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No Jitter Roll: Headset Launches, Latest Acquisitions

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An illustration of a woman wearing a headset working on a computer
Stock: Лилия Валиева - stock.adobe.com
This week we bring you news on a pair of headset launches, updates to a team collaboration platform, a partnership to implement STIR/SHAKEN call authentication into cloud contact services, and two industry acquisitions.
 
Poly, Epos Release Headsets
Poly this week released the latest entry in its Voyager series of headsets, Voyager Focus 2, available in either the Voyager Focus 2 UC or Voyager Focus 2 Office version.
 
Both headset versions feature noise-canceling microphones with Poly's Acoustic Fence technology and a Mute Alert feature that lets speakers know they’re on mute, Poly said. Additionally, the Voyager Focus 2 headsets are compatible with Zoom out of the box, and are Microsoft Teams-certified, Poly said. The Voyager Focus 2 UC connects to a mobile device via Bluetooth or a computer via an included BT700 USB adapter, which is designed to improve the wireless range. The Voyager Focus 2 Office connects to a mobile device via Bluetooth, desk phone via a telephone interface cable, or computer via a USB-A cable, Poly said.
 
The Voyager Focus 2 headsets come with a two-year limited warranty and support the Poly Lens cloud-based IT management service. The Voyager Focus 2 UC is priced at $280 to $300, and the Voyager Focus 2 Office headset costs $330. Both versions are available for purchase either on Poly.com or through an authorized reseller, Poly said.
 
Similarly, audio and video device provider Epos this week launched its Microsoft Teams-certified Adapt 200 Series of headsets, available in four styles. Each device features a dedicated Microsoft Teams button, a built-in noise-canceling microphone, and connects via a USB A or USB C dongle. The Adapt 200 series of devices are available for $170 to $180, via the company’s website.
 
Microsoft Rolls Out Presenter Mode, Webinars for Teams
Microsoft this week announced the availability of several Teams features previewed at the March Microsoft Ignite event. First, presenter mode allows Teams presenters to customize their video feed and the display of shared content in either standout, reporter, or side-by-side modes, Microsoft said. The standout mode will be available this month, with the other modes to follow shortly after that.
 
Second, Microsoft began rolling out PowerPoint Live, giving meeting presenters the ability to use PowerPoint in conjunction with Teams. This feature lets hosts share information, while allowing them to see upcoming slides, notes, meeting chat, and participants in a single view. Slide translation capabilities, which will allow participants to select captions in their native/preferred language, will be available in the future, Microsoft said.
 
Lastly, Teams users can now organize and hold webinars for up to 1,000 attendees, Microsoft said.
 
Five9, Neustar Partner on STIR/SHAKEN for Voice Authentication
Cloud contact center provider Five9 has partnered with identity resolution provider Neustar to support its implementation of STIR/SHAKEN call authentication. Per an FCC-mandate, service providers need to implement STIR/SHAKEN to combat malicious robocalls call spoofing by June 30, Five9 said. Via Neustar’s Certified Caller service, integrated into Five9 services, customers will automatically be STIR/SHAKEN compliant when they use a Five9-provided phone number or place calls to the PSTN, Five9 said. The call authentication comes at no extra cost for customers, Five9 said.
 
Cisco to Acquire Hybrid Event Provider Socio Labs
Cisco this week revealed its intent to acquire event technology platform provider Socio Labs in a move into the hybrid event and conference market. Following the acquisition closure, Cisco said it will be able to provide a hybrid event platform that features livestreaming, sponsorship, networking, and event analytic capabilities, which will combine with its current Webex capabilities, Cisco said. The acquisition is expected to close this quarter, ending July 31. Upon completion, the Socio Labs team will join the Webex customer experience team, Cisco said.
 
NWN Closes Carousel Acquisition
Cloud communications provider NWN has finalized the acquisition of managed services provider Carousel Industries. NWN said its intent is to leverage Carousel's expertise in unified communications and collaboration, infrastructure, data centers, networking, and cloud services to better address its customers' needs. NWN didn’t disclose financial details, but said it expects that the combined entity will bring $1 billion of revenue for 2021.

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