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No Jitter Roll: RingCentral API Updates, AI Funding
This week we share announcements around RingCentral platform updates, Skype for Business Online, IP desk phones, developer toolkits, and business-communications funding.
RingCentral Shares API Updates
RingCentral this week announced that it has added RingCentral Video to RingCentral Embeddable, which allows developers to add communications and collaboration into business applications quickly, and a call supervision, monitoring, and streaming API.
Released last March, RingCentral Embeddable initially allowed voice and SMS integration. The embedded video will allow for users to start, join, or schedule meetings from within their business apps and workflows rather than having to toggle between the business and collaboration apps, RingCentral said.
Meanwhile, the call supervision, monitoring, and streaming API enables developers to tap into active voice calls and subscribe to voice streams programmatically, as RingCentral described on its developer portal. Use cases include implementing real-time transcription and applying natural language processing and AI to assist agents in resolving customer issues and supervisors in reviewing performance, for example, RingCentral said. Users can access separate channels for each party on a call, RingCentral said.
In addition, RingCentral added app collections and other enhancements to its App Gallery.
Microsoft Skype for Business Online Retirement Inches Closer
You may recall that in July 2019, Microsoft revealed that its Skype for Business Online service will no longer be accessible or supported on July 31, 2021 — a move aimed at encouraging enterprises to upgrade to Microsoft Teams. With six months until retirement, Microsoft this week reminded organizations of the approaching deadline and encouraged holdouts to get on track with their Teams upgrade planning process “to accommodate the technical, process, and user scenarios unique” to individual organizations. In addition, Microsoft made note of the availability of step-by-step guides.
Mitel Adds Antimicrobial Desk Phones to Portfolio
Cloud communications provider Mitel last week introduced the model 6920t and 6930t IP desk phones — the first in its portfolio built using antimicrobial-treated plastics. On its phones’ plastic surfaces, this technology inhibits virus and bacteria growth by up to 99.9%, Mitel said. The phones also feature a redesigned handset area to “minimize crevices and holes that might collect germs, dirt, and grime, Microsoft said. Other highlights of these new business IP phones include:
6920t — features a full-duplex speakerphone, a high-resolution 3.5-inch color LCD-display, programmable and context-sensitive keys, and support for USB and analog headsets. It also supports up to 18 lines; includes dual 10/100/1000-Mbps Ethernet ports, USB, and sidecar expansion ports, multilanguage options, and secure encrypted voice communication.
6930t — includes a 4.3-in. color display and features programmable and context-sensitive keys, along with optional add-on accessories. Additionally, it comes equipped with mobile device integration, a device charging point, and support for cordless Bluetooth, USB, and analog headsets.
Both models are generally available.
Nureva Offers Device Management, Control Toolkit
Audioconferencing vendor Nureva this week announced a toolkit providing developers access to cloud-based device management and device control APIs for its audio systems. The APIs provide the ability to access device information, update firmware and control settings, and allows for integration with third-party systems, Nureva said. “For example, customers could build a custom application that notifies them if a Nureva audio device becomes unavailable, write a script to install firmware updates, or leverage an integration to their room control system,” the company suggested.
The Nureva Developer Toolkit is available today, via the Nureva Console or company website, at no additional cost to customers and third-party developers, Nureva said.
3 Contact Center Players Detail Business Updates
AI software provider Cresta and speech technology company Deepgram announce new funding, while customer engagement platform provider Verint Systems completes spinoff of software analytics business. Details are as follow:
- Cresta — Porsche Ventures invested an undisclosed amount in Cresta, an AI startup that specializes in messaging and voice communication. Cresta will use this funding to further invest in research and development, Zayd Enam, CEO and co-founder, Cresta, said. Separately, Porsche has decided to use Cresta’s AI software to help handle online inquiries from Porsche Cars North America and Porsche Financial Services customers, with the first implementation being for Porsche Connect. For example, if a driver with an electric car has a question about activating a feature located within the Porsche vehicle, they’ll receive immediate assistance from a service representative due to Cresta’s chat function. The Cresta-powered update will launch in Porsche Connect on smartphones and laptops later this year, Cresta said in a prepared statement.
- Deepgram — the automated speech recognition (ASR) technology provider raised $25 million in Series B funding, led by Tiger Global, with participation from Citi Ventures, Wing VC, SAP.io, and Nvidia Inception GPU Ventures, the company said. The funding will be used to grow the Deepgram team, improve the developer experience, and expand enterprise capabilities, Deepgram said. This follows on Series A funding, received about a year ago and used to further development of its ASR technology and capabilities related to data acquisition, labeling, model training, and APIs, Deepgram added.
- Verint — this customer engagement platform provider finalized the spinoff of its software analytics arm, Cognyte Software, to focus exclusively on customer engagement, the company said. "Verint becoming a pure-play customer engagement company is happening at a time when digital transformation is driving significant change in how brands engage with their customers,” Dan Bodner, CEO, Verint, said. Verint’s customer engagement platform is a cloud-native, open, AI-based platform.