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Fuze Lights Up UCaaS Enhancements

Fresh on the heels of being named a visionary in Gartner's 2018 UCaaS Magic Quadrant, cloud communications provider Fuze earlier this week announced a new tool and several product enhancements aimed at helping to secure its positioning into the future... in addition to better serving its enterprise customers, of course.

The new tool, Fuze Discover, builds on the real-time usage analytics and daily/weekly communications and collaboration activity reporting available via the existing Fuze View tool, with deeper dive analysis. Whereas View provides data snapshots on Fuze platform usage, Discover will allow administrators to pull in visualizations, trends analysis, and in-depth customized reports, Fuze said.

With Discover, IT administrators will be able to measure utilization against baseline operational goals for their UCaaS deployments, evaluate adoption and usage patterns by department and global regions, and benchmark workforce effectiveness against communications patterns. Such insight will give them the ability to do things like identify adoption gaps, prioritize training, track usage preferences, and better assess productivity, Fuze said.

Discover will be generally available in first-quarter 2019.

While the first of this week's announcements centered on providing more intelligence to IT administrators, the second is all about the mobile worker. Fuze has added three enhancements aimed at providing mobile workers with greater flexibility and control of their communications and collaboration.

For one, Fuze has expanded its Car Mode capabilities with voice command functionality. Second, it has tweaked the mobile app to provide a mobile-first user experience for workers whose primary communications and collaboration device is either a smartphone or tablet. And lastly, it's offering enhanced high-definition video and audio calling with data prioritization. This latter enhancement will enable uninterrupted transitioning between audio or video calls, meetings, and content sharing for improved usability and performance, Fuze said.

The mobile enhancements are available now.

This week's announcements are but the latest product news to come out of Fuze in recent weeks. In late September, the company rolled out a half-dozen enhancements for its Fuze Rooms meeting solution -- its biggest ever update for that piece of its portfolio, Michael Affronti, VP of product at Fuze, told me in a briefing. With the Rooms updates, available now, enterprises can now support:

  • Touch screen in-room controls -- a "flagship capability" of the new release, Affronti said.
  • Deeper integration with Google and Microsoft calendars, including conference room connectivity
  • Content sharing to the room and remote participants via HDMI or Wi-Fi
  • Automatic configuration for one- or two-screen room configurations
  • Interoperability with legacy H.323 and SIP video conference room systems, via the Fuze Telepresence Connect option

Fuze's ongoing development of the Rooms offering reflects rising demand for meeting solutions among enterprises adopting UCaaS, Affronti said. Whereas the conversation around meetings just a couple of years ago was all about interoperability with legacy room systems, today there's a "natural acceptance" of the need to break the legacy chains and bring in cheaper, off-the-shelf hardware. With that, he explained, comes the increasing desire among enterprise decision makers to pull meetings capabilities into the core UCaaS experience.

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