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Unified Communications Week in Review: 8x8, TalkTalk, Twilio

May 27, 2017

Business communications has changed a lot in recent years.

One change is the migration of business voice and unified communications solutions to the cloud. So many UC solutions suppliers have introduced unified communications as a service offerings. In addition to the rise of the cloud and UCaaS services, mobile-first has become another overarching trend in the business communications arena in recent years. The ability to customize and communications-enable business applications is yet another trend we’re seeing

This week Unified Communications discussed new developments on all of these fronts.

BT, RingCentral, 8x8, West, and Fuze are the unified communications as a service leaders, according to last year’s Gartner Magic Quadrant for Unified Communications as a Service, Worldwide.

Speaking of 8x8, the company recently commissioned The Tolly Group to compare the voice quality of the 8x8 Virtual Office to competing solutions in various scenarios and over Android, iOS, Mac OS X, and Windows operating systems. Also in the running were Google Hangouts, Google Voice, Microsoft Skype for Business Online, and RingCentral Office.

“The 8x8 solution delivered the best voice quality in a majority of the test cases - across scenarios, client platforms, and impairment conditions,” The Tolly Group reported. “In cases where 8x8 did not have the highest quality scores, its results were generally in line with the other solutions tested. In call continuity tests, 8x8 recovered calls in all test scenarios.” 

While demonstrating one business communication system’s performance over another can be helpful to organizations as they evaluate a new system, what can really help a UC solution provider win new business is understanding the triggers that prompt businesses to move to such new solutions and to be there with the right offerings when they do, according to an article in Unified Communications this week.

Switching gears to the conversation about the role of mobile in communications, we’d like to reiterate that TalkTalk Business this week launched MiCollab. This is a mobile-first UC application for the company’s hosted voice solution.

“Businesses have long been looking for ways to improve their productivity while also providing much more flexibility for their increasingly mobile workforce,” said Guy Miller, director of trading at TalkTalk Business. “More and more firms are finding that for their employees, work is an activity rather than a place to be. They expect to be able to work from any location with the same level of access and connectivity as if they were in the office.”

Indeed. Not only that, but it’s also very helpful to include communications capabilities into existing and new applications, and to be able to build customer communications systems from the ground up. But creating these solutions can require a lot of unneeded work and infrastructure without the correct tools and platforms.

That’s why Twilio has introduced Twilio Functions. This is a sandbox in which developers can build and run communication applications leveraging the Twilio platform.

“Writing code is a creative endeavor,” said Patrick Malatack, Twilio vice president of product. “The developers and businesses building cloud communications apps should be focusing on the customer experience, not managing servers. Fueling the future of communications starts with unleashing developer creativity, and that’s exactly what Twilio Functions was designed to do. We can’t wait to see what developers build next!”

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