This Week in Telecom is a weekly 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 each and every Friday to find out more about stories you may have missed in regards to new companies, mergers, trends, and other telecom advancements.
Here are the top news stories you might have missed this week:
ICMI and NICE Report Reveals Contact Center Workforce Management Trends and Downfalls
Workforce management plays a crucial role in the quality of service a contact center provides. In order to help agents succeed and stay motivated, organizations need to equip them with the right tools, technology, and training. A recent report, however, shows that not all organizations are able to do this. The International Customer Management Institute (ICMI) in partnership with NICE, a worldwide leading provider of software solutions for organizations, released early this week the findings of their 2017 report entitled The State of Workforce Management. The report, which utilizes data and insights from over 362 contact center professionals, takes an updated look at modern contact center workforce management practices, challenges, and future plans, as well as the technologies used in today’s contact center environments.
The report highlights that 67% of contact centers are stuck on outdated solutions, using on-premise software (39%) and even Excel or spreadsheets (28%) instead of cloud-based solutions to manage their workforce. Despite the proven benefits of cloud-based solutions for contact centers, the report also reveals that only 15% of the respondents currently use cloud-based workforce management software while 22% say they have plans to switch to cloud solutions in the next six to 12 months.
For additional information and to view the full report, please visit ICMI’s website.
Genband and Sonus Announce Merger
It seems that the consolidation trend in the cloud communications industry this year won’t be slowing down anytime soon. Sonus Networks (Sonus Networks, Inc., NASDAQ: SONS; $6.70) a global leader in cloud and real-time communications security, and GENBAND, a trusted provider of carrier and enterprise network and real-time communications solutions, are the latest to announce their merger. The two companies recently signed a definitive agreement that will help create a larger, combined company, specializing in next-generation communications networking and with an increased scale and market reach across products, customers, and geographies
Under the agreement, each of the GENBAND shareholders will own approximately 50% of the combined company. The combined company is valued at approximately $745 million, based on Sonus’ common stock closing price on May 22, 2017, and its estimated net cash at the time of closing.
Raymond Dolan, President and Chief Executive Officer of Sonus, expressed his excitement over the latest development. “The transaction is expected to generate significant near- and long-term value for shareholders, who we believe will benefit from their ownership in a combined company with increased scale and resources to invest in and accelerate each company’s growth initiatives,” said Dolan. “This is a strategically and financially compelling transaction for Sonus and we are confident that together with GENBAND we will achieve our growth initiatives faster and more fully than either company could do on its own.”
RingCentral Launches New Enterprise Cloud Webinar Solution
RingCentral recently introduced a new addition to its industry-leading portfolio of cloud communications and collaboration solutions: the RingCentral Webinar. Designed for organizations that host large-scale virtual meetings across global regions, RingCentral Webinar leverages the cloud to provide a seamless web-based meeting experience for up to 3,000 attendees. The cloud solution can also host up to 200 presenters and offers the ability to deliver virtual events, webinars, or training to desktop computers, tablets, or smartphones.
“RingCentral Webinar expands upon our ever-growing portfolio of enterprise communications and collaboration solutions, and we’re pleased to make this powerful offering available to our customers,” said Jose Pastor, Vice President of Product Management for RingCentral in a release. “Whether hosting a webinar or town hall meeting for 100 or 3,000 people, this solution leverages the cloud for ultra-scalability and offers a high degree of control for presenters to facilitate large web broadcasts.”
RingCentral Webinar is now offered to US, Canada, and UK customers. For pricing and additional product details, please visit RingCentral's website.
Twilio Introduces Proxy
In line with their mission of building the future of communications, Twilio, the leading cloud communications platform for developers, unveiled a new API that enables private text and voice conversations between customers and mobile workers: Twilio Proxy. With Proxy, organizations employing a mobile workforce now have the ability to help their workers securely and privately connect with customers using their own device. The new API features a range of capabilities, including multi-channel masked communications, phone number management, content moderation, and time-bounded sessions.
Twilio Proxy is part of the Twilio Engagement Cloud, a collection of Declarative APIs that offer businesses and their developers all the logic they need for building multi-channel communications with customers. With less coding required, Twilio APIs help developers easily manage communications at any scale.
8x8 Virtual Office Proves Superiority in VoIP Voice Quality
The Tolly Group, a leading global provider of testing and third-party validation and certification services, recently announced a report that makes picking the best in cloud communications much easier.
The report, entitled Analysis of Cloud Communications VoIP Quality Under Normal and Adverse Network Conditions, tested and compared the voice quality of four different services from major cloud vendors (8x8 Virtual Office, Microsoft Skype for Business Online, RingCentral Office, and Google Voice/Hangouts). The services were subjected to a variety of normal and adverse conditions, including packet loss, jitter, and bufferbloat.
Among the four services, 8x8’s flagship solution, 8x8 Virtual Office has shown to consistently deliver the highest voice quality in a majority of the test cases.
“Delivering high-quality voice communications under adverse conditions, such as bufferbloat, packet loss, delay and jitter, requires proprietary technologies and a deep understanding of the quality impairments that can affect users across different connections and clients,” said Kevin Tolly, Founder of The Tolly Group. “The Tolly Group recognized these challenges through testing of the four major cloud communications systems. It’s clear 8x8 has architected its solutions to meet these challenges and better enable business communications for a distributed workforce.”