No Jitter Roll: Monday Edition

This edition of our regular news roundup covers a breadth of announcements, stretching from baseball dugouts all the way to the boardroom. Today, we feature announcements around unified communications, team collaboration, 5G, software-defined WAN (SD-WAN), and funding for a new video collaboration company.
 
Phillies Choose Mitel for Comms & Collab
Last week, Mitel announced that the Philadelphia Phillies baseball organization has upgraded its communications infrastructure with its UC platform, continuing a relationship they’ve had for 36 years.
 
Today, the Phillies uses a single UC application for voice, video, messaging, presence, and audio conferencing. It connects employees from the team’s home ballpark, its spring training facility in Clearwater, Fla., and its baseball academy in the Dominican Republic. Mitel also powers the Phillies contact center, which it recently upgraded with business analytics and real-time reporting capabilities.
 
With the changes, the Phillies organization is taking its “communications system to the next level, improving how we connect and interact with customers,” said David Buck, Phillies executive vice president, in a prepared statement.
 
Citizens Bank Park, the team’s home stadium, is one of 30 Major League Baseball ballparks outfitted with Mitel’s communication platform as part of a league-wide partnership with the MLB that began last year, Mitel said. The platform enables recording and monitoring of all communications conducted on phone lines between dugouts, bullpens, video review rooms, and press box communications, to ensure everything is in compliance with MLB rules and regulations.
 
Hear from more enterprises on the subject of communications transformation at Enterprise Connect Orlando, in the Monday, March 18, session, “Why You Need to Champion Communications Transformation in Your Organization,” led by consultant Phil Edholm, of PKE Consulting.
 
Cisco Integrates to Tackle Information Islands
Via a Cisco Blogs post, Cisco last week highlighted new integrations between Webex and file storage and sharing applications.
 
“The last thing an IT team wants is yet another island of information. Instead they want to eliminate any extra steps that impact productivity,” wrote Sri Srinivasan, head of Cisco’s Team Collaboration Group, casting Webex in the role of a “relay” between these islands.
 
In addition to its own file sharing and storage offerings, Cisco now offers a full integration between Webex Teams and Microsoft OneDrive and SharePoint Online, as part of an effort to turn Webex into a unified enterprise content management solution. Now Microsoft Office 365 users can share and edit OneDrive and SharePoint Online files from within Webex Teams workspaces.
 
Cisco has worked to make the integration easy for IT admins as well, Srinivasan wrote. The integration uses existing Office 365 enterprise file sharing permissions and data loss prevention policies so that admins can ensure the organization stays compliant.
 
Moving forward, Cisco plans to bring integrations with G Suite, Box, and Dropbox, Srinivasan said.
 
Dive into this technology topic further at Enterprise Connect Orlando, in the Tuesday, March 19, session, “How Team Collaboration Is Fueling Convergence,” led by analyst Diane Myers, of IHS Markit.
 
AT&T Brings SD-WAN, 5G Together
Ahead of Mobile World Congress, which takes place in Barcelona this week, AT&T has announced it’s working with VMware SD-WAN by VeloCloud to implement 5G capabilities into its SD-WAN solution. The combination of SD-WAN and 5G is ideal for organizations that want to use SD-WAN with a 5G network as their primary or secondary WAN connections, the company said.
 
While 5G is not yet ready for nationwide use, AT&T launched its first mobile 5G network in the U.S. in December 2018. As it continues to ramp up 5G efforts for more widespread deployment in 2020, the company is working to provide businesses with faster connectivity options. As part of these efforts, AT&T is now offering SD-WAN services that work with its wireless broadband network. This means that enterprises are now able to use SD-WAN with AT&T’s nationwide cellular network and will be able to upgrade to 5G when it’s ready with a “simple modem change,” AT&T said.
 
Get your arms around the ins and outs of what’s coming with 5G at Enterprise Connect Orlando, in the Thursday, March 21, session, “What You’ll Wish You Knew About 5G,” led by mobility expert Michael Finneran, of dBrn Associates.
 
FatPipe Intros SD-WAN for Azure
In other SD-WAN news, FatPipe, a provider of software-defined networks for WANs and hybrid WANs, last week announced general availability of FatPipe SD-WAN for Azure through the Microsoft Azure Marketplace.
 
The virtual machine solution eliminates the need for Azure customers who also use Office 365 and other cloud-based applications to have to reconnect when a session breaks. FatPipe SD-WAN for Azure is aimed at enterprise customers that rely on Office 365 and other cloud apps as well as especially large enterprises that aren’t able to address line-drop issues adequately with a single-line connection to Azure, FatPipe said.
 
FatPipe SD-WAN for Azure is built on the company’s patented MPSec technology, which provides WAN transmission security that it claims is an order of magnitude above standard encryption. The solution improves network performance into Azure to reduce and eliminate delays and interruptions. It can be licensed with FatPipe’s suite of features, which also includes network visibility and reporting, VPN, WAN optimization, and quality of service for prioritizing real-time application traffic.
 
Hear from enterprise IT professionals how their companies are benefiting from SD-WAN today, and what work remains to be done, at Enterprise Connect Orlando, in the Monday afternoon session, “SD-WAN Case Studies.”
 
Loom Raises $11 Million in Initial Funding
Loom, which offers what it describes as a “new kind of work communication tool that helps people get their messages through instantly shareable videos,” last week announced it has raised nearly $11 million in a Series A round of financing. Kleiner Perkins, which will take a board seat, led the funding.
 
Loom users can capture, record, narrate, and then share videos via links so that recipients don’t need to switch apps or upload files. Loom, which was founded in 2016, integrates with Slack, Intercom, and Google Drive. The company claims to have more than one million users globally from 18,000 teams that use the tool to share roughly one million videos each month.
 
The company intends to use this initial funding to roll out new product offerings for business users, starting with Loom Desktop, for Mac and Windows, and Loom Pro, a premium offer that provides added functionality including HD recording, video call-to-action, clip editing, live drawing, and deeper viewer insights, Loom said. Previously, Loom had only been available as a Chrome extension.
 
What’s in your enterprise’s collaboration toolkit? That’s a question we’ll be exploring further at Enterprise Connect Orlando, in the Thursday morning session of the same name, led by analyst Blair Pleasant, of COMMfusion.
 
Enterprise Connect is coming to the Gaylord Palms in Orlando, Fla. the week of March 18. If you haven’t yet gotten your pass, register today to take advantage of the best rates. As a No Jitter reader, you can save an extra $200 on your pass by entering the code NJPOSTS at checkout!