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No Jitter Roll: Hybrid Meeting Enhancements, Omnichannel CX

This week we share announcements around video integrations, meeting software as a service (SaaS), a contact center platform, PSTN connectivity option for Microsoft's Operator Connect service, and three industry acquisitions.
 
Crestron Delivers Intelligent Video Features
Workplace technologies and automation provider Crestron announced that it has added support for Jabra and Huddly cameras to its Crestron Flex videoconferencing platform. According to the company, the video integration adds several features aimed at strengthening the videoconferencing experience between in-office and at-home workers, including:
 
  • Providing room usage analytics – The platform now logs and analyzes data regarding room utilization, occupancy, and people counting.
  • Face framing and people counting – AI-powered cameras recognize each meeting room participant and display a single image of each.
  • Offering full room view – Using a real-time video stitching method, this feature provides a full 180˚ view of the room so local and remote participants “have an equal seat at the table.”
  • Sharing digital whiteboards – Participants can view and share content from up to three digital whiteboards, extending the functionality and usability of whiteboard collaboration outside of the physical meeting room.
 
Avocor Introduces Subscription-Based Meeting Software
Avocor, a collaboration display company, revealed a subscription-based, one-touch meeting room software user interface (UI) called GroupShare (see image above). The UI is meant for Avocor interactive displays, mobile devices, or PC.
 
Participants can use GroupShare to launch a meeting or multiple UC programs (Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Webex) and access documents via secure cloud drive, room calendar, and wireless screen-sharing. As a security measure, each meeting has a unique ID, four-digit pin, and end-to-end encryption Avocor GroupShare for Microsoft 365 comes preconfigured for Microsoft enterprise customers, Avocor said, and GroupShare also supports Microsoft productivity features such as Whiteboarding, Edge, Word, PowerPoint, and Excel.
 
The Avocor GroupShare subscription is $595 per year and available to both new and existing customers.
 
Plivo Unveils Omnichannel Contact Center Platform
Plivo, a cloud-based communications platform, announced Contacto, an omnichannel customer service platform with built-in support for chat, calls, social, and messaging. Contacto combines the following features that integrate the customer experience directly into brand websites and apps. They are:
 
  • Conversational chatbots – These assist in the customer verification and qualification process.
  • Customer interaction history – Agents can view a customer’s previous interactions alongside their current service request, giving them the context they need to solve issues faster, Plivo said.
  • CRM and out-of-the-box integrations – Plivo says it’s supporting Salesforce, Service Cloud, Zendesk, and Shopify.
  • In-app chat for brand applications – Customers can raise a concern or initiate their customer service journey without switching channels.
  • Native voice calling – Full-featured voice and messaging capabilities are native to the platform, Plivo said.
  • Sentiment analysis – During customer interactions, agents can view real-time coaching scores based on sentiment analysis and supervisors can use the data to provide effective feedback and update workflows.
 
Microsoft Acquires Ally.io, Expands Partnership with Telstra
Microsoft acquired Ally.io, a strategic goal setting and execution management software company specializing in the objectives and key results (OKR)-based framework, and intends to incorporate the company into its workplace platforms, beginning with Microsoft Viva, its platform for employee experience.
Microsoft added that over the next year it intends to “bring Ally.io into the Microsoft cloud, evolve existing integrations with Microsoft Teams, and weave Ally.io into Viva, Office, Power BI, and the broader set of Microsoft 365 apps and services.”
 
Microsoft also selected Telstra as a carrier for Microsoft Azure Peering Service and Operator Connect for Microsoft Teams. The selection will let customer organizations take advantage of automation that integrates architecture components between Telstra and Microsoft. Taimoor Husain, Modern Workplace Strategy and GTM Lead for Microsoft said: “Telstra has been a long-standing partner for Microsoft since 2008. With internet traffic growing at an exponential rate, coverage has become critical for effective virtual collaboration. We look forward to tapping the breadth of Telstra’s network to build the modern workplace and enable more seamless collaboration for organizations.”
 
Genesys Enhances CXaaS Platform With Two AI Acquisition Agreements
Customer experience service provider Genesys announced it has entered into definitive agreements to acquire Pointillist, an AI-driven customer journey orchestration and analytics solution, and Exceed.ai, a cloud-based conversational AI platform.
 
"We're dedicated to improving the customer experience by providing businesses deeper visibility into the customer journey," said Ron Rubbico, CEO and Co-Founder of Pointillist. "Joining Genesys is a natural fit. Together, we will be able to help organizations deliver personalized experiences at a new level, strengthening customer loyalty and driving better business outcomes."
 
Sinch Acquires Pathwire Portfolio
Sinch, a Swedish CPaaS provider, last week announced it reached a definitive agreement to acquire email delivery platform Pathwire for $1.9 billion. The buy gives Sinch the email products Mailgun, which is a way for developers to incorporate automated email messages into workflows; and Mailjet, which is a drag-and-drop email builder and suite of APIs for email marketing. “Together with Pathwire, we will be able to offer a best-of-breed product set, across messaging, voice and email, that empowers businesses and developers to craft an unmatched, digital, customer experience,” Oscar Werner, Sinch CEO said.

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