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Unified Communications Week in Review: Powering Education & Beyond

October 04, 2014

While the idea of “back to school” season has pretty much quieted down, there's still quite a bit of educational development going on in the field. This week in unified communications (UC) was absolutely rife with news about augmenting the educational experience, and now that we've got a weekend on hand, it's a great time to take a step back and consider the wider events of the week that was with our Week in Review coverage!

First, we had a look at what AvayaLive Engage was doing in terms of sparking up education. LiveEngage, a cloud-based application that offers some substantial collaboration tools, allows students and teachers to set up avatars and engage each other in a 3D environment, essentially allowing for a simulated classroom experience regardless of location. Distance learning gets a serious boost here, and several institutions have already put the program in play to positive results.

Next we turned to DeVry University, whose Senior Project Showdown brought out a series of senior projects, media portfolios, and other capstones to an educational career that show off the intense dedication of DeVry students. But it was the first place entry that caught some attention in UpStge.com, a social-media community geared toward allowing aspiring musicians a chance to collaborate as well as gain exposure for those particular offerings. A Microsoft rep reportedly offered high praise for the app's targeted nature and improved chance for exposure.

Unify's lineup of IT solutions has found plenty of happy users across the business community, and now a new report shows it moving rapidly into the educational field as well. With estimates suggesting as many as 250 million students in higher education by 2025, the demand for such courses is skyrocketing. With that in mind, Unify has stepped into the fray, bringing the ability to better accommodate growing demand with things like the OpenScape Contact Center.

Then we got a look at how Rising Star Games and Virtual Piggy were bringing in a new, more secure brand of online payments to gaming. Under the partnership, the Oink payment system is reportedly set to work with several of Rising Star Games' brands, including the popular “Harvest Moon” series. Oink not only offers a safer means of paying for games online, but it also offers tools like parental control mechanisms to ensure that only the content deemed appropriate can be brought into the house.

Finally, we had a look at Detroit startup Locqus, who brought out a complete platform designed to better connect workers in the field with the home office. A large portion of the United States' workforce seldom reports into an office at all—installation technicians, repairmen and the like—so with Locqus, there's a better way to keep track of just where those workers are and where said workers should be. Offering compatibility with a variety of tools, Locqus offers impressive versatility in one easily accessible package.

That was the week that was in unified communications, and while education clearly led the way this week, it was far from the only source of news in the field. Our global online community was right at the tip of the spear, bringing back all the best in news for us to consider. So be sure to join us back here next week for all the latest, and every weekend as well for our Week in Review coverage!

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