Big UC News from X, Zoom, Microsoft and 8×8

The biggest news stories from the week you might have missed

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Published: November 3, 2023

Kieran Devlin

X Introduces Video and Audio Conferencing Capabilities

X has introduced video and audio conferencing features as part of CEO Elon Musk’s plans to transform the platform into an “everything” app.

Video and audio calling, initially announced in August, is now available for iOS X users and will be available for Android users soon. Only “Premium” X subscribers can make calls (at least for now), with subscriptions costing $8 a month or $84 a year. However, all accounts can receive calls.

Users can control who calls them through Direct Messages Settings. By default, users can receive calls from accounts they follow or have in their address book, assuming they have previously given X access to their address book. To be able to call another user, they must have sent that user a Direct Message at least once prior to the call. Users can choose to disable calls as a way to protect themselves from spam or abuse.

Zoom AI Companion Reaches One Million Meeting Summaries

Zoom AI Companion reached the one million meeting summary milestone this week.

Zoom’s generative AI assistant has hit the figure less than two months since the solution’s launch, with over 125,000 accounts utilising the product. To commemorate the achievement, Zoom has revealed new capabilities, additional language support, and improvements to existing capabilities for AI Companion, including meeting coaching and in-meeting questions.

Smita Hashim, Chief Product Officer at Zoom, commented:

Providing the best value to our customers across our platform is core to our mission, which is why we made AI Companion available at no additional cost, and we continue to introduce new AI capabilities at Zoom speed so more of our customers can get the most out of Zoom’s AI innovations. Our unique federated approach allows us to dynamically utilize different models, helping to reduce AI overhead costs and provide broad access to generative AI.”

Zoom AI Companion will also be updated with several new capabilities in November, including meeting summary overviews becoming available in summaries delivered through continuous meeting chat.

Microsoft Teams Enhances Collaboration With New Channel Experience

Microsoft Teams has established a new channel experience to improve worker productivity and collaboration.

Now generally available for both the classic and new Teams client, the revamp was motivated by Microsoft observing that many customers were not using channels to their full capacity, so leveraged user research, customer feedback and communication platform trends to enhance the collaborative channels experience.

“Getting things done successfully in a fast-moving workplace requires teams to work closely together and operate off the same information,” said Noga Ronen, Senior Product Marketing Manager at Microsoft. “The new channels experience, now generally available in classic and new Teams, makes it easier to focus on key topics, engage with the right stakeholders, and find specific information so your team can accomplish more together.”

The new channel experience is enabled in all channel variations, such as standard, private, and shared channels.

CCaaS and CPaaS Take Centre Stage for 8×8

CCaaS and CPaaS took centre stage for 8×8 in its latest earnings call this week, as it suggests it is “migrating” away from being “UC-led”.

8×8 met or exceeded estimates for total revenue for FY24 Q2 ($185 million), with Samuel Wilson, CEO at 8×8, saying that 8×8’s CPaaS business was “a significant driver of the quarter-on-quarter growth” for the company, while the adoption of 8×8’s recently launched CCaaS product portfolio continues to accelerate. However, the impact of its CCaaS and CPaaS arms towards 8×8’s Q2 results also reflects the evolving influence of its UCaaS services as the company looks to move away from UC as its business nucleus.

Lisa Martin, Chief Revenue Officer at 8×8, expressed this point during the call:

We are transforming our organization as our go-to-market motions, migrating from UC-led to contact center-led, and from a single product focus to a portfolio of products.”

The plan to tweak 8×8’s core focus from UC to being a contact centre-led organisation and to expand beyond 8×8’s XCaaS solution to a more holistic ecosystem of products was echoed in the call by Wilson: “8×8 is in the early stages of transforming our XCaaS communications and contact centre platform into a complete AI-powered customer engagement platform and ecosystem.”

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