SHARE



ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Beth Schultz
Beth Schultz is editor of No Jitter and program co-chair for Enterprise Connect. Beth has more than two decades of...
Read Full Bio >>
SHARE



Beth Schultz | March 09, 2017 |

 
   

Cloud Communications Begets 'Communications Cloud'

Cloud Communications Begets 'Communications Cloud' 8x8 is heralding the arrival of a unified cloud-based interoperability and integration platform for UC, contact center, team collaboration, and analytics.

8x8 is heralding the arrival of a unified cloud-based interoperability and integration platform for UC, contact center, team collaboration, and analytics.

So you know about cloud communications, if not by practice then in theory. But what about the reverse -- the communications cloud? Have you caught wind of this latest term?

Maybe not -- it's a concept I've only just heard myself, served up earlier this week by cloud communications provider 8x8 as part of a strategic re-envisioning (read related No Jitter post by UC analyst Dave Michels, "8x8 Bridges Messaging Islands").

8x8 is putting its stake in the ground for communications, just as companies like Salesforce, Adobe, Oracle, and others have done in developing strategic cloud-based automation platforms for various corporate functions. One day, the "8x8 Communications Cloud" will flow from the tongue just as smoothly as "Salesforce Sales Cloud," "Adobe Marketing Cloud," the "Oracle Financials Cloud," or the myriad other functional clouds out there that have become well known -- or so the company would like.

8x8 has a newfound passion in unifying communications, team collaboration, contact center, and analytics in an open platform that integrates across clouds and line-of-business (LOB) applications, Bryan Martin, 8x8 chairman and CTO, told me in a briefing.

As Michels explained in his post mentioned above, one of the cornerstones of 8x8's strategy is to enable interoperability among disparate cloud-delivered team collaboration apps. In other words, it wants to be able to inject an 8x8 user into a Slack channel or a Cisco Spark meeting with one simple command, or bring a Slack or Spark user into an 8x8 Virtual Office meeting by throwing up a clickable link, as Martin suggested.

And 8x8 doesn't even have to be in the equation, added Andrei Soroker, CEO and co-founder of Sameroom.io, the enabling technology provider for such interoperability and now an 8x8 property. In fact, since 8x8 doesn't have its own persistent team chat app, Sameroom has no connectors for it yet, he noted.

But it does have lots of other connectors in place. For example, via Sameroom, a team using Atlassian's HipChat could connect with a team using a Slack channel. Users remain in their native team collaboration app's room or channel (or whatever the nomenclature), and the communications are mirrored within each, he explained. Have a third team -- internal or external -- that needs in on the conversation but is using yet another app? No problem, Soroker said. Sameroom can build connections among multiple apps, as well as among different instances of the same app (so HipChat-Slack-Spark, for example, or Slack-Slack-Slack).

In essence, 8x8 is "waving the interoperability flag" while others have been waging "trench warfare" over cloud communications and, especially, team collaboration, Martin said. "Maybe this isn't shockingly bold, but it is bold," he added.

I have to agree with that. I remember reading about Sameroom a few months back, in another piece from Michels, "Time to Kill IM," and thinking its interoperability service could come in handy within many enterprises dealing with runaway team collaboration app deployments. It fits in nicely with the idea of a communications cloud, but willingness to pay for messaging interoperability could be an issue, as Ovum analyst Brian Riggs pointed out in comment on No Jitter. Between the cost of the team collaboration apps themselves and the interoperability service, "the cost of sending messages is starting to really add up."

That said, the 8x8 Communications Cloud has some other things going for it beyond interoperability of team collaboration apps. For example, 8x8 has beefed up its enterprise application integration portfolio -- switching its strategy from depth to breadth, as Martin said. And, it features a number of open APIs companies can use to do all sorts of stuff, like providing direct access from business apps to messaging, chat, and meetings; extracting data from 8x8's big data environment; and automating provisioning for Active Directory integration. As one example, Martin pointed to office space provider Regus, which has used 8x8's APIs to spin up contact center capacity on the fly.

Note, 8x8's API gambit isn't meant to attract developers, but rather LOB owners, Martin said. It's all part of that communications cloud ideal -- what 8x8 calls the "open cloud," he added. "It's about using the cloud as a platform to run their businesses better ... and about fulfilling a promise to enterprises to deliver a platform that they can use to fully embed communications in their business processes."

If you're intrigued by this idea and planning on attending Enterprise Connect, taking place March 27 to 30 in Orlando, Fla., be sure to add the Wednesday session "Where is the UCaaS Industry Headed?" to your agenda. Martin, along with executives from Microsoft, RingCentral, and Vonage, will be on the hot seat in a panel discussion moderated by Frost & Sullivan program director Elka Popova. And I'm sure 8x8 CEO Vik Verma will have a thing or two to add during the mainstage general session he's participating in on Monday morning, "What Role (If Any) Should Cloud Communications Play in Your Enterprise?"

In fact, check out all of our planned cloud communications programming here, and if you haven't yet done so, register now using the code NOJITTER to receive $300 off an Entire Event or Tue-Thu Conference pass, or a free Expo Plus pass. Hope to see you there.

Follow Beth Schultz and No Jitter on Twitter and Google+!
@nojitter
@Beth_Schultz
Beth Schultz on Google+





COMMENTS



Enterprise Connect Orlando 2018
March 12-15 | Orlando, FL

Connect with the Entire Enterprise Communications & Collaboration Ecosystem


Stay Up-to-Date: Hear industry visionaries in Keynotes and General Sessions delivering the latest insight on UC, mobility, collaboration and cloud

Grow Your Network: Connect with the largest gathering of enterprise IT and business leaders and influencers

Learn From Industry Leaders: Attend a full range of Conference Sessions, Free Programs and Special Events

Evaluate All Your Options: Engage with 190+ of the leading equipment, software and service providers

Have Fun! Mingle with sponsors, exhibitors, attendees, guest speakers and industry players during evening receptions

Register now with code NOJITTEREB to save $200 Off Advance Rates or get a FREE Expo Pass!

November 1, 2017

Your customers (internal and external) demand that you offer them the ability to connect by any means. With the adoption of cloud communications tools you now have access to an expanded portfolio o

October 18, 2017

Microsofts recent Ignite event had some critically important announcements for enterprise communications. Namely, Microsofts new Team Collaboration offering, Teams, will be its primary communicatio

September 20, 2017

Customer experience can make or break your business. But how do you achieve outstanding customer service when you're dealing with outdated organizational structure, lagging technology, dated proces

September 22, 2017
In this podcast, we explore the future of work with Robert Brown, AVP of the Cognizant Center for the Future of Work, who helps us answer the question, "What do we do when machines do everything?"
September 8, 2017
Greg Collins, a technology analyst and strategist with Exact Ventures, delivers a status report on 5G implementation plans and tells enterprises why they shouldn't wait to move ahead on potential use ....
August 25, 2017
Find out what business considerations are driving the SIP trunking market today, and learn a bit about how satisfied enterprises are with their providers. We talk with John Malone, president of The Ea....
August 16, 2017
World Vision U.S. is finding lots of goodness in RingCentral's cloud communications service, but as Randy Boyd, infrastructure architect at the global humanitarian nonprofit, tells us, he and his team....
August 11, 2017
Alicia Gee, director of unified communications at Sutter Physician Services, oversees the technical team supporting a 1,000-agent contact center running on Genesys PureConnect. She catches us up on th....
August 4, 2017
Andrew Prokop, communications evangelist with Arrow Systems Integration, has lately been working on integrating enterprise communications into Internet of Things ecosystems. He shares examples and off....
July 27, 2017
Industry watcher Elka Popova, a Frost & Sullivan program director, shares her perspective on this acquisition, discussing Mitel's market positioning, why the move makes sense, and more.
July 14, 2017
Lantre Barr, founder and CEO of Blacc Spot Media, urges any enterprise that's been on the fence about integrating real-time communications into business workflows to jump off and get started. Tune and....
June 28, 2017
Communications expert Tsahi Levent-Levi, author of the popular BlogGeek.me blog, keeps a running tally and comprehensive overview of communications platform-as-a-service offerings in his "Choosing a W....
June 9, 2017
If you think telecom expense management applies to nothing more than business phone lines, think again. Hyoun Park, founder and principal investigator with technology advisory Amalgam Insights, tells ....
June 2, 2017
Enterprises strategizing on mobility today, including for internal collaboration, don't have the luxury of learning as they go. Tony Rizzo, enterprise mobility specialist with Blue Hill Research, expl....
May 24, 2017
Mark Winther, head of IDC's global telecom consulting practice, gives us his take on how CPaaS providers evolve beyond the basic building blocks and address maturing enterprise needs.
May 18, 2017
Diane Myers, senior research director at IHS Markit, walks us through her 2017 UC-as-a-service report... and shares what might be to come in 2018.
April 28, 2017
Change isn't easy, but it is necessary. Tune in for advice and perspective from Zeus Kerravala, co-author of a "Digital Transformation for Dummies" special edition.
April 20, 2017
Robin Gareiss, president of Nemertes Research, shares insight gleaned from the firm's 12th annual UCC Total Cost of Operations study.
March 23, 2017
Tim Banting, of Current Analysis, gives us a peek into what the next three years will bring in advance of his Enterprise Connect session exploring the question: Will there be a new model for enterpris....
March 15, 2017
Andrew Prokop, communications evangelist with Arrow Systems Integration, discusses the evolving role of the all-important session border controller.
March 9, 2017
Organizer Alan Quayle gives us the lowdown on programmable communications and all you need to know about participating in this pre-Enterprise Connect hackathon.
March 3, 2017
From protecting against new vulnerabilities to keeping security assessments up to date, security consultant Mark Collier shares tips on how best to protect your UC systems.
February 24, 2017
UC analyst Blair Pleasant sorts through the myriad cloud architectural models underlying UCaaS and CCaaS offerings, and explains why knowing the differences matter.
February 17, 2017
From the most basics of basics to the hidden gotchas, UC consultant Melissa Swartz helps demystify the complex world of SIP trunking.
February 7, 2017
UC&C consultant Kevin Kieller, a partner at enableUC, shares pointers for making the right architectural choices for your Skype for Business deployment.
February 1, 2017
Elka Popova, a Frost & Sullivan program director, shares a status report on the UCaaS market today and offers her perspective on what large enterprises need before committing to UC in the cloud.
January 26, 2017
Andrew Davis, co-founder of Wainhouse Research and chair of the Video track at Enterprise Connect 2017, sorts through the myriad cloud video service options and shares how to tell if your choice is en....
January 23, 2017
Sheila McGee-Smith, Contact Center/Customer Experience track chair for Enterprise Connect 2017, tells us what we need to know about the role cloud software is playing in contact centers today.