No Jitter Roll: This Week in Enterprise Communications
And the countdown is on -- T-23 days to Enterprise Connect! Preparations have been well underway for months now, and we're prepping our lists of must-attend sessions and trends to watch for while in Orlando, Fla., for the week. To provide a little extra prep, we held a Twitter chat this week to demystify communications APIs and how they are changing the world of enterprise communications as we know it. Our guest, Mark Winther, group vice president and consulting partner at IDC, answered all sorts of questions and whetted our appetite for the full Communications APIs track at Enterprise Connect.
In case you missed the chat, check out the Storify synopsis here. Take a read through some of the 140-character nuggets of wisdom and get ready to dive into communications APIs in greater depth at Enterprise Connect. If you haven't yet registered for Enterprise Connect, taking place March 27 to 30, do so now using the code NOJITTER to receive $300 off an Entire Event or Tue-Thu Conference pass or get a free Expo Plus pass. Act now -- today's the last day for the Early Bird Rate!
And now, let's go through some of the other news you may have missed this week in enterprise communications.
Google Makes Collaboration Moves
Google quietly launched an enterprise-focused meeting tool this week, perhaps by mistake. On Wednesday, a report emerged that a new HD video meetings app, called Meet by Google Hangouts, briefly appeared in the App Store before being pulled. You can see the Web application at meet.google.com, though, which looks similar to the Hangouts landing page. Based on screen captures taken before details were removed, Meet appears to be a business-focused alternative to Hangouts that can support HD video meetings with up to 30 participants.
When Google rebranded Google Apps for Work as G Suite back in September, it noted that it was working on a team-friendly version of Hangouts, as TechCrunch reported. The company also shuttered its Google+ Hangouts API in January, telling developers that it was shifting its focus to enterprise use cases. Also in January, Google acquired Sweden-based Limes Audio, saying it planned to use the technology to improve the audio quality in Hangouts.
Questions remain about Meet by Google Hangouts -- will it replace Hangouts in the G Suite portfolio? Will Google eventually shut down Hangouts? When will the app be ready for real? Hopefully answers for these questions will soon be known.
Cloud Down: Massive Outage Hits AWS
As widely reported, Amazon's Web servers went down on Tuesday, knocking many popular websites, particularly on the East Coast, offline. At the time of the outage, which lasted for about five hours, Amazon took to Twitter to provide information as it investigated the root cause, which turned out to be a typo made by an authorized Amazon employee when entering a command that was supposed to affect just a small number of servers. Given AWS's scope, the restart process took longer than expected, Amazon said. And of course it has issued an assurance that it will work to ensure that another large-scale outage can't be caused by a simple human error.
For S3, we believe we understand root cause and are working hard at repairing. Future updates across all services will be on dashboard.
— Amazon Web Services (@awscloud) February 28, 2017
Gene Farrell, vice president of enterprise applications at AWS, is set to take to the Enterprise Connect stage on Tuesday, March 28, at 11:30 a.m. ET, to deliver the company's first keynote at this event.
Twilio Brings On New COO
Cloud communications platform company Twilio announced this week that George Hu has joined the as COO, responsible for overall operational execution and go-to-market activities. Hu comes to Twilio from Salesforce, where he also served as COO, and he will report directly to CEO Jeff Lawson, another first-time Enterprise Connect keynoter. Lawson will take the stage on Tuesday at 10:45 a.m. ET, just ahead of Farrell.
VeloCloud Makes SD-WAN Moves
VeloCloud this week raised $35 million in a Series D financing round that brought in new and existing investors, including Hermes Growth Partners, Telstra Ventures, Khazanah Nasional Berhad (the strategic investment fund of the Government of Malaysia), New Enterprise Associates, Venrock, March Capital Partners, and Cisco Investments. VeloCloud said it plans to leverage the money to expand business, capacity, and operations as it ramps up new SD-WAN product development, increases marketing, and supports larger customer rollouts. VeloCloud has raised $84 million in total funding.
In other news, VeloCloud has partnered with NetFoundry, a new venture of Tata Communications, and will interoperate with the NetFoundry platform. NetFoundry's software provides packet routing across Tier One Internet connections, enabling the optimization of application delivery of SaaS, cloud, and IoT services. The integration enables NetFoundry customers to connect branch offices to the NetFoundry Platform and VeloCloud customers to take advantage of the NetFoundry optimization capabilities.
West UC, Dolby Team
West's Unified Communications Services and Dolby Laboratories have partnered on the launch of InterCall Reservationless-Plus with Dolby Voice, a solution aimed at providing enhanced audio quality while on VoIP networks. Specifically, West's InterCall Unified Meeting 5 and InterCall MobileMeet -- in addition to partner solutions like Cisco WebEx -- integrate with Reservationless-Plus with Dolby Voice. Users of West's conferencing solutions can now get the Dolby Voice audio experience from the desktop, mobile devices, or in meeting rooms.
Reservationless-Plus with Dolby Voice is available to North America customers initially, but the plan is to extend the offering to the EMEA and APAC regions later in 2017.