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Videoconferencing news highlights: Yorktel and AGT
Today we'll continue our videoconferencing news highlights with announcements from Yorktel and AGT. AGT offers managed and cloud videoconferencing solutions targeting service providers: It previewed a new desktop video client and EncoreB2B mobile video app at InfoComm earlier this month. And Yorktel recently deployed an enterprise-class, cloud-based service portfolio for videoconferencing with the Yorktel VideoCloud.
Dialogic unveils WebRTC server; industry survey shows WebRTC significance
We'll interrupt our scheduled coverage on videoconferencing to focus today on WebRTC with some news from Dialogic. Last week, the company unveiled its PowerMedia XMS 2.1, a software media server designed to address the challenges facing Web Real-Time Communication (WebRTC) deployment. And in an announcement today, Dialogic also published some survey results that may prove why the company is optimistic about the demand for a WebRTC media server: 86.9% of telecom operators and developers who responded consider WebRTC as significant to their overall product roadmaps.
Videoconferencing highlights from Blue Jeans Network and Avaya
Today we continue our news coverage of videoconferencing highlights with announcements from Blue Jeans Network and Avaya: Blue Jeans announced its progress after two years in service, while Avaya unveiled a new solution targeting the small and midsize enterprise (SME) market.
Pexip, IntelePeer announce videoconferencing advancements at InfoComm
Continuing coverage of multiple videoconferencing and collaboration announcements, today we focus on Pexip and IntelePeer. As a new entrant to the enterprise videoconferencing market, Pexip first announced its approach to collaboration, unified communications and videoconferencing at last week's InfoComm conference in Orlando, Fla.
Zoom, Vidyo enhance videoconferencing offerings
With a tsunami of videoconferencing and collaboration announcements in the last week, we'll start today in reverse alphabetical order beginning with news from Zoom and Vidyo, and continue to cover the video-related news in our next several editions.
Mitel rebrands and launches new solutions; BroadSoft supports WebRTC
Three news items today for the highlight reel, with two announcements coming from Mitel and an unrelated announcement from BroadSoft.
Avaya unveils plans to transform collaboration development
Avaya has concluded its annual International Avaya User's Group (IAUG) event, and one of the most noteworthy announcements was the company's strategic vision to transform its approach to collaboration. The company's strategy calls to accelerate development and integration of next-generation unified communications and contact center applications.
AT&T's Mobile Workplace; Avaya's Outbound Contact Express
Two new highlights today: AT&T has launched the AT&T Mobile Workplace, a cloud-based solution designed to help small and medium businesses (SMBs) access and share content across multiple devices. Meanwhile, Avaya has introduced a new solution for midsize contact centers with Avaya Outbound Contact Express.
Cisco study projects 3.6 billion Internet users by 2017
Cisco has once again released its study of global Internet traffic with the Cisco Visual Networking Index. Among the study's findings: In 2012, there were 2.3 billion Internet user representing about 32% of the world's population; however, by 2017, there will be about 3.6 billion Internet users -- more than 48% of the world's projected population (7.6 billion).
8x8 inks deal with Insight Enterprise, shares results
Insight Enterprises expanded its InsightCloud Solutions Center portfolio with the addition of cloud communications solutions from 8x8. The InsightCloud Solutions Center aggregates 8x8 business VoIP and cloud-based services and provides a single client portal for ongoing management of subscriptions, features and requirements. Insight has sold more than 3 million business and public sector client cloud seats across the globe.
RingCentral survey: 70% of businesses face phone system challenges
In a recent survey conducted by Dimensional Research on behalf of RingCentral, 70% of businesses with traditional on-premises phone systems found their current systems lacking. The survey also the need to integrate mobile workers, devices and business apps was a key issue for 45% of companies with on-premises PBX.
News roundup: Zoom reaches 1M users, Orange expands IaaS, Digium phones' custom apps
Zoom Video Communications announced it has reached more than 1 million participants worldwide, connecting more than 400,000 meetings and 3,500 businesses, in more than 2,500 cities worldwide since the company delivered its 1.0 release in February of this year. Founded in 2011, Zoom offers what it calls a "Unified Meeting Experience" -- providing cloud-based HD video meetings and mobile screen sharing for up to 25 people by connecting desktops, mobile devices and room systems. Zoom's with its 3-in-1 cloud service is priced at $9.99 per month.
UC news roundup: Thinking Phone Networks in EMEA, Level 3 adds to portfolio, ShoreTel's new phone
Several news highlights today: Thinking Phone Networks has extended its cloud-based UC solution to target enterprises in the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region. Level 3 has launched its Carrier Cloud Voice solution as a wholesale offer to CLECS, cable operators, telcos and wireless carriers. Meanwhile, ShoreTel has launched a new DECT phone and upgraded its system management capabilities.
Sonus enhances SBC portfolio
Sonus has enhanced its session border controller portfolio, targeting both enterprise and service provider market opportunities. Among the enhancements: modular form factor session border controllers (SBCs) designed to permit customers to field-install digital signal processor (DSP) cards at their own pace, nearly 100 new software enhancements, and an enhanced Survivable Branch Appliance (SBA) functionality with mobile broadband 3G/4G failover capability meant to ensure Microsoft Lync Server operations during wide area network (WAN) failures. integrates Skype
When we started this year as usual with our annual predictions, we suggested that Microsoft would have some material announcements about the integration of Skype and Lync, and while we're still waiting for that to (hopefully) happen, late last month Microsoft did announce that it is integrating Skype connectivity features with
ShoreTel announces the ShoreTel Dock
ShoreTel has announced a new product called the ShoreTel Dock -- a business-grade docking station that transforms iPhones and iPads into desk phones when paired with ShoreTel Mobility. The ShoreTel Dock turns Apple handhelds running the ShoreTel Mobility app into business desk phones and enterprise collaboration tools. ShoreTel is demonstrating the ShoreTel Dock and its portfolio of enterprise unified communications solutions this week at Interop 2013 in Las Vegas.
Digium announces two new phone systems
Digium has announced the general availability of two new Switchvox appliances targeting the IP phone system needs of midsize businesses. The Switchvox 400 Series includes enterprise-class unified communications features, supporting up to 600 users in a single system. The latest products are added to the Digium portfolio that already includes a portfolio of hardware-based and software-based solutions -- along with the Switchvox Cloud a hosted version of the company's phone system that we covered in our newsletter two months ago.
Announcements from GENBAND's Perspectives13 conference
GENBAND hits the headlines today with three big announcements that were unveiled at the company's Perspectives13 conference. The first is the launch of the "Innovation Exchange," a collaborative business and technology exchange. The second item is also an announcement about collaboration: GENBAND has partnered with F5 Networks to deliver an Integrated SIP and Diameter Signaling Solution. And in product news, GENBAND has launched a WebRTC gateway with the release of GENBAND SPiDR.
Orange Business Services goes global with UCaaS
Orange Business Services has announced the global expansion of "Business Together as a Service" -- a move the company touts as the "market's first Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) offer available for large enterprises on a global scale," according to the company's statement. The cloud service, originally deployed in France and Europe, is hosted in three regional data centers (Atlanta, Frankfurt and Singapore) that are part of the Orange Business Services dedicated cloud computing infrastructure. The service is available on six continents.
Company announcements highlight SBC developments
Today we highlight two items covering developments with session border controllers (SBCs), with separate news from Dialogic and from GENBAND. In the first announcement, Dialogic disclosed that it has completed interoperability testing between its BorderNet 4000 SBC and BroadSoft's BroadWorks application server. The collaboration between BroadSoft and Dialogic is designed to deliver solutions to help service providers more easily offer unified communications (UC) services and hosted applications such as fixed-mobile convergence, modern call center capabilities, mobile video and HD voice.
Report: Wireless substitution, VoIP overtake ILEC landline dominance
We have long followed the trend of wireless substitution for landlines and the growing market share for VoIP as an alternative to traditional telco service. In a report released earlier this month, USTelecom said that, according to its estimates, more households now use wireless only than those that use an incumbent local exchange carrier (ILEC) phone service. The trade association's analysis and projections suggests that at the end of 2012 ILECs were no longer the dominant provider of residential voice services as more consumers "cut the cord" and as they transitioned to VoIP.
XO Communications enhances hosted PBX solution
XO Communications has announced enhancements to the company's hosted PBX service. The latest features upgrades now will provide better alternatives for multi-location business customers by offering a customer-provided bandwidth option. With the enhancements, XO Hosted PBX customers will now be able to connect to the XO VoIP service, leveraging the XO Hosted PBX features with an Internet connection from any broadband provider.
NextPlane offers federated UC
In our last newsletter, we talked about the need for interoperability and promised more coverage on the topic, so today we'd like to discuss federated unified communications services. Reaching out to an expert on UC federation, we spoke with Farzin Shahidi, the founder and CEO of NextPlane. UC Exchange Federation Services provides a rich set of high-fidelity federation capabilities across Microsoft Lync, OCS R2, OCS and LCS, Cisco Jabber XCP, Unified Presence Server (CUPS) and WebEx Messenger (formerly Cisco WebEx Connect), IBM Sametime, Google Apps, Jive OpenFire, Isode M-Link and eJabberd.
Interoperability issues hinder videoconferencing advancement
We'll be focusing on video systems and services interoperability in a couple of pieces this month, and today we start with a Webtorials TechNote covering the topic recently written by Gary Audin. Audin begins by observing that while multiple video standards and proprietary solutions are available, most are not interoperable. He asserts that in the face of growing demand for videoconferencing, interoperability issues still need to be addressed.
Mitel releases cloud-based contact center solution
Mitel has announced the release of its Mitel AnyWare Cloud Contact Center solution as the latest addition to the company's suite of cloud-based products. Mitel's contact center solution is targeted to address the small and midsize business market. The contact center service is integrated with the Mitel Anywhere suite of cloud-based unified communications features, bundled with a package that also includes local and long distance calling for about $65 per user.

Steve Taylor is president of Distributed Networking Associates and publisher/editor-in-chief of Webtorials. Larry Hettick, an independent analyst and consultant, is a 30-year industry veteran. He has covered VoIP and UC at Network World for 12 years.

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