No Jitter Roll: This Week in Enterprise Communications
This week's collection of what's hot and happening covers Microsoft Ignite tidbits, Google's cloud moves, Digium's new Asterisk release, and snippets from Toshiba, Voss, and HPE.
If you've been paying attention even just a little bit this week, you know that Microsoft held its second-annual Ignite conference for enterprise IT professionals. No Jitter covered a good chunk of news coming out of the event, from updates around Skype for Business Online and its partner ecosystem, to a strong focus on Microsoft's cloud strategy as well as the upcoming integration of Skype for Business with the Apple CallKit API.
Given the pervasiveness of Microsoft's UC platform in the enterprise, Ignite is an important event in the enterprise communications space. However, that doesn't mean the rest of the industry stands still and waits for the week to be over. In fact, plenty of noteworthy developments cropped up this past week, and I'll give you a drive-by look:Google Makes Cloud Moves, Introduces G-Suite
Yesterday in a Google Cloud Official Blog post, the company announced Google Cloud, its portfolio of products and services aimed at providing peak performance to support businesses in the digital world.
Engineered with the enterprise in mind, as stated in the post, Google Cloud spans all layers of business. It includes the Google Cloud Platform, its user-facing collaboration and productivity applications (previously known as Google Apps for Work, now renamed G Suite), machine learning tools, Maps APIs for the enterprise, and Android devices. "All of this, built for the cloud from the get-go," Diane Green, SVP of Google Cloud, wrote in the post.
"Google Cloud isn't only the products," Green wrote. "It's also how we work alongside companies, in an engineering-centric way. Because digital transformation and moving to the cloud are technical processes, we have customer engineers, customer reliability engineers, site reliability engineers, product engineers, all there to partner with our customers as they migrate, deploy and evolve. Our approach and our commitment to Google Cloud customers is simple: we're in it together."Digium Announces Asterisk 14 Release
Asterisk software and telephony hardware provider Digium this week released Asterisk 14, the latest version of its open source communications software. This release focuses largely on offering developers capabilities around easing the scaling and deployment of the software within large, service-based ecosystems, Digium said.
While previous Asterisk versions required local storage of media files to be stored locally on the Asterisk server, the 14 release allows for remote media playback capabilities. This means media can be accessed in real-time from remote Web services and cached for future use. The new release also includes functions meant to simplify system deployments. For example, Asterik 14 enables automated configuration of the open source PJSIP library, a popular Asterisk component. System administrators can now use a single command to install and configure PJSIP.Toshiba Releases Software-Only IPedge Solution
While Toshiba has its hands in electrical product and systems in the wide-ranging business fields of energy, infrastructure, and storage, its Telecommunication Systems Division falls right in our space. And this week, Toshiba announced that it has upgraded its IPedge business communication software for small businesses to address key business requirements around ease of deployment, multi-site networking, and enhanced collaborative applications and integrations.
IPedge 1.7.3 allows business customers to choose a software-only deployment and expand their networks. The IPedge software runs on customer-provided VMware-certified hardware, and is a good deployment option for "IT-centric organizations and data centers that utilize virtualization technology as a way to consolidate multiple applications on a single platform," Toshiba stated in the release.
Toshiba also said it has integrated Web desktop sharing and collaboration capabilities of the Meet-me Audio Conference application built in to its IPedge solution; quadrupled the networking capacity of its IPedge and Strata CIX systems; updated its messaging and call accounting capabilities; and enhanced its Salesforce.com plug-in with transfer and conference capabilities.Voss Delivers Role-Based Access to Analytics Portal
UC management company Voss Solutions announced a new edition of its Web-based analytics portal that lets administrators to collect data and analyze information about UC devices, services, users, and licenses. The latest edition of Voss Analytics extends support to Cisco Unified Communication Domain Manager (CUCDM) 8 and CUCDM 10, as well as Voss-4-UC, the latest edition of the company's UC management platform.
In addition, a new role-based access control capability gives providers the ability to grant customer access to Voss Analytics so they can view relevant reports, Voss said in the release.HPE Releases Modern Workspace Service
Technology company Hewlett Packard Enterprise this week unveiled Modern Workspace, a smart conference room service comprising technologies from Microsoft, EventBoard, and Logitech. The service is focused on bridging physical and virtual meeting environments through several capabilities, HPE said. In particular, HPE said it is leveraging Skype Room Systems to create a "center-of-room control device" for Skype for Business meetings, EventBoard's cloud-based mobile conference scheduling app for reserving meeting rooms and times, and audio and video accessories from Logitech.
The Modern Workspace service also provides usage analytics and automation to help ease the frustration many employees experience when faced with a reserved room that is actually empty, HPE said.