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 November.
Cisco Introduces AI-Powered Spark Assistant
Earlier this month, Cisco, the worldwide leader in IT and networking, proved once again that they remain at the forefront of innovation as they introduced the latest addition to the Spark collaboration platform: the AI-powered Cisco Spark Assistant. A result of Cisco’s $125million acquisition of MindMeld, an advanced AI platform, earlier this year, Spark Assistant is the world’s first enterprise-ready voice assistant specifically designed to make meetings run more smoothly.
Spark Assistant will initially be offered to a small group of Cisco Spark Room Series customers and partners in phases, beginning early next year. With the smart assistant, users can start, join, and leave meetings easily. It also lets users call anyone in the organization, as well as navigate and control Cisco Spark devices. Beyond joining and leaving meetings, Cisco plans to add more features in the future.
Masergy Expands PSTN Replacement Service to Hong Kong
Leading hybrid networking, managed security, and cloud communications solutions provider Masergy continues its global expansion as it announced this month the availability of its complete Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) replacement service in Hong Kong. The company’s latest move reinforces their commitment to bring feature-rich UCaaS, Cloud Contact Center and Intelligent SIP Trunking to businesses worldwide.
According to Dean Manzoori, the Vice President of Product Management UCaaS at Masergy, “Masergy continues to expand its award-winning Cloud Communications service to meet growing customer demand.” “This expansion correlates to increased customer satisfaction that is underscored by our industry-leading Net Promoter Score of 74,” he added.
Vonage Introduces SMS Automation Platform
To help companies create customized communications experiences for their customers, Vonage, one of the largest business VoIP providers in the US, has added a new solution to their portfolio: VonageReach. VonageReach is an SMS automation platform that leverages Vonage’s existing UCaaS product stack as well as their Nexmo API platform.
"The addition of VonageReach to our robust product portfolio enables our business customers to send automated and personalized contextual messages to customers and leads in real-time," said Omar Javaid, Vonage Chief Product Officer, in a release. "By using our Nexmo API Platform to create this packaged solution, we are complementing our UCaaS offering with powerful and easy-to-use SMS capabilities to help businesses convert more leads, engage with customers in more meaningful ways, and streamline operations to help drive better business outcomes."
Avaya and Salesforce Strengthen Partnership with New Integrations
Avaya, the global leader in superior business communications and customer engagement solutions, and Salesforce, a trusted provider of the world’s leading Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software, continue to forge strong partnerships with the announcement of new integrations at Dreamforce 2017.
The Avaya CRM Connector 2.0 will leverage both legacy and new CRM implementations to bring omnichannel capabilities for agents into a single user interface (UI). Capable of supporting both Salesforce Classic and Lighting, the integration not only allows agents access to call control but also provide reporting for various knowledge workers. Laurent Philonenko, the SVP and General Manager for Solutions and Technology at Avaya, highlights the company’s focus on customer experience. “With Salesforce, our goal is to help our customers provide great experiences for their customers, building loyalty and long-term customer value on which every business thrives,” said Philonenko.
Avaya also shares that by early 2018, they will continue to work on enhancing the omnichannel experience by extending its next-generation Oceana contact center capabilities to Salesforce Service Cloud.
New Study from LoopUp Reveals True Cost of Poor Conference Call Practices
US and UK businesses lose £26 Billion on poor conference call practices--this is one of the key findings that LoopUp, the premium remote meetings solution, uncovered in their new study entitled, “Enterprise Conferencing: User Behavior & Impact Report, a study of conference calling practices in the enterprise.”
In their desire to understand the attitudes business people have towards conferencing, LoopUp surveyed over 1,000 professionals in the US and UK who regularly participate in conference calls. LoopUp also sought to measure the respondents’ level of comfort with conferencing technology, as well as its perceived benefits and challenging through the study. Among the findings of the study are:
- On average, 15 minutes per conference call is wasted due to distractions or by simply getting started.
- This wasted time costs US and UK businesses over £26 billion ($34 billion), which is up by 46 percent since 2015 (up from £14 billion).
- Dial-in conferencing remains the primary way business people participate in conference calls.
- Conference calls present a significant security challenge to businesses.
- Video conferencing has not yet reached mainstream adoption.
To read the full report, visit LoopUp’s website.
Genesys Integrates PureCloud Solution with Amazon Lex
Genesys, the trusted name in omnichannel customer experience and contact center solutions, debuted a new integration between PureCloud, its cloud customer engagement solution, and Amazon Lex at the annual AWS re:Invent conference in Las Vegas. The integration will improve the natural language processing and AI capabilities for Interactive Voice Response (IVR) for the Genesys PureCloud customer engagement solution for contact centers.
"As a global leader in customer experience technology, Genesys has a long history of successfully teaming with the world's most innovative companies, like Amazon Web Services (AWS)," said Executive Vice President of Genesys PureCloud, Olivier Jouve. "We are deepening our collaboration with AWS once again through the new PureCloud integration with Amazon Lex. It provides businesses another way to improve customer satisfaction by enhancing IVR routing, shortening call-time, and making management easier."
PureCloud customers can take advantage of the new Genesys-AWS integration in 2018.