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No Jitter Roll: This Week in Enterprise Communications

After a well-deserved break for the Thanksgiving holiday, the No Jitter Roll is back in action to catch you up on all the enterprise communications news you may have missed while you were passing the mashed potatoes. (Side note: Did you get your turkey defrosted in time?).

With news this week trickling out of Amazon Web Services' re:Invent conference, rumors circulating on Avaya's future, and the close of the sale of Interactive Intelligence to Genesys (see previous No Jitter coverage), you may have missed some of these other notable developments taking place in enterprise communications. Take 10 minutes to get up to speed...

Tata Communications Jumps into SD-WAN
Global communications provider Tata Communications this week launched an SD-WAN offering as an addition to its IZO cloud-enablement platform. As Tata stated in the press release, IZO SDWAN is aimed at combatting connectivity complexity that has arisen out of the variety of applications, clouds, connections, and data sources that have come to market of late.

IZO SDWAN promises to improve agility, flexibility, and bandwidth efficiency while lowering operating costs for enterprise organizations by enabling instant deployment of branch office networks at any location around the globe, Tata said. IZO SDWAN, a managed modular overlay service, tightly integrates with the underlying network, be that the Internet, a hybrid network, or private WAN, Tata said.

ShoreTel Rolls Out New Partner Program
Communications provider ShoreTel announced its new PartnerStart program, designed to enable its partners to become the single point of contact for enterprise ShoreTel Connect Cloud installations. PartnerStart participants will undergo a certification process so that ShoreTel can ensure they have the right tools and training for cloud deployments. Certified PartnerStart participants will have access to dedicated project managers for deployment assistance as needed.

Heather Tenuto, VP of global go-to-market programs and strategy at ShoreTel, said the company considers this cloud-installation program a game-changer for its partners. "Partners get the opportunity to differentiate from each other and provide customer-centric services, previously provided by ShoreTel," she said in a prepared statement. The change should help increase customer satisfaction while shifting top-line revenue to the partner's business, she added.

Cisco Invests in Contact Center
We've written about investments that Google and Microsoft have made in previous No Jitter Roll editions, and this week we have investment news from Cisco. Customer support company Helpshift recently announced that Cisco Investments participated in its Series B funding round, joining Intel Capital, Microsoft Ventures, and Salesforce Ventures as an investor. Helpshift said it will use the funds for continued development of its autonomous customer support services. In addition, Cisco and Helpshift will be reviewing ways to integrate Helpshift's in-app customer support solutions with Cisco's contact center solutions, Helpshift said.

"We continue to invest in strategic solutions to help propel technology developments that will solve challenges for our customers, partners and beyond," said Rob Salvagno, head of Cisco Investments and VP of Cisco corporate development, in a prepared statement. "Through our investment, we look forward to supporting Helpshift to enable companies to provide best-in-class mobile customer care through their data-centric messaging platform."

Atlassian Gains Former Apple Exec
Atlassian is a name most are familiar with in the team collaboration and messaging space. In fact, No Jitter Editor Beth Schultz recently covered the integration of Amazon Alexa into Atlassian's HipChat software. Atlassian is in the news again this week, with Business Insider reporter Matt Weinberger covering its hiring of its first vice president of ecosystem, Max Mancini.

Mancini comes to Atlassian from Apple, where he was head of engineering for Apple's online store. In fact, Mancini told Business Insider he was "attracted" to Atlassian as a result of seeing the improvements that its HipChat tool brought to his team at Apple and the way in which work was getting done. "When you're doing software in Silicon Valley as long as I have, you recognize the value of tools," Mancini told Business Insider.

As VP of ecosystem, Mancini will build out an integration infrastructure and manage the company's relationships with software developers, advocating for them to choose Atlassian's tech platform to build their businesses on top of, Business Insider reported.

Dialpad Brings on More Execs
Dialpad, the company on a mission to kill the desk phone, has been on a roll as of late. Following the recent appointment of Web pioneer and technology investor Marc Andreessen to its board of directors, yesterday Dialpad announced that in order to support its aggressive growth strategy it is expanding its executive bench with three new appointments.

Steve Love, formerly CFO at Mblox, will take the reigns as Dialpad's first CFO; Erik Lagerway, No Jitter contributor and co-founder of Hookflash, has become Dialpad's VP of client solutions; and Khaled Saffouri, previously VP of sales for Rackspace, is now the company's VP of commercial sales.

Expansion of the executive suite is a natural progression given Dialpad's 451% growth from 2012 to 2015, the company said.

Voss Brings UC Management to collab9
In the last couple of months, we've reported that UCaaS provider collab9 received approval to sell its FedRamp-authorized UC cloud service to the state of Utah, and, separately, that UC management company Voss Solutions had released a Web-based analytics portal. This week we share the news that Voss and collab9 are now working together.

Collab9 has implemented Voss's UC management technology for use in on-boarding new agencies to its cloud collaboration platform and for ongoing management capabilities, the company stated. Collab9 said it will use Voss MiGR8-2-UC for large UC migration projects, Voss UC management technology for simplifying day-to-day operations, and Voss Analytics for the quick retrieval of information about users, equipment, and transactions.

Toshiba Upgrades UCedge App
Last we heard from Toshiba was at the close of September when it released its software-only IPedge solution. This week, Toshiba's Telecommunications Systems Division announced it has updated its UCedge UC application to enable workers to use mobile devices or desktops and laptops as their business telephones.

This latest UCedge release is compatible with Android and iOS smartphones and tablets, as well as Windows and Mac OS X computers, Toshiba said. Also new with this release is call recorder integration, a softphone trial license, and group instant messaging enhancements, such as the ability to view multiple groups simultaneously as well as initiate one-click group broadcasting.

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