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No Jitter Roll: Five for Friday
In this week's edition of the No Jitter Roll, we look at announcements that cover everything from team collaboration and search, to FedRAMP accreditation, contact center, video conferencing, and content sharing. Here's a breakdown of recent news from Microsoft, Slack, Zoom, Talkdesk, Logitech, and Mersive.
Microsoft Makes Teams Moves
Ahead of its Inspire partner conference next week, Microsoft made a series of announcements around its team collaboration solution, Teams. In addition to users at organizations of all sizes gaining a free version, IT admins got some new capabilities this week. For easier management, they can now access the Microsoft Teams and Skype for Business Admin Center, announced in April, via the Office 365 Admin Center.
Additionally, Microsoft has integrated the Call Analytics Dashboard into the Admin Center for gaining quick views of call and meeting quality for Teams and Skype for Business, as shown below. Call Analytics, for help with troubleshooting call or connection problems, provides detailed information about devices, networks, and connectivity. IT admins can zero in on a specific call or meeting for an advanced view of the media stack and network, including details on codec and packet loss.
Via a PowerShell integration, IT pros can manage policies for messaging, meeting, calling, and guest access in the Admin Center. Microsoft is rolling out these capabilities in stages over the next several weeks.
In other Teams-related news, Microsoft announced a public preview of a live events -- one-to-many video and content streaming -- feature for Microsoft 365 users. In the preview, organizers can create an event with the proper attendee permissions, designate fellow team members, and invite attendees. Attendees are able to join live events via Stream, Yammer, or Teams, Microsoft said.
Coming within the next month, live event organizers will be able to use external encoders to manage their live events that use third-party hardware and software via Stream. Soon, live events will support third-party enterprise content delivery network providers including Hive, Kollective, and Ramp so users can optimize bandwidth for the enterprise network.
Live events with Microsoft 365 will ultimately replace Skype Meeting Broadcast (SMB), but Microsoft said it will continue supporting SMB throughout the public preview of live events.
Slack Enhances Search
In other team collaboration news, Microsoft Teams competitor Slack announced upgrades to its search functionality.
"No one has time to dig through scores of threads to find that one message or file they need to get on with their work," Slack wrote on its official blog. To make search more efficient and impactful for users, Slack is rolling out simple search filters and suggested results.
The search filters enable users to search by people, channels, and direct messages, as well as file types and categories like messages or files. As shown in the image to the right, users can choose from the pre-set filters provided or click on "More..." to add their own.
Of course, the greater the Slack use, the smarter – and more personalized -- the search results, Slack said. It will accomplish this by pulling in the channels, messages, and files that matter the most and are most relevant to an individual user, Slack said.
These new search-related features will roll out during the next several weeks, the company said.
Zoom Moves on FedRAMP
Zoom Video Communications this week gave notice to the public sector that its coming its way, announcing accreditation under the U.S. Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP) is "in process" under the sponsorship of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. The company said it expects to receive FedRAMP approval for Zoom for Government by year's end.
Zoom for Government will give federal agencies capabilities like video and audio communications, for use in things like webinars, large meetings, interviews, API integrations, and trainings -- all running on the AWS GovCloud, Zoom said.
Initially, Zoom is aiming to receive moderate baseline FedRAMP authorization for use by government agencies with moderate security requirements, but said next year it intends to move to the high baseline for addressing the needs of highly security sensitive organizations such as the Department of Justice and Department of Defense.
Talkdesk, Brand Embassy Partner
Contact center provider Talkdesk has partnered with digital customer service platform provider Brand Embassy to offer a joint solution for omnichannel customer service, the companies announced.
The partnership is aimed at enabling midmarket and large enterprises to test, implement, and scale customer service operations for voice and digital channels like email, live chat, messengers, chatbots, and social media, via a single integrated interface.
"As contact centers move to a cloud-based model, mobile and social customers increasingly expect the same level of service no matter the channel," said Vit Horky, co-founder and CEO of Brand Embassy, in a prepared statement.
Current Talkdesk customers and prospects can access a free 30-day trial of the solution via one click, said Khurram Taji, head of enterprise strategy and AppConnect at Talkdesk.
Mersive Teams Up with Logitech
Wireless presentation and collaboration solution provider Mersive Technologies announced this week that it has joined the Logitech Collaboration Program as an integration partner. Involvement in the program ensures users that the integrations have been mutually validated, Mersive said.
Specifically, Mersive's Solstice wireless collaboration system enables content sharing and curation on a shared display, while Logitech's SmartDock for Skype Room Systems enables extension of that content to remote parties via video conferencing. This meets the needs of customers that have been asking for an integrated way to handle wireless content sharing and video conferencing, Mersive CEO Rob Balgley said in a prepared statement.