Michelle Burbick
Michelle Burbick is the Associate Editor and a blogger for No Jitter, UBM Tech's online community for news and analysis...
Read Full Bio >>

Michelle Burbick | October 07, 2016 |


No Jitter Roll: This Week in Enterprise Communications

No Jitter Roll: This Week in Enterprise Communications This week's collection of what's hot and happening includes Microsoft investment news, Avaya's networking play, Altocloud's Salesforce integration, AT&T's SD-WAN strategy, and Genband's patent trials.

This week's collection of what's hot and happening includes Microsoft investment news, Avaya's networking play, Altocloud's Salesforce integration, AT&T's SD-WAN strategy, and Genband's patent trials.

With Microsoft Ignite taking place last week and Salesforce's Dreamforce and Genesys' G-Force conferences this week, we've seen lots of activity in the enterprise communications space of late. (Stay tuned for more coverage from those events next week.) But speaking more broadly, one of the biggest developments occurring at this time is the rise of software communications. In fact, according to Frost & Sullivan data, while only 5% of global businesses used software communications in 2006, today that percentage is at nearly 40%.

"The huge increase in penetration is due to a perfect storm of consumerization, user adaptability to software-based communications, cloud, software maturity, and the proliferation of vendor offerings," wrote Mohamed Alaa Saayed for Frost & Sullivan's digital transformation blog. He concluded, "Emerging technologies are considerably reshaping the way organizations and business users communicate."

Let's take a look at some news items from this week that are sure to get you thinking about how this "perfect storm" is reshaping both the here-and-now and the future outlook of communications for your business.

Microsoft Invests in Messaging API Vendor

Although Microsoft's annual Ignite conference has concluded, that doesn't stop this tech giant from rolling out the news. (See last week's No Jitter Roll for a round-up of Ignite news.) Earlier this week, Nagraj Kashyap, corporate VP of Microsoft Ventures, shared a progress report on the company's investment fund program, which debuted in late May. Since then, Microsoft Ventures has made 13 investments in entrepreneurs in New York, San Francisco, Seattle, and Tel Aviv, he wrote in an Official Microsoft Blog post.

Among the more notable investments are Rescale in the cloud infrastructure space, and three productivity and communications companies: Comfy, Layer, and Kahoot (in the education sector), Kashyap wrote. Perhaps of most interest in our enterprise communications space is Microsoft's investment in Layer, which is a communications startup that develops UI kits, SDKs, and APIs for messaging. According to tech blog, with Layer, "a developer can integrate messaging experiences inside their app without much work." Layer reports that it already has more than 400 paying customers and handles millions of messages daily.

Avaya Makes Cloud Networking Platform Play

There is much speculation these days around Avaya's future, with reports coming out in May that the company is exploring an asset sale. As No Jitter Editor Beth Schultz wrote in a September post, "Avaya Angst Must Come to an End," one common suggestion for how Avaya might right itself is by offloading its networking business. Whether or not that ultimately comes to be, Avaya this week showed continued investment in networking with the introduction of a lifecycle management solution for wired and wireless networks.

At London's IP Expo event, Avaya unveiled the Cloud Networking Platform, which it described as a "complete network lifecycle management solution for enterprise and mid-size businesses" in the press release. Avaya touted features such as zero-touch activation of networking hardware and simplified license management, robust security, guaranteed service availability with data center redundancy and data replication, and massive scalability.

To support this move, Avaya cited industry analysts who noted that cloud-managed Wi-Fi is growing twice as fast as Wi-Fi deployments.

"Our customers['] IT resources are stretched and increasingly they look to cloud managed solutions as a means to mitigate the strain," Zeus Kerravala, principal analyst at ZK Research and regular No Jitter contributor, is quoted saying in the release. "Avaya's new Cloud Networking Platform enables them to improve their operational agility and efficiency by simplifying the tasks required for the ongoing management of their network."

Altocloud Integrates with Salesforce Lightning

Salesforce's annual Dreamforce conference wraps up today, leaving a good deal of customer experience-focused news in its wake. While some announcements aren't so relevant to our space -- like those from Figo, a cloud-based pet insurance provider -- others, like that from digital customer engagement company Altocloud, may be of interest to No Jitter readers.

Altocloud announced that it now integrates with Salesforce Lightning, creating a solution that injects customer journey insights into the Salesforce Sales, Marketing, and Service Clouds.

With the Altocloud integration, Salesforce Lightning users will benefit from a real-time view of the customer journey from within a Salesforce customer record, as well as historical context of each customer interaction. In addition, with Altocloud's predictive algorithms, Salesforce users will get outcome probabilities that predict what prospects will do next.

AT&T Lays Out Plan for SD-WAN

Using VeloCloud SD-WAN technology , AT&T announced plans to deliver an SD-WAN portfolio, which will include a network-based solution combining hybrid networking with multiple network access types. AT&T's SD-WAN service is slated for general availability in 2017.

"This is part of AT&T's strategy to incorporate software-centric technologies into our integrated solutions that deliver flexibility and agility for enterprises on a global basis," AT&T stated in the release. "These capabilities are changing how our customers manage their networks, letting them mix and match based on application, performance and reliability needs. The first integrated offer was software-defined networking, second was network-function virtualization and third is hybrid SD-WAN."

Genband Calls in the Patent Lawyers

On the legal front, you may or may not know that real-time communications provider Genband has been engaged in a patent-infringement battles with network software provider Metaswitch. This week, Genband revealed that the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas found Metaswitch did infringe on seven Genband patents covering a range of VoIP technology. The court ordered Metaswitch to pay $8.1 million to Genband for patent infringement that took place between the start of the lawsuit in January 2014 through August 2015, which is the last date Metaswitch disclosed its revenues before the trial. Further, Genband will receive additional damages for Metaswitch sales that that have taken place since August 2015 and that fall under the patent infringement. In the release, Genband said it intends to seek additional damages because Metaswitch continues to "willfully" infringe on Genband's patents, and to appeal the court's decision to deny a related injunction it had requested against Metaswitch.

But the story doesn't end there. In a second case, Metaswitch claimed Genband infringed on six of its patents, but the jury did not find fault with Genband and invalidated three of Metaswitch's patents, Genband reported. A third case is set for trial in January 2017 to deal with Genband's claim that Metaswitch "misappropriated Genband's trade secrets as part of a widespread, management-led campaign to obtain and exploit Genband's valuable trade secret information."

Speaking about the legal issues, Genband CEO David Walsh said in an official statement, "Genband is proud of its many innovations in Voice-Over-IP technology, and remains committed to stop others from using Genband's innovations unfairly to compete with Genband in the marketplace."

Follow Michelle Burbick and No Jitter on Twitter!


June 6, 2018

The two largest strategic vendors-Cisco and Microsoft-have been busy making changes to their enterprise communications roadmaps, incorporating collaboration applications as fundamental components.

May 23, 2018

If Cisco is a critical strategic supplier for you, then its vital for you to understand the most recent announcements around Webex Teams, and how to build your migration path for the next generatio

April 25, 2018

Yesterdays simple phone call to a contact center or business location is rapidly becoming todays interactive session, spanning multiple channels and devices. If you need to know how Omnichannel can

March 12, 2018
An effective E-911 implementation doesn't just happen; it takes a solid strategy. Tune in for tips from IT expert Irwin Lazar, of Nemertes Research.
March 9, 2018
IT consultant Steve Leaden lays out the whys and how-tos of getting the green light for your convergence strategy.
March 7, 2018
In advance of his speech tech tutorial at EC18, communications analyst Jon Arnold explores what voice means in a post-PBX world.
February 28, 2018
Voice engagement isn't about a simple phone call any longer, but rather a conversational experience that crosses from one channel to the next, as Daniel Hong, a VP and research director with Forrester....
February 16, 2018
What trends and technologies should you be up on for your contact center? Sheila McGee-Smith, Contact Center & Customer Experience track chair for Enterprise Connect 2018, gives us the lowdown.
February 9, 2018
Melanie Turek, VP of connected work research at Frost & Sullivan, walks us through key components -- and sticking points -- of customer-oriented digital transformation projects.
February 2, 2018
UC consultant Marty Parker has crunched lots of numbers evaluating UC options; tune in for what he's learned and tips for your own analysis.
January 26, 2018
Don't miss out on the fun! Organizer Alan Quayle shares details of his pre-Enterprise Connect hackathon, TADHack-mini '18, showcasing programmable communications.
December 20, 2017
Kevin Kieller, partner with enableUC, provides advice on how to move forward with your Skype for Business and Teams deployments.
December 20, 2017
Zeus Kerravala, principal analyst with ZK Research, shares his perspective on artificial intelligence and the future of team collaboration.
December 20, 2017
Delanda Coleman, Microsoft senior marketing manager, explains the Teams vision and shares use case examples.
November 30, 2017
With a ruling on the FCC's proposed order to dismantle the Open Internet Order expected this month, communications technology attorney Martha Buyer walks us through what's at stake.
October 23, 2017
Wondering which Office 365 collaboration tool to use when? Get quick pointers from CBT Nuggets instructor Simona Millham.
September 22, 2017
In this podcast, we explore the future of work with Robert Brown, AVP of the Cognizant Center for the Future of Work, who helps us answer the question, "What do we do when machines do everything?"
September 8, 2017
Greg Collins, a technology analyst and strategist with Exact Ventures, delivers a status report on 5G implementation plans and tells enterprises why they shouldn't wait to move ahead on potential use ....
August 25, 2017
Find out what business considerations are driving the SIP trunking market today, and learn a bit about how satisfied enterprises are with their providers. We talk with John Malone, president of The Ea....
August 16, 2017
World Vision U.S. is finding lots of goodness in RingCentral's cloud communications service, but as Randy Boyd, infrastructure architect at the global humanitarian nonprofit, tells us, he and his team....
August 11, 2017
Alicia Gee, director of unified communications at Sutter Physician Services, oversees the technical team supporting a 1,000-agent contact center running on Genesys PureConnect. She catches us up on th....
August 4, 2017
Andrew Prokop, communications evangelist with Arrow Systems Integration, has lately been working on integrating enterprise communications into Internet of Things ecosystems. He shares examples and off....
July 27, 2017
Industry watcher Elka Popova, a Frost & Sullivan program director, shares her perspective on this acquisition, discussing Mitel's market positioning, why the move makes sense, and more.
July 14, 2017
Lantre Barr, founder and CEO of Blacc Spot Media, urges any enterprise that's been on the fence about integrating real-time communications into business workflows to jump off and get started. Tune and....
June 28, 2017
Communications expert Tsahi Levent-Levi, author of the popular blog, keeps a running tally and comprehensive overview of communications platform-as-a-service offerings in his "Choosing a W....
June 9, 2017
If you think telecom expense management applies to nothing more than business phone lines, think again. Hyoun Park, founder and principal investigator with technology advisory Amalgam Insights, tells ....
June 2, 2017
Enterprises strategizing on mobility today, including for internal collaboration, don't have the luxury of learning as they go. Tony Rizzo, enterprise mobility specialist with Blue Hill Research, expl....
May 24, 2017
Mark Winther, head of IDC's global telecom consulting practice, gives us his take on how CPaaS providers evolve beyond the basic building blocks and address maturing enterprise needs.
May 18, 2017
Diane Myers, senior research director at IHS Markit, walks us through her 2017 UC-as-a-service report... and shares what might be to come in 2018.
April 28, 2017
Change isn't easy, but it is necessary. Tune in for advice and perspective from Zeus Kerravala, co-author of a "Digital Transformation for Dummies" special edition.
April 20, 2017
Robin Gareiss, president of Nemertes Research, shares insight gleaned from the firm's 12th annual UCC Total Cost of Operations study.
March 23, 2017
Tim Banting, of Current Analysis, gives us a peek into what the next three years will bring in advance of his Enterprise Connect session exploring the question: Will there be a new model for enterpris....
March 15, 2017
Andrew Prokop, communications evangelist with Arrow Systems Integration, discusses the evolving role of the all-important session border controller.
March 9, 2017
Organizer Alan Quayle gives us the lowdown on programmable communications and all you need to know about participating in this pre-Enterprise Connect hackathon.
March 3, 2017
From protecting against new vulnerabilities to keeping security assessments up to date, security consultant Mark Collier shares tips on how best to protect your UC systems.
February 24, 2017
UC analyst Blair Pleasant sorts through the myriad cloud architectural models underlying UCaaS and CCaaS offerings, and explains why knowing the differences matter.
February 17, 2017
From the most basics of basics to the hidden gotchas, UC consultant Melissa Swartz helps demystify the complex world of SIP trunking.
February 7, 2017
UC&C consultant Kevin Kieller, a partner at enableUC, shares pointers for making the right architectural choices for your Skype for Business deployment.
February 1, 2017
Elka Popova, a Frost & Sullivan program director, shares a status report on the UCaaS market today and offers her perspective on what large enterprises need before committing to UC in the cloud.
January 26, 2017
Andrew Davis, co-founder of Wainhouse Research and chair of the Video track at Enterprise Connect 2017, sorts through the myriad cloud video service options and shares how to tell if your choice is en....
January 23, 2017
Sheila McGee-Smith, Contact Center/Customer Experience track chair for Enterprise Connect 2017, tells us what we need to know about the role cloud software is playing in contact centers today.