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No Jitter Roll: Zoom Enhancements, Offerings for Microsoft Teams

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This week we share updates around the Zoom services portfolio, third-party connectivity options for Microsoft Teams, a video collaboration bar, and contact center outbound calling feature.
 
Zoom Issues Updates for Meetings, Rooms, Chat, Phone
Zoom this week gave notice of several updates across its services, as shared in a blog post.
 
For Zoom Meetings, updates are:
  • More emojis reactions — Account admins now have the option of limiting meeting participants to the use of six previously available basic emojis or allowing access to a newly expanded set. Along with the additional reactions comes the ability to select emoji skin tone, Zoom said
  • Vanishing pen annotation — When using the Vanishing Pen feature highlights on text or objects input during a whiteboard session will disappear over time. This feature is also available for Zoom Video Webinars, Zoom said
  • Auto-shape whiteboard feature for Zoom mobile app — This feature straightens lines or changes the shape into its intended form when a user draws on the mobile app whiteboard.
For Rooms, Chat, and Phone services, updates are:
  • Support for Zoom Rooms on Portal TV from Facebook, allowing users to host and join meetings on that device
  • Ability for Zoom Phone customers to trigger and receive mass notifications for crisis and emergency communications via InformaCast from Singlewire Software
  • For Zoom Chat account owners and admins, ability to add a manager to appear a user’s Zoom profile
 
Vonage and MetTel: Connecting with Microsoft Teams
Vonage, a cloud communications provider, and MetTel, an enterprise digital communications provider, this week made announcements regarding Microsoft Teams integrations. For Vonage, the announcements expand on a previous Teams telephony offering, while MetTel is just entering the Teams telephony provider ecosystem. Details are as follows:
 
  • The Vonage Business Communications (VBC) for Teams integration now supports SMS and MMS messaging and access to contact center and CRM platforms. Previously VBC for Teams, introduced in early 2020, provided voice calling via Microsoft’s Direct Routing option, Vonage said.
  • MetTel's new Microsoft Teams External Voice solution includes two options: Direct Routing, for PSTN connectivity directly from within Teams; and integrated routing, which provides connectivity from Teams to an existing PBX, MetTel said. Enterprises can also pool calling minutes and only pay for minutes used, eliminate the need to manage multiple voice apps and systems, and port all existing numbers to the Microsoft Teams External Voice service, MetTel added.
 
Epos Enters Video Collaboration Space
Epos, traditionally known as an audio solutions provider, this week revealed its move into video with introduction of its Expand Vision series and first product, a video collaboration bar certified for Microsoft Teams on Android. This video collaboration bar, called the Expand Vision 3T, is designed for small meeting rooms with up to seven participants. It allows single touch to join a meeting, and includes an integrated wide-angle 4K camera as well as microphone array beamforming technology. The video collaboration bar also includes intelligent picture framing, a pan-tilt-zoom camera, voice tracking, and noise cancellation technology. Epos will deliver software updates automatically, and administrators will be able to remotely manage devices, Epos added.
 
The Expand Vision 3T is available for $1,750.
 
Windstream Enterprise Updates Contact Center Services
Managed services provider Windstream Enterprise earlier this month updated its OfficeSuite UC Contact Center Services (CCS) to include an outbound calling campaign feature. With this upgrade, businesses can create list-driven campaigns that include reusable calling lists, Matt Mirion, director of product management at WE, said in a No Jitter briefing. Aside from taking that action away from the agents and speeding up the process, the admin can also set calling windows based on dates and times, automate rescheduling of failed calls, and round-robin call distribution among agents, WE said. For example, an admin might block out calling during holidays or weekends, Mirion said.

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