This Month in Telecom is a monthly news round-up on VoipReview.org that aims to give our readers a fast and easy way to catch up on the latest news and top stories that are trending in the voice and telecommunications space. Check in every month to find out more about stories you may have missed in regards to new companies, mergers, trends, and other telecom advancements.
Let’s take a look at some of the biggest stories in telecom for the month of December.
Dialpad Releases Free Business Phone Service for Small Businesses
San Francisco-based pure-cloud business communications provider Dialpad introduced early this month a new service that aims to disrupt the small business telephone market and “kill the phone bill.” The Dialpad Free service is the first free small business phone system ideal for up to five workers. Dialpad Free subscribers get one office phone number and up to five employees who can be dialed by name or as extensions. The service comes with basic telephone service features, including unlimited inbound minutes, 100 outbound minutes per month, 100 inbound and outbound SMS messages, HD calling, video calling between Dialpad users, call recording, and more!
In a release, Dialpad Co-Founder Craig Walker said, “We’re truly diminishing the need for businesses to use existing phone lines or to be limited to mobile phones, landlines or the need to list multiple phone numbers on their websites and business cards. Dialpad is pure-cloud communication that is available on any device, anywhere. We’re thrilled to be offering this new service for Free - it’s really the first time businesses have had this opportunity. "
To take advantage of the Dialpad Free service, simply sign up and download the Dialpad app on desktop, laptop, tablet or smartphone. Applications for Mac, Windows, iOS, and Android as well as a native app for Google Chromebooks and an extension for the Chrome Browser are also offered by Dialpad for free. In addition, Dialpad also brings the power of G Suite's native Single-Sign-On integration to Dialpad Free users
“Workers within a company don’t even need to be in the same location, as Dialpad’s pure-cloud approach allows for employees to work from anywhere,” said Walker. “With Dialpad apps available for laptops, desktops, mobile phones, and tablets, any app-enabled device immediately becomes an extension of the business’ main number and can be using Dialpad Free within minutes."
Enghouse Interactive Announces Availability of TouchPoint Agent
To help companies enhance contact center operations and elevate customer service, Enghouse Interactive, a leading provider of customer contact solutions, recently announced the availability of TouchPoint Agent, a full call center solution that seamlessly integrates with Microsoft Office 365 and Skype for Business.
TouchPoint Agent provides organizations with a complete end-to-end communications solution. It comes with a host of features that empower agents, including skills-based routing, CRM screen pop, call recording, directory searching for experts, call categorization and control, graphical reporting, and real-time dashboard. TouchPoint Agent can also be set up in minutes; there’s no learning curve and additional servers or IT infrastructure are not required.
“TouchPoint Agent is a response to our customers and partners who want call center functionality that is easy and effortless, and native to both Microsoft Office 365 and Skype for Business Online,” said John Cray, Vice President of Product Management at Enghouse Interactive. “For businesses that leverage Office 365 for productivity and communications, TouchPoint Agent is the only server-less application that can evolve their interaction capabilities without complex and costly integrations, training and support.”
Digium Expands Product Lineup with New Analog Gateway
Digium, the original creator and primary developer of Asterisk®, the industry's first open source telephony platform, has expanded their product lineup with the addition of G080, an easy-to-use media gateway that simplifies the deployment of Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phone systems. In a release, the company said that with G080, Digium now offers a complete end-to-end Unified Communications (UC) solution for organizations. It also integrates with Digium’s award-winning Switchvox UC system.
According to Charlie Wilson, Director of Developer Products at Digium, the G080 media gateway simplifies on-site VoIP phone system deployments without the obstacle of analog connectivity with its intuitive interface. “The G080 saves customers time during installation and creates a more efficient deployment process by reducing the usual technological complexity of connecting analog to SIP,” said Wilson. “The integration between Switchvox and the new analog gateway raises the bar for ease-of-installation with its plug-and-play deployment capabilities. And, because the G080 is built on Asterisk, internetworking with other communications systems is simple and straightforward.”
The G080 analog gateway is now available from Digium’s worldwide network of authorized partners, at a suggested retail price of US$895.
New Mitel Survey Reveals Machine-to-People Interactions Have the Potential to Transform Customer Experience
Eighty-five percent of IT decision-makers agree that machine-to-people interactions will shape the customer experience. This is one of the key findings that Mitel, a global leader in business communications, highlighted in their latest research.
Conducted in August 2017 by Opinium Research to over 2,500 senior IT decision-makers across North America, the UK, France, Germany, and Australia, the results of the survey suggest that implementing new technologies--including IoT, artificial intelligence, and machine learning--can help improve the customer experience. Among those surveyed:
- More than 75 percent reveal their plans to tie together devices, emerging technologies, and communications and collaboration capabilities to enable machine-to-people interactions within two years.
- Four out of 10 anticipate a boost in revenue by enabling machine-to-people interactions.
- Seven in 10 respondents believe that machine-to-people interactions are key to increasing customer responsiveness and issue resolution.
- More than 95 percent of respondents believe that improvements in customer experience are crucial to digital transformation.
To read the full report, visit Mitel’s website.
Cisco and AT&T Combine Collaboration Solutions
Cisco, the worldwide leader in IT, and AT&T, a leader in telecommunications, have strengthened their longtime collaboration partnership with the launch of their bundled offering: Cisco Spark with AT&T.
An app-centric, cloud-based service, Cisco Spark with AT&T combines once disparate collaboration tools in one application. Powered by the AT&T global network, the solution brings together Cisco Hosted Collaboration Solutions for AT&T (for cloud-based voice calling), AT&T Conferencing with Cisco WebEx, and Spark Messaging (for chat conversations and file sharing from any device). Cisco Spark with AT&T also integrates with third-party applications, improving productivity and collaboration. In addition, subscribers to Cisco Spark with AT&T also get access to AT&T NetBond for Cloud for secure, encrypted end-to-end connections; AT&T Dynamic Traffic Management, for prioritizing mission-critical voice and data traffic; and AT&T IP Flexible Reach for keeping calls on AT&T's network and thus reducing costs.
“We’re focused on bringing people together to create, communicate and engage seamlessly – and Cisco Spark with AT&T does exactly that,” said Roman Pacewicz, Chief Product Officer at AT&T Business, said in a release. “And when evaluating their digital transformation strategy, or reviewing their current collaboration tools, businesses will find this solution extends the value of their current tools.”