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No Jitter Roll: Team Collaboration Interop, New UC Headsets

As COVID-19 continues to dominate the news — inside and outside of the communications industry — vendors seek to address pain points related to this crisis and beyond. This week, we take a look at team collaboration interoperability, UC headsets, and a slew of COVID-19 offers.
Mio Broadens Team Collaboration Support
In a blog post this week, interoperability provider Mio, a 2020 Best of Enterprise Connect category runner-up, announced the availability of Universal Channels for Microsoft Teams, Slack, and Cisco Webex Teams. Similar to Slack shared channels, users can message people outside their organization without leaving the platform, according to Mio. Currently, Universal Channels supports basic and threaded messaging, file uploads, and editing and deleting of messages, emojis, and GIFs, Mio said.

Fuze Deepens Slack Integration

Earlier this week, Fuze announced an enhancement to its integration with the Slack messaging platform. Users can now toggle between Fuze’s UC and the Slack platform, using one click to escalate from a Slack direct message, public channel, or private channel to a Fuze voice call or video meeting, including full screen sharing capabilities, Fuze said.
This update is generally available to all Fuze customers immediately.
Poly, Jabra Unveil UC Headsets
Poly this week unveiled the Voyager 4245 Office, available in both a Microsoft Teams and standard version. This Bluetooth headset comes in multiple wearing styles (on your ear, behind the head, or over the head) and includes a swappable battery and a dedicated Teams button, Poly said. The device can connect to deskphone, PCs, and mobile phones, Poly said.
Both versions will be available in the U.S. and APAC and EMEA regions in May 2020.
Also this week, in a virtual product launch, Jabra introduced its new range of UC-compatible headsets – the Evolve2 Series. The series comprises the:
  • Evolve2 85 — featuring 37-hour battery life, 10-microphone technology, digital hybrid noise cancellation, and a busy light 
  • Evolve2 65 — this option carries the same 40-mm speakers as the Evolve2 85 in a smaller form factor, while cancels 50% more noise than its predecessor; available in an on-ear wearing style and offers 3-microphone call technology
  • Evolve2 40 — featuring a noise-isolating design with 3-microphone call technology, as well as busy light visible from all angles
Microsoft Teams certification will follow, Jabra said. The Evolve2 Series is available this month, pricing varies.
COVID-19 Offers Keep Rolling Out
Whether to enable improved employee communications or to optimize customer service, industry vendors continue to update their portfolios to meet demands of today’s “new normal.” Here are a few of the latest offerings:
  • — this conversational AI vendor has developed an intelligent virtual assistant (IVA) to respond to the most common questions arising from banking customers during this period of uncertainty. The IVA responds to frequently asked questions, and fulfills all the transactional queries by guiding customers to use online and mobile banking. No integration to existing systems is necessary, and the virtual bot can be set up in one day, Interface said.
  • Verint — this provider of customer engagement intelligence this week announced that it has expanded its portfolio with a solution aimed at helping organizations prepare coordinated and data-driven responses to customer concerns, update agents on replies to key issues and questions, and deliver real-time insights and analysis. The COVID-19 Analytics Support package comes with 13 pre-built categories, the company said.
  • Serenova — this CCaaS provider recently announced CxEngage Rapid Response, a program for spinning up cloud contact center in 48 hours or less. Once enabled, organizations can designate agents to work from home, either entirely or on a rotating basis, to complement onsite contact center staff during peak times and to augment capacity, Serenova said.
  • Ribbon — in mid March, this cloud communications provider introduced Work@Home, providing enterprises having to switch their operational model to an all-remote workforce access to a complete UC&C suite, including screen sharing, HD video whiteboard, group chat, and conferencing. Licenses are available from select partners free of charge until June 30.
  • Talkdesk — among its latest product news, this CCaaS provider has unveiled a suite of cloud deployment and security options called Talkdesk Flexible Deployment. The suite comprises xConnect, Boost, Hybrid Cloud, Regional Cloud and Select Cloud, and pairs with Talkdesk Guardian, the company said.
  • Facebook — the company recently announced that it will offer its Workplace by Facebook Advanced service to emergency services and governmental organizations free for 12 months. The app is currently in use at the World Health Organization, the government of Singapore, and the London Fire Brigade and Ambulance Victoria, Facebook said.
Ryan Daily, No Jitter associate editor, contributed to this article.