This Week in Telecom is a bi-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:
Microsoft Kills off Skype for Business, Replaces it with Teams
In its latest effort to fend off Slack in the team collaboration software market, Microsoft has announced its plans to shelve Skype for Business in favor of Microsoft Teams. During its Ignite conference in Orlando, Florida on Monday, the software giant revealed that its Teams application, which was released in March, will soon be replacing Skype for Business as the company’s primary teamwork software.
“Microsoft Teams will evolve as the core communications client,” said Ron Markezich, Microsoft’s Corporate Vice President of Office 365, in a press briefing. “We will make Microsoft Teams the hero and primary experience for all voice, video and meetings.”
Teams is a chat-based group collaboration app bundled in Microsoft Office 365. It will inherit some of Skype’s advanced voice and video calling technology. Despite this recent development, Microsoft assured customers that it will continue supporting Skype for Business on both cloud-based and on-premise deployments of Office 365. In fact, the company will be releasing a new Skype for Business server in the second half of 2018 for customers not ready to migrate to Teams. Nevertheless, the company expects its subscription-based Office 365 users to move over to Teams as more communication features are added over time.
Learn more about Teams by visiting Microsoft’s website.
Polycom Solutions to Integrate with Microsoft Teams Platform
Polycom, a global leader in voice and video collaboration solutions, has a long and rich history of partnership with Microsoft, which spans nearly 15 years. From Office Communicator and Lync to Skype for Business and Office 365, Polycom has offered seamless integration and enterprise quality voice, video and interoperability solutions to businesses that relied on Microsoft collaboration platforms. Following Microsoft’s latest decision to replace Skype for Business with Teams as their primary Unified Communications platform, Polycom remains continuously focused on providing customers with a rich communications experience.
The provider announced on Tuesday that it will offer its portfolio of high-definition voice and video technology that integrate directly into Microsoft Teams. These solutions include RealPresence Group Series (the only standards-based video device certified for Microsoft), RealConnect Interoperability (industry-first video interoperability for Skype for Business, Office 365 and hybrid environments), and Polycom Trio (modern conferencing phones with the most advanced HD voice performance). Polycom MSR Series, the next-generation Skype Room System, is also now available for pre-order.
Speaking on the latest partnership, Mary McDowell, Chief Executive Officer of Polycom, said, “As we have done for nearly 15 years, Polycom will support Microsoft customers in all stages of their collaboration journey, whether it’s Skype for Business, Office 365, or now Microsoft Teams. Polycom solutions will continue to work as they have, delivering the highest quality voice and video solutions to complete the Microsoft collaboration experience.”
To learn more about how Polycom supports Skype for Business, Office 365 and Teams, please visit Polycom’s website.
Mitel Seals $530 Million Deal for ShoreTel Acquisition
Global leader in business communications Mitel (Nasdaq:MITL) (TSX:MNW) has finally sealed the deal to acquire fellow UC vendor Shoretel for $530 million. The acquisition, which was first announced in late July, strengthens Mitel’s position in the UCaaS space, making it the #2 market share player for UCaaS globally.
"Mitel and ShoreTel are now stronger together and even better equipped to help take our customers to the cloud, seamlessly and simply,” said Rich McBee, President and Chief Executive Officer of Mitel, in a release.
McBee also expressed his excitement about working with the ShoreTel team, saying, "In an apps economy and IoT world that depends on real-time communications, providing an agile, responsive and brilliantly simple customer experience becomes wildly important.” "Don Joos and the entire ShoreTel team have institutionalized and mobilized that mantra, and put in place a cloud-first portfolio we are excited to take to customers globally, and a cloud-culture and organization we are thrilled to embrace and expand in Mitel."
Mitel will continue to provide service and support for all Mitel and ShoreTel products throughout their lifecycles. The company also assured that customers and partners will be notified and updated in advance of all product announcements. Stronger together, the combined company looks forward to sharing its vision for its integrated cloud and applications technologies in early 2018. Visit Mitel to learn more.
Avaya IP Office Platform Reaches New Milestone
Avaya IP Office Platform, one of the most widely deployed midmarket business communications solutions in the world, has just reached a new milestone. Avaya announced on Wednesday that 600,000 systems have been issued to organizations globally since its original launch.
Available globally through hundreds of Avaya channel partners in over 164 countries, Avaya IP Office has garnered praise for the various advantages it brings to businesses. Avaya IP Office Cloud, in particular, has enjoyed a double-digit growth in licenses quarter after quarter.
Mark Monday, Vice President and GM of Engagement Platforms at Avaya, has this to say about the platform’s impressive milestone:
“The track record of Avaya IP Office speaks for itself as we reach this historic milestone. Midmarket businesses can rely on this highly flexible communications platform, secure in the knowledge that it will continue to evolve in lock step with the needs of their business. For midsize businesses where resources and budget expenditures need to be closely managed, Avaya IP Office is a sound decision that can help owners, executives and managers sleep at night.”
For more information on the Avaya IP Office Platform, visit Avaya’s website.