardware. Vendors are responding themselves by rolling out more software-based solutions at the expense of hardware. Even Cisco, the networking hardware equivalent of Microsoft, has been offering its own cloud-based software solutions in response to upstarts like Vidyo

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