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Unified Communications Week in Review: AT&T, SkySwitch, Spooky Nook Sports

February 21, 2015

Another major week in news for the unified communications (UC) field has come and gone, and in its wake a host of news items have landed for us to consider. With a major new field adding so many new developments in products and services alike, it's good that we have a weekend on hand to consider how all these events fit into the wider world as we know it. To make that consideration easier, we've got just the thing in the form of our Week in Review coverage, so settle in and let's run down all the high points of the week in UC.

First, we had a look at the kind of impact the government could have on communications service providers (CSPs), and that by and large, that impact was mostly positive. A growing number of regulations and mandates are offering opportunity for CSPs and the like that can provide solutions to the issues raised by said mandates, and that means opportunity. As MarketUS' Michael Price noted, small businesses are starting to take the lead on this front, offering larger businesses a means to meet mandates as well.

Next we turned our attention to SkySwitch and its new UC platform that's not only packed with features, but also set up in a white-label fashion so as to make it easily brandable by those interested in putting it into play. The platform itself reportedly includes billing tools, customer relationship management (CRM) systems, E911 functions, Web conferencing tools and more, with all functions able to be accessed from one single dashboard.

Spooky Nook Sports in Mannheim, Pennsylvania came in next, as it turned to Agilysys' line of hospitality software to help run its operations. Spooky Nook Sports controls the largest indoor sports complex in North America at over 700,000 square feet, and plans to bring a new hotel and restaurant online are in the works as well. With Agilysys tools like Eatec and InfoGenesis POS on hand, among others, Spooky Nook Sports will be better able to get its somewhat disparate operations together and derive benefit from the efficiencies created therein.

Then we had a look at the growth of hybrid cloud services, and just why the adoption of same was on the rise. With a wide variety of applications connecting to hybrid cloud either directly or indirectly—like big data applications, healthcare systems and others—the growth of hybrid cloud made sense as companies seemed increasingly interested in the flexibility that comes from a combination of remote systems and systems kept in-house.

Finally, we had a look at AT&T's new UC Federation system, a unified-communications-as-a-service (UCaaS) solution that not only supports several different UC platforms, ranging from Microsoft Lync to Cisco Jabber, but also offers means to achieve that seamless communication that is commonly so hard to obtain. Enterprises are better able to control communications at different levels, are able to use more platforms to better ensure communications, and even achieve that level of connectivity that's both secure and scalable, ensuring better results all around.

That was the week that was in UC, and there was certainly no shortage of new events taking place in the sector. As new products and services emerged, so too were there new ways to put these to use, and our global online community kept right out in front of all the biggest changes for us to see. So be sure to join us back here next week for all the latest news, and every weekend as well for our Week in Review coverage!

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