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No Jitter Roll: Five for Friday
As the industry marches forward further into spring, change is in the air. In this week's No Jitter Roll, we take a look at some of the changes coming from Google, Atos, Dialpad, and NICE.
Google Unveils the New Gmail
Google this week announced a significant batch of improvements to its email service, Gmail, with an eye toward enhanced security and intelligence. Beyond a new look and feel for the Gmail Web version, Google has introduced phishing protections, which enable Gmail to thwart malicious email impersonations by warning users or automatically labeling messages as spam.
Additionally, Google unveiled Gmail confidential mode, which allows users to create expiration dates or revoke previously sent messages to protect sensitive content in emails. "Because you can require additional authentication via text message to view an email, it's also possible to protect data even if a recipient's email account has been hijacked while the message is active," Google explained on its blog. Google has also built in information rights management controls that enable users to remove options like forwarding, copying, downloading, or printing. Further, security warnings and notifications will now display larger, bolder, and in clearer language, making them easier for users to understand and harder to ignore, Google said.
On the artificial intelligence front, Google is rolling out new features like Nudging, Smart Reply, and high-priority notifications, all aimed at helping users save time. Gmail can now suggest when to unsubscribe from mailing lists by looking at how many emails you get from a sender and how many of them you open and read.
Gmail is now more tightly integrated with other G Suite apps, enabling users to do things like create Calendar invites from a side panel in their inboxes, Google said. Gmail Add-ons for other third-party business apps can also be accessed through this side panel. In addition to all these enhancements, Google said it will be rolling out new native offline capabilities to the Gmail Web version in the coming weeks, and is introducing a new Tasks application for tracking projects and managing to-do lists.
The new Gmail is available now to businesses in the G Suite Early Adopter Program, administrators simply need to turn on the capabilities. Confidential mode will begin rolling out to consumer Gmail users and a limited number of G Suite customers in the next several weeks, with a broader rollout to follow, Google said.
In Other Google News...
Google reportedly has paused work on its two-year-old Allo messaging application, wrote Dieter Bohn, executive editor of The Verge. Instead, the tech giant is said to be investing its resources in partnering with carriers to bring a Rich Communication Services (RCS)-based technology meant to replace SMS, to Android devices, he said.
This capability would be turned on inside Android Messages by carriers so that users would see new functionality -- like read receipts, typing indicators, full-resolution images and video, and group texts -- in their native Android texting application, he reported. Google has not publicly confirmed this shift in strategy.
Atos, Google Cloud Partner on Enterprise Collaboration
Atos, a French digital transformation business and parent company to Unify, has partnered with Google Cloud to create secure collaboration, machine learning, and hybrid cloud solutions aimed at the enterprise. Atos outlined three solutions that will come out of this global partnership:
- Digital Workplace -- Atos will develop a G Suite practice to enhance its Digital Workplace offering for enterprise customers.
- Data Analytics & Machine Learning -- Atos will create a machine learning practice that leverages Google Cloud machine learning APIs to develop industry vertical-specific solutions.
- Secure Hybrid Cloud -- Atos will expand its Canopy Orchestrated Hybrid Cloud with Google Cloud Platform serving as Atos' preferred public cloud platform. Specifically, Atos will leverage Google Kubernetes Engine for container orchestration in an effort to drive enterprise adoption of hybrid cloud.
With these solutions, Atos aims to provide "frictionless" ways to use Google Cloud technologies in tandem with their existing assets and processes, the company said. Further, in order to accelerate product availability, Atos plans to establish three innovation labs and R&D centers in France, the U.K., and the U.S., focused on machine learning and artificial intelligence.
Dialpad Goes 'Everywhere'
Cloud communications provider Dialpad this week announced Dialpad Everywhere, described by the company as a "mini-app that floats on top of applications while in use on laptop or computer screens."
In a compact size interface with a customizable integration toolbar (shown below), Dialpad Everywhere provides active Dialpad users one-click access to frequently used calling features and third-party applications and services.
Dialpad Everywhere is targeted at eliminating the need for users to toggle back and forth between applications while on a call. It follows users' workflows across apps like G Suite, Office 365, Salesforce, and Zendesk, and can be turned on and off as desired.
Via the mini-app, users can access core calling and messaging functionality such as answering and ending calls, transferring and recording calls, composing and viewing emails, creating and sharing calendar events, logging and viewing opportunities in Salesforce, and viewing and sharing LinkedIn profiles.
NICE Ramps Up on Analytics Via Mattersight
In other news, enterprise software provider NICE announced it has entered a definitive agreement to acquire Mattersight, a provider of cloud-based analytics for customer service organizations. According to the press materials, NICE will make an offer to purchase outstanding share capital of Mattersight at a price of $2.70 per common share.
Mattersight uses interaction analytics to understand customers and contact center agents, then leverages these insights to connect consumers to businesses in a personalized, more intelligent, way, in real time. NICE intends to integrate its own NICE analytics (powered by Nexidia) with Mattersight's behavioral analytics technology and domain expertise.
The acquisition is expected to close in the second half of this year.