No Jitter Roll: This Week in Enterprise Communications
Today's collection of what's hot and happening includes news tidbits from VeloCloud, Mitel, Nextiva, Yorktel, StarLeaf, GSX Solutions, and AT&T.
With Thanksgiving practically upon us in the U.S., things at the office might be slowing down a bit as colleagues begin to take time off to travel and spend time with their families. But the enterprise communications world is still full of activity. So, as you are waiting patiently for your giant 20 lb turkey to defrost (did you know turkeys defrost at a rate of 3-4 lbs per day?), spend a few minutes catching up on some of the sizzling news going on this week in communications and collaboration technology.Microsoft Partner Moves
There have been a few notable announcements this week from Microsoft partners. Video conferencing provider StarLeaf revealed its new GTm 5140 Huddle, a native video meeting room solution for Skype for Business. It's the latest addition to its GTm family of solutions, made to solve challenges in connecting the desktop to the meeting room. It comes with a touchscreen controller, USB webcam, and USB microphone.
(StarLeaf also happens to be a sponsor for our upcoming virtual event about making Skype for Business work for your enterprise. Register today for free and be sure to join us on December 7, starting at 12 pm ET, to hear from thought leaders and those who have been in the trenches of Skype for Business deployments.)
In other Microsoft partner news, GSX Solutions, provider of UC monitoring and reporting solutions, earlier this week announced its GSX Gizmo Web interface for general availability, which features full Office 365 support, according to the press materials. The Web interface provides a view of the quality of service delivered in multiple locations. With a dashboard dedicated to each environment, enterprises can take advantage of advanced troubleshooting capabilities and custom view settings.VeloCloud Moves on SD-WAN Monitoring
You've certainly seen VeloCloud's name many a time on No Jitter, popping up in previous No Jitter Roll editions for SD-WAN news such as its compatibility with Cisco routers, as well as its partnerships with AT&T and Sprint. This week, the company unveiled its SD-WAN solution that includes a fully featured Voice Quality Monitoring (VQM) capability.
The VeloCloud VQM solution allows both enterprises and service providers to monitor and troubleshoot network issues impacting business critical voice communications, according to the press release. Monitoring is performed via a "passive agent" that is placed on the VeloCloud Edge network. It supports a range of codec technologies, providing listening and conversational call quality metrics in R-Factor and mean opinion score (MOS) formats.
"Reliable network and communication services are absolutely critical for businesses to maintain productivity," said VeloCloud co-founder Steve Woo, also VP of products, in a prepared statement.
VQM was demonstrated at BroadSoft Connections, which took place earlier this week in San Antonio. The solution is immediately available to existing VeloCloud enterprise customers and service providers.
In other news, yesterday Mitel announced a partnership with VeloCloud to improve network performance through SD-WAN, which, according to the press release, will provide three times the cost savings of traditional WANs. Specifically, Mitel is releasing MiCloud Edge, which is powered by VeloCloud SD-WAN technology.
Commenting on this development, Dave Michels, a regular No Jitter contributor and UC analyst at Buffalo Communications, says:
"SD-WAN has already become a differentiator for cloud providers because it gives companies the ability to quickly connect all their locations, maximize bandwidth, gain deeper insight into network performance and receive continuous repair of degraded links. As a result, companies get higher quality communications overall while lowering costs by reducing the use of expensive MPLS circuits and avoiding system upgrades."Nextiva Introduces NextOS
We've covered news coming out of cloud-based communications provider, Nextiva, in previous No Jitter Roll editions, but with the company holding its annual NextCon event earlier this week, there's more news on the wire. At the event, Nextiva unveiled its NextOS operating system for managing all business communications elements, from customer interactions to team collaboration. NextOS provides enterprises with a holistic, real-time view of their communications environment, allowing them to manage internal communications and the workflows of teams charged with supporting the customer.
"We are living in the era of the customer, in which expectations have never been higher," said Nextiva CEO Tomas Gorny, in a prepared statement. "While businesses are hearing more from customers, they are understanding less because the information is scattered across different tools that were not designed for today's needs. This hurts businesses' understanding of the customer that ultimately leads to churn and missed opportunities to provide added value."
Nextiva developed NextOS to solve this issue of fragmented communications, building in workflow automation and predictive modeling capabilities. The platform includes NextDB for tracking and understanding the customer journey and all related data; NextIQ, the machine learning and natural language processing element of the platform; NextStep, which powers automation; and Nextiva Analytics for bringing together the data from all the NextOS applications.Yorktel Expands
Yorktel, a provider of UC&C, cloud, and video managed services for large enterprises and federal government customers, this week announced its plans to open up a new office in Tokyo to continue an expansion of its presence in the Asia Pacific (APAC) region.
"Trends in APAC align with Yorktel's strategic roadmap, as organizations across the region in vertical markets, like healthcare, increasingly consume cloud-based video communications services," said Yorktel CEO Ron Gaboury, in a prepared statement.
Additionally, the company has appointed Aaron Wentzel as VP of business development, Asia Pacific. According to the release, Wentzel will collaborate with business partners, including West Unified Communications, to extend Yorktel's expertise into this new region. Yorktel serves customers in 84 countries, including China, Thailand, and Indonesia. Further, the company has one of its three data centers positioned in Singapore.
(Yorktel is also a sponsor of the December 7 Enterprise Connect Virtual Event on Skype for Business.)And Another Thing...
AT&T put together a pretty entertaining video highlight its diversity of employees who came together to create a Rube Goldberg machine -- an apparatus for performing a simple task in a complicated manner. It's a fun way for the telecom giant to showcase its career spectrum, which as you might imagine extends far beyond telecommunications. You'll see a number of different technologies touched on, from drones to augmented reality. Take a look: