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No Jitter Roll: Collaboration Device, UCC Platform, CX AI Updates


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This week we share announcements around desktop and room-based collaboration devices; UCC, contact center, and videoconferencing platform updates; and an acquisition.
Avaya Upgrades Device Portfolio
Avaya this week unveiled a redesign for its Vantage K155 desktop collaboration device, as well as a conference phone and huddle room cameras. Details are as follow:
  • Vantage K155 – With an eye on work-from-home employees, Avaya has redesigned this device with a horizontal touchscreen and physical keypad to complement its use with the company’s Spaces workstream collaboration platform. In addition, the device features a high-definition (HD) camera, wideband audio, a wireless connection, and a new capability that allows for content, meeting participants, or both to shift to a larger screen based on meeting dynamics, Avaya said. As is new for two out of three Vantage devices (K155 and K175), the K155 offers an integration with Amazon Alexa, for touchless interaction (available only for use in the U.S. and Canada).
  • IP Conference Phone B129 – This device, which supports meetings of up to 12 participants, uses Avaya’s OmniSound technology. It is equipped with four microphones, beamforming technology, and support for Bluetooth and USB connectivity.
  • Huddle Camera HC010 – This HD camera features a 4X digital zoom lens.
Avaya offers these devices for a monthly fee as part of its device-as-a-service (DaaS) offering.
LogMeIn Refreshes GoToConnect
LogMeIn this week released mobile interface, contact center, and Microsoft Teams integration updates for its GoToConnect UCC offering, as well as new options for bundling with other LogMeIn products, such as LastPass, GoToWebinar, and GoToAssist. Specifics for each update are as follows:
  • Mobile Interface – A refreshed mobile experience delivers improved find and follow me features, advance call flip, shared extension, and voicemail transcriptions that enable employees to receive and conduct work calls on their mobile devices without revealing their personal numbers, LogMeIn said.
  • Contact Center – Support center updates give access to customized paused reasons, configurable permissions, and a 60-day free trial. In coming months, LogMeIn intends to launch customizable dashboards, intelligent call routing, auto-queue call back, and a new revenue center product that will offer sales teams and others outbound calling capabilities, LogMeIn said.
  • Microsoft Teams Integration – An updated Teams connector enables Teams users to stay in the application while GoToConnect manages their telephony service on the back end with Direct Routing capabilities, click-to-call, and user presence, LogMeIn said.
Customers can also add-on additional LogMeIn products to consolidate communications, collaboration, security, and remote support from a single provider. Toward this end, LogMeIn now offers three new licenses:
  • GoToConnect Basic – Includes PBX, messaging, and meetings, plus Microsoft Outlook and Google G Suite (now known as Google Workspace) integrations; pricing starts at $24 per seat monthly
  • GoToConnect Standard Plus –Includes advanced core voice, meeting, and messaging capabilities in addition to features such as Visual Dial Plan Editor, real-time analytics, and more, LogMeIn said. The tier also adds password management with LastPass Teams and Basic Events with GoToWebinar Lite; pricing starts at $34 per user monthly
  • GoToConnect Premium Plus –Includes the GoToConnect platform in addition to the GoToConnect support center, LogMeIn said. It also includes GoToRoom, GoToWebinar, GoToAssist, and LastPass; pricing starts at $44 per user monthly.
NICE inContact Boosts AI in CXOne Release
NICE inContact this week announced its Spring 2021 release, updating its CXone contact center platform with a variety of new features and functions. The release adds:
  • Real-Time Interaction Guidance — Using an AI-based framework called Enlighten, this feature scores agent behaviors in real-time and guides agents on actions that could help improve customer sentiment.
  • Virtual Agent Hub — This platform allows contact centers to embed third-party AI chat and voice bots, like Google Dialogflow, into their customer journey processes.
  • Self-Service Analytics — Compiling IVR insights like call drop-offs and agent transfers, these analytics allow contact centers to pinpoint customer service issues for improvement.
  • Agent for Salesforce improvements — Contact centers that use Agent for Salesforce can now connect with customers through digital channels like WhatsApp, Instagram, Facebook Messenger, and Twitter.
  • Engagement Manager mobile app — This mobile app allows agents to view schedules, trade shifts, and receive schedule change notifications.
  • Coaching session recommendations — This cross-platform feature monitors workforce management forecasts and identifies and schedules agent coaching sessions.
StrikeForce Launches Security-Based Video Platform
Cybersecurity company StrikeForce launched its videoconferencing platform, SafeVchat, globally this week.
Developed to protect against malware, SafeVchat is a clientless, web, and mobile videoconferencing platform that features password-protected meeting support, eight authentication methods, and audio and video encryption, StrikeForce said. The platform also supports all cybersecurity compliance protocols, including those related to GDPR, PCI-DSS, HIPPA, CCPA, SOX, and NYDFS, StrikeForce said. Meeting hosts can select the type of authentication required of participants, and admins can access meeting user management and audit reports via a portal.
SafeVchat is available in a standard version for $13 per user/per month, a premium version for $16 per user/per month, and an on-premises offering, pricing dependent on implementation, StrikeForce said. A mobile version of the platform is available for download on the Google Play Store and Apple’s App Store.
Alianza Completes CounterPath Acquisition
Cloud communications platform provider Alianza last week announced it completed its acquisition of cloud UCC provider CounterPath, bringing together their respective service provider- and enterprise-oriented businesses. With the acquisition, Alianza will be able to offer a full-stack cloud communications offering, including collaboration capabilities and phone services, delivered through service providers and focused on enterprise requirements, Todd Carothers, EVP of corporate strategy for Alianza, and formerly CRO at CounterPath, said. CounterPath, which is now privately held under Alianza, offers UC applications for mobile and desktop, in addition to integrated videoconferencing and cloud meetings.
Now that Alianza has CounterPath’s assets under a single roof, the company is going to make “big efforts to quickly consolidate the two teams, Brian Beutler, co-founder and CEO of Alianza, said in a No Jitter briefing. These two companies have known and been working closely together with tier-one customers for the last three years, and upon closing “already had a really solid product integration built and done,” Beutler said. “While the company will continue to fulfill current [enterprise] contracts, ultimately the new focus will be selling to service providers,” Carothers said.
Ryan Daily, No Jitter associate editor, contributed to this article.