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No Jitter Roll: Zoom, Microsoft Team Service Updates, TalkDesk CX Framework

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This week we share announcements around two UCaaS platforms, SD-WAN services, a framework for customer engagement, and public safety network capabilities.
 
Zoom Adds Calling Features, Rolls Out Zoom Apps
Besides the news that it plans on buying CCaaS provider Five9, Zoom this week announced various service and partner ecosystem updates.
 
Updates for Zoom Phone include:
  • Team SMS and MMS for auto-receptionist — Callers can now interact via text to ask common questions and receive assistance reaching an appropriate contact
  • Team SMS for call queues — When a customer sends an SMS message, all team members receive a text message notification. Should no one on the team respond after five minutes, the SMS message is released so others can respond, Zoom explained
  • Voice recording for financial service compliance — Financial service enterprises can now meet recording requirements, including secondary storage location for user recordings. Additionally, admins can disable block end-user call forwarding, Zoom said.
Updates for Zoom Meetings are:
  • Post-meeting surveys — Meeting hosts can gather feedback from participants via multiple choice, single choice, or long-form surveys
  • In-meeting chat emoji reactions — Meeting participants can now react to in-meeting chats with emojis, including a coffee mug reaction  
And, for Zoom Chat, updates include:
  • Consolidated search — Users can find contacts, chats, channels, files, and more within Zoom through a unified search feature 
  • Video playback —Users can now view a video directly within Zoom 
 
Additionally, Zoom released Zoom Apps, its ecosystem for third-party Meetings integrations. Unveiled at last year’s Zoomtopia, Zoom Apps will launch with over 50 applications, including virtual whiteboarding app Miro, meeting intelligence app Docket, work management app Asana, and wellness app Thrive Reset. Zoom users can also share and send Zoom Apps directly within meetings to other attendees, Zoom said.
 
Microsoft Teams Update for Mobile, Frontline Users
Over the last two weeks, Microsoft has shared news on a variety of Teams updates. These include features for mobile and frontline workers, a redesigned search feature, and the ability to control where data is stored.
 
For mobile users, Microsoft extended support for Teams apps in meetings beyond the desktop (announced last November) to iOS and Android devices. Teams apps in meetings allow users to customize their Teams experience with third-party applications, Microsoft said. Mobile users will now be able to interact with content or apps through an in-meeting panel and content notifications will appear as a banner on the top of the mobile screen, Microsoft said. Additionally, by clicking on View in the notification, users can drill down to specific content, Microsoft said.
 
For frontline workers, Microsoft last week announced the availability of a Teams Walkie Talkie feature. Built natively in Teams, the Walkie Talkie feature works over Wi-Fi or cellular data and can be used across geographies, Microsoft said. In addition to this feature, Microsoft revealed Shifts Connectors, which provide automated scheduling and shift management capabilities via partner integrations. Available in private preview, Shifts Connectors are available from Blue Yonder and Zebra-Reflexis, Microsoft said.  
 
Separately, Microsoft added a redesigned search for Teams to its Microsoft 365 roadmap, as first reported in TechRadar Pro. Expected to release this November, the new AI-powered search feature will allow users to find messages, contacts, and files based on the people and content they engage with the most in Teams and other Microsoft 365 services, Microsoft shared in a roadmap entry.  
 
Lastly, enterprises have more options for where their data is stored with Microsoft 365 Multi-Geo, which is now generally available. With Microsoft 365 Multi-Geo, enterprises can choose which geographic locations user data is stored, with the option for admins to drill down to the team and end-user level, Microsoft said.
 
Talkdesk Introduces Methodology for CX Engagement
Talkdesk, a cloud contact center provider, this week announced a customizable framework aimed at assisting contact centers in identifying and implementing customer experience (CX) strategies that will positively impact the customer journey. To begin, Talkdesk customers can use the CX Strategy Value Framework to outline priorities such as key performance indicators, operational agility, operational efficiency, and revenue generation, Talkdesk said. Next, Talkdesk CX Strategy consultants develop a business plan that aligns with a company’s goals and value framework, Talkdesk added.
 
Engagements with Talkdesk strategy consultants are available at no cost prior to contract signing. Customers also can use the services during contract renewals and expansions, Talkdesk said.
 
Masergy, GTT Scale Up SD-WAN Portfolios
Cloud service providers Masergy and GTT this week each made announcements regarding their respective SD-WAN services, as follows:
 
  • Masergyannounced Masergy Performance Edge, a patent-pending SD-WAN and secure access service edge (SASE) capability aimed at minimizing packet loss over public broadband connections so that they perform more like private Ethernet circuits. Performance Edge, which Masergy said uses proprietary network architecture along with industry standard and compatible routing algorithms, is available with its Managed SD-WAN Secure and SASE offerings.
  • GTTannounced availability of a Secure Co-Manage feature that gives its SD-WAN and security service customers greater visibility into network security and the ability to update network configuration and firewall policies in real-time. Specifically, Secure Co-Manage gives customers insight into enterprise network behavior, detected threats, and high-risk applications, GTT said. The self-service functionality is available via the EtherVision customer service management portal, where customers can make policy changes without placing an order; monitor their SD-WAN services with intuitive tables, widgets, and map views; and gain insights into log data, traffic flows, and implementation of security features, GTT added.
 
FirstNet Expands Public Safety Network
FirstNet, the nationwide wireless broadband network built for first responders and operated by AT&T, this week introduced four applications and capabilities developed in collaboration with industry partners Motorola, KSI Data Sciences, and NetMotion (recently acquired by Absolute Software). They are:
 
  • Push-to-Talk (PTT) Interoperability – FAs of this winter, first responders, public safety agencies, and jurisdictions will be able to leverage Motorola Solutions’ cloud-based Critical Connect platform for interoperability between land mobile radio systems, its PTT solution for mission-critical operations, and AT&T’s enhanced PTT capabilities, FirstNet said.
  • Livestream Access – From KSI Data Sciences, this secure streaming web-based environment, called MissionKeeper, allows users to access livestreamed video, archived data, and telemetry from IoT devices such as dashcams, drones, robots, and submersibles. Public safety workers can invite guest users from other agencies for complete situational awareness, FirstNet said.
  • Mobile-First VPN – This client/server software-only VPN, called NetMotion by Absolute, provides secure access for mobile device traffic onto the FirstNet network core, FirstNet said. With this VPN, devices stay connected continuously even when they move into areas with no coverage, dead spots, or weak signal strength, and users do not need to login from one network to the next as they roam, FirstNet said. FirstNet administrators can control access to applications and devices for a single user, group, or entire organization, as well as set custom access conditions such as time of day, network type, or application bandwidth requirements, FirstNet added.
  • Messaging – FirstNet Messaging application will be automatically provisioned as part of FirstNet plans.
 
 
Ryan Daily, No Jitter associate editor, contributed to this article.

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