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No Jitter Roll: This Week in Enterprise Communications

It's been another busy week in the world of enterprise communications. Things continue to heat up as we quickly approach Enterprise Connect (only 30 days to go!). Vendors are rolling out new products, making acquisitions, focusing on integrations, and even embarking on legal battles.

So let's not waste any time getting up to speed. Here's what has happened this week in enterprise communications.

CafeX Files Suit Against AWS

Amazon Web Services (AWS) made some waves last week, rolling into the enterprise communications space with a UCaaS offering for online conferencing and collaboration called Amazon Chime (see "What Might AWS UCaaS Play Mean for the Enterprise" and "Amazon Chime: Priority or Experiment?"). But more waves are coming -- CafeX Communications has filed a federal trademark suit against AWS over the "Chime" name, as CafeX launched its own Chime product, also for Web-based conferencing and collaboration, approximately one year ago.

In the lawsuit, CafeX alleges that AWS was aware of its Chime product prior to launching Amazon Chime. Further, CafeX said in the suit that the trademark application for CafeX Chime has been published and "is expected to issue shortly." CafeX is asking the court to prohibit AWS's use of the Chime trademark in addition to seeking unspecified financial damages.

Cisco Enhances Digital Network Architecture

This week, out of Cisco Live Berlin, Cisco announced a series of enhancements to its year-old the Digital Network Architecture (DNA) framework, a suite of integrated networking software around the areas of network virtualization, cloud service management, automation, and analytics aimed at helping enterprises leverage the network for digital transformation.

"Legacy networks will not scale," Kiran Ghodgaonkar, senior marketing manager of Enterprise Solutions at Cisco, told me in a briefing on the news, adding that the shortcomings of legacy networks are what drove Cisco to start DNA. The latest additions to DNA revolve around virtualization and security, as shown in the below graphic.


In tandem with these enhancements, Cisco announced the DNA Advisor Program, developed in collaboration with IDC Research. With these new network assessment tools and consulting service, Cisco aims to help companies build a roadmap to digital network maturity. In addition, Cisco said it plans to invest aggressively in digital networks over the next two years.

Tata Makes IoT Moves

Tata Communications this week unveiled its Move platform aimed at enabling companies to embed global connectivity into anything. An Internet of Things (IoT) play, the Move global mobility platform is rooted in Tata's global network, more than 900 mobile communications service provider partnerships, and its recent investment in IoT connectivity specialist Teleena. Specifically, Tata said it is leveraging Taleena technology to manage operational complexity and reduce the cost of IoT deployments for businesses.

Tata said it hopes that the combination of its global network and Taleena's IoT technology will lower the barriers for entry into IoT and help businesses introduce IoT-enabled services to engage with their customers in new ways. Initially, the Move platform encompasses global cellular IoT and SIM connectivity, but the company said it plans to introduce additional enterprise and mobile network operator capabilities later in 2017.

"With more than 3 billion Internet users globally and billions more connected 'things' from activity trackers and smart home hubs to connected cars and street lights, we live in a truly digital world," said Anthony Bartolo, president of Mobility, IoT and Collaboration Solutions at Tata Communications, in a prepared statement. "We believe that the future of this digital world lies in how all of these 'things' connect -- and that everything should be born connected. So, imagine a world where there could be embedded connectivity within everything -- straight out of the box, with instant and seamless access to the Internet, anywhere in the world. That's our aim... ."

Fuze Launches Fuze Connect

Fuze has been on a roll recently, making a series of announcements in the past several weeks. In the latest news, Fuze introduced a full-service technology integration solution, called Fuze Connect, that allows companies to tie their existing business applications to the Fuze UC platform. This follows on the announcements earlier this month that the company has raised $104 million in new funding that will go toward financing international expansion and enterprise-focused product innovation, and that a new CEO, Colin Doherty, has joined the company. As noted previously, former CEO Steve Kokinos will continue in his role of executive chairman.

Fuze Connect aims to help extract meaningful data from enterprise applications like CRM and tie it into the business communications platform so that users get insights as needed, the company said. In addition to providing context, the universal connector also interacts with the enterprise platform backend so that users can add content from the Fuze screen pop. With Connect, Fuze is working to help enterprises customize integration capabilities without needing to hire a team of developers, by providing Fuze integration consultants who can help create a solution specific to a customer's unique needs, the company said.

In other news, Fuze will be sharing results from its recent survey of CIOs on their top initiatives for 2017 and beyond during a webinar it is sponsoring on Wednesday, March 8, at 2:00 p.m. ET. During the webinar, hosted by Enterprise Connect and No Jitter, Andy Yates, an IT business partner with ThoughtWorks, will share the company's digital transformation story. Register now to learn about the transformative change shaping the workplace of the future, how the CIO's role is evolving, and how your business can prepare for all of this.

NetFortris Acquires Fonality

We've written about business communications provider Fonality before on the No Jitter Roll, most recently covering updates to its Heads Up Display and its Salesforce integration. Today we have a new name to throw into the Fonality discussion: NetFortris, a provider of secure cloud-based communications solutions and the company's new owner following this week's acquisition NetFortris will now be able to offer a solution that bundles network management, security, and UCaaS.

The newly combined company will have headquarters divided between Seattle and Dallas, and operating centers in three countries. NetFortris CEO Grant Evans will maintain his role at the combined company.

Come to Enterprise Connect

As I think this sampling of weekly news demonstrates, a lot is happening in enterprise communications right now. With Enterprise Connect just weeks away, that activity is sure to grow in volume and intensity. There's only one place where you can get insight from all the major players -- vendors, analysts, consultants, users -- and that's at Enterprise Connect Orlando, March 27 to 30. If you haven't yet registered, now's the time to do so! Early Bird pricing ends next Friday, March 3. Get an even better deal by registering now using the code NOJITTER, and receive $300 off an Entire Event or Tue-Thu Conference pass, or get a free Expo Plus pass.

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