ShoreTel Expands Globalization Growth Through HYBRID System and Voxbone Partnership

Unified Communications | TMCNet

PREVIOUSLY PUBLISHED TO TMCNET’S UNIFIED COMMUNICATIONS

ShoreTel, provider of unified communications solutions and phone systems, has decided to partner with Voxbone in extending the reach of its Cloud PBX Service. Voxbone is a global provider of virtual local and business-centric telephone numbers, serving both individual and enterprise consumers.

Impacting global expansion strategies, ShoreTel’s partnership with Voxbone will enhance enterprise operations, by allowing clients to be reached by customers outside of their current territories and markets.  

ShoreTel recently launched the Connect CLOUD, providing fully hosted management to benefit collaboration and unified communications experiences. This not only establishes a centralized universe for companies working across continents, but it also allows them to receive direct inward dialing (DID) extensions that facilitate global demand through a carrier-grade network.

Voxbone, an industry choice for many, has partnerships with national carriers all over the world, providing service possibilities to the end-customer.  They not only assign traditional geographic-based numbers, but they also provide regional 800 numbers and the ability to receive text via virtual mobile numbers. This is extremely important for organizations that are switching from strict call center models to contact call centers in keeping with modern progression.

This move also facilitates customer contact through multiple platforms. Delivering the means to communicate through a central source provides continue efficiency and fosters proactivity in the workplace. It also establishes brand trust and loyalty. Which means, ShoreTel is providing clients with more convenient way to serve their customers.

Striving to better serve a globalized workforce, ShoreTel has been working to evolve their solutions in meeting the needs of companies operating in obscure locations and geographical regions, while connecting remote teams throughout.

In other news, the rollout of the ShoreTel Connect™ HYBRID is allowing sites to mix-and-match efforts towards more effective UC deployment. Companies are be able to move all communications within the cloud – or route them to where it most benefits their daily activities. Directory synchronization allows for extension-to-extension dialing, pairing virtual extensions with actual extensions in the physical realm.

“The hybrid architecture is a destination, instead of a transitional strategy,” states Dave Michels, Analyst of UC Strategies.

ShoreTel is taking an initiative in upselling existing solutions by helping companies exceed their current growth and business models. With growth comes the need to upgrade servicing and ShoreTel is working to help them get there.

“Many customers want to take advantage of UCaaS capabilities, and at the same time they want to leverage their existing assets and business processes,” states Eugenia Corrales, SVP of product at ShoreTel. She continues by discussing new subscription-based model targeting the specific needs of each business. “Businesses now have the flexibility to optimize communications services and applications while migrating payments to a subscription-based model.”

A few benefits of the ShoreTel Connect™ HYBRID and the move to integrate Voxbone technologies include little or no expense in:

  • Adding additional offices and office expansions in remote locations
  • Providing seasonal teleworkers with their own extensions without interfering with IT operations
  • Simplifying communications
  • Centralizing communications
  • Transitioning operational models and existing solutions
  • Reaching customers outside existing markets or market reach
  • Providing flexibility in the communications model
  • Protecting sensitive communications and identities of workforce

This shift in solution servicing allows on-site and remote workforces to work together in synch, while facilitating productivity and collaboration in day-to-day business operations. It’s almost like they’re down the hall from each other. 

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AT&T & VoLTE Pairs Clearer Calls with Simultaneous Web Browsing

Telecom Signaling, Diameter Signaling, LTE Diameter Signaling, Diameter Signaling Router, Telco Signaling, signaling transfer point (STP), signaling gateway, (SGW), Telecom Signalling, EAGLE Signaling Platform, Signaling System #7, SS#7, SIP, 3G LTE, 4G LTE, 4G LTE-A, VoLTE, VoIP

PREVIOUSLY PUBLISHED TO TMCNET’S TELECOM SIGNALING RESOURCE CENTER

Combining our favorite features from Facebook, Google Hangouts, Skype and iPhone systems, AT&T has been rolling out its new VoLTE service, which currently reaches more than 27 million subscribers in the United States. Allowing us to engage in improved calling quality, we are now able to utilize our LTE networks while in HD.   

AT&T has been busy bringing simultaneous delivery of LTE connections to our communications needs. Broadening the range of frequency for voice, clearer conversations are now made possible.  This means that you are less likely to hear someone ask you to repeat what you just said. Customers will also be able to switch back and forth between voice and video calling without losing their connection.

While it hasn’t reached all markets yet, AT&T is working diligently to unleash VoLTE “market-by-market,” testing each market before launch and maximizing the user experience before it is widely adopted.

In addition to an improved voice experience, AT&T is implementing three more features to their VoLTE service. One of these include Wi-Fi Calling, as AT&T jumps on the bandwagon with Verizon, who has also recently adopted this form of Wi-Fi communication, as an alternative to users experiencing service outages and interference with servicing in their area. Sprint has already been offering this service for a few years now.

Advanced messaging will also allow users to tell when and if their messages have been delivered across networks, providing more accountability to the system and verifying receipt of important texts that can often get lost in the mix.

Finally, AT&T implements NumberSync into their VoLTE system. Working very much like SimulRing on Vonage and Google Voice through Hangouts, NumberSync will allow users to link compatible devices to a primary mobile number. Not only can calls be routed to several devices, but calls can be made from several devices and appear to be coming from the same mobile number. Text messages are no exception.

Phones that are dead, broken and powered off will continue to ring and ensure that no calls are missed and no texts are delayed. 

While none of these technologies are necessary new, AT&T has combined our most beloved features into a central system for improved calling experiences. With faster speeds being accessible on our devices while on a call and frequencies expanding for clearer calling capabilities, AT&T has a good shot at being one of the most in-demand phone carriers in 2016. Additional mobility will be given to conference calling and business interactions

Unfortunately, while AT&T has already rolled out HD calling to most of the United States, there are many subscribers, who will go without the ability to engage in HD clarity, because they have a device that is incompatible with the feature. It is likely that upgrades will take place in the next few months with subscribers interested in adopting this new service. But, it is not likely to actually happen right away, as much of our population tends to be late adopters, as opposed to early ones.

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What the Vidyo VP9 Release Means for WebRTC

Video Conferencing, Google Hangouts, Vidyo, WebRTC, Unified Communciations, Google

PREVIOUSLY PUBLISHED TO TMCNET’S WEBRTC SOLUTIONS

With over 37 bugfixes and new added features, Chrome48 is now being enhanced with scalable WebRTC and VP9 updates. As Chrome collaborates with Vidyo to release the new VP9 codec, cross-platform delivery will now allow video calls to take place through the same high quality it always has but with a 40 percent lower bitrate than the previous VP8 codec. This leads to improved HD-calling at the previous bitrate through the WebRTC open source project. The downfall is that it will take up an additional 15 percent of CPU.

While the stream may not freeze and lag as much, systems may. Portable devices may also see a decrease in battery life when the app is powered on. There are many cases where previous versions of Hangouts have completely killed batteries for tablets using this app, requiring additional charge time.

The plus side to this new release, however, is that it is scalable. All things considered, battery life may not be a problem after all. This will encourage an increase in video calling for both business and pleasure.

Because Chrome will utilize the previous VP8 codec by default, VP9 will have to be applied directly to each application. New AppRTC enhancements will allow the VP9 codecs to become the preferred codec by default.  WebRTC and Chrome are headed in a direction that will allow better delivery of video, utilizing less power to do so. It will also mean greater multipoint potential for video conferencing. Through the new scalability, less delay and lag time will take place – significantly less.

Joining forces and bringing Vidyo to Google Hangouts, developers can now begin to add the added experience that users are searching for – adding further collaboration to their own projects. APIs are currently underway to support the WebRTC layer and will be available in future versions of Chrome.  In fact, Vidyo has already utilized scalable coding in building new server architectures for large-scale communications. These improvements will impact high definition video delivery on just about any device.

For years, the two companies have been working together to improve Hangouts; but with increasing trends in video conferencing and cloud integrations, this release couldn’t happen at a better time. With Google’s proprietary suit of cloud and productivity tools and the ability to innovate platforms through layering, we sit back in anticipation of what is next to come.

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TokBox, Polycom Leading to Faster, More Productive Tech & Conferencing Experiences in 2016

Cloud Computing Magazine | TMCNet, Technology Marketing Corporation

PREVIOUSLY PUBLISHED TO TMCNET’S CLOUD COMPUTING MAGAZINE

Recently, TokBox (NewsAlert), a Telefonica company and recognized leader in WebRTC, announced the release of yet another collaborator tool in mobile integrations. While companies are pairing up to bring the ultimate communications experience, TokBox makes its contribution to the overall customer experience, while eliminating some of the frustration that comes with tech support and strategic planning via remote interface. 

As businesses are adopting the ability to engage customers in video-enriched tech experiences, TokBox’s annotation tool allows for convenience in literally pointing out the problem.

Whether through screen sharing or screenshots, TokBox’s annotation tool allows users on either side of the conversation to engage in markup, calling attention to important points within the conversation. While this can already be done through standard mobile editing tools, TokBox allows for live screenshares and annotations through its OpenTok platform.

In tech support, customers can point out exactly what is broken, while specialists can direct customers to exactly which button resets a system and in which direction the switch needs thrown. There is no more room for a twenty-minute conversation trying to explain where on a device the customer should start looking. This cuts back call times, which directly cuts costs for tech support departments and promotes maximized productivity.

TokBox recently released a platform associated with FoxSports and college football. A coach could hold a meeting via remote delivery; strategizing gameplays and maneuvers, similar to what is done by commentators while a game is airing live to television. This would allow college students to be more proactive in their studies while maximizing their potential wins on the field. They would no longer have to skip classes or leave class early just to make a meeting on time.

Like many video conferencing platforms, OpenTok is recordable and able to be accessed at any time. This will benefit those who need a refresher course or would like to study what was discussed during the video conferencing. These platforms are available on both web and mobile platforms.

OpenTok’s annotation tools are currently in beta and have a long way to compete with some of the more advanced tools in video collaboration. But, they are off to an amazing start. Not too many platforms currently allow live annotations, but those that do are leaving our experiences fulfilled.

Polycom (NewsAlert), for example, calls their version of annotation “video whiteboarding.” They actually have created physical tools that allow “in-meeting annotation” and that enable participants to share those annotations on any standard whiteboard or LCD display to everyone on a call.

While basic tools and free form shapes are being made available through these platforms, colleges, such as Harvard’s MIT (NewsAlert), are searching for new ways to make rich annotations available – which would mean encoding more complex algorithms and allowing even more people to join the conversation simultaneously across a variety of streams and a variety of platforms.

In technology, only one’s imagination limits progress. You may not see a need for rich annotation at this point. But in the future, you may wonder how you got along without it. We can thank companies like TokBox and Polycom for their contributions to innovation and for making productivity a forefront of our video conferencing platforms.

This is perhaps an unpredicted and overlooked trend to hit 2016. Will we see more in-conference possibilities that help our business and tech support efforts become more productive? Rumor has it that Elliot Associates’ billionaire, Paul Singer, is pushing for a Polycom integration with Mitel to do just that.

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