Big UC News from Gartner, Google, Zoom and Apple

The biggest news stories from the week you might have missed

CollaborationUnified CommunicationsLatest News

Published: December 8, 2023

Kieran Devlin

Gartner UCaaS Magic Quadrant 2023: Teams Keeps Its Crown

Gartner has released its UCaaS Magic Quadrant 2023, which illustrates the UCaaS market leaders. 

As with last year’s Gartner report, most of the UCaaS providers and their positions are generally unchanged. Once more, Microsoft leads the way with its prominent Teams offering, followed by RingCentralZoom and Cisco respectively — identical to their positions for 2022. As with last year, too, 8×8 takes fifth place.

One of the two most notable changes from last year has been GoTo falling out of the “Challengers” quadrant and dropping into the “Niche players” quadrant. The other is that Windstream no longer features at all on the Gartner quadrant, having been removed entirely from the niche players section.

Elsewhere on the quadrant, Google is considered by Gartner to be the only challenger now GoTo has dropped down, while Dialpad, who entered into the quadrant’s consideration last year, also preserves its place as the only “Visionary”. SangomaVonage and Wildix all keep their places as niche players.

Google Launches GPT-4 Competitor Gemini

Google has launched its flagship large language model (LLM) and GPT-4 competitor, Gemini.

Gemini, which was first unveiled at Google I/O in June, is now generally available to the public and is planned long-term to be integrated across virtually every Google product. Google is emphasising Gemini’s “multimodal” qualities, which means it can process and leverage different versions of data — not just text, which the average generative AI user will be most familiar with, but also images, code, audio and video.

Demis Hassabis, CEO and Co-Founder of Google DeepMind, said in a blog post celebrating the launch:

Gemini is the result of large-scale collaborative efforts by teams across Google, including our colleagues at Google Research. It was built from the ground up to be multimodal, which means it can generalize and seamlessly understand, operate across and combine different types of information including text, code, audio, image and video.”

Reports last month suggested that Gemini had been delayed until Q1 2024, so Gemini’s launch during its initially planned December date is something of a surprise.

Google has also optimized Gemini in three sizes — Ultra, Pro and Nano, which the tech giant says enables flexibility across use cases, meaning it is “able to efficiently run on everything from data centers to mobile devices”.

Zoom Meetings Now Available on Apple TV

Zoom has added support for Apple TV to its ‘Zoom – for Home TV’ application.

The app was released without any fanfare, appearing this week on the tvOS App Store. Zoom for Home TV is listed separately on the Apple App Store to the iOS and iPadOS apps and works with second-generation Apple TV 4K models or newer.

Zoom offers a description of its Zoom – for Home TV app on the Apple app store: “With Zoom, you are one click away from video meetings with gallery views and screen sharing. Connect with anyone on other devices, Windows or Mac computers, mobile phones and tablets, Zoom Rooms, traditional conference room systems, and telephones.”

By enabling its meeting app for use on Apple TV, Zoom will increase the exposure and accessibility of its video conferencing platform. Customers have access to a simpler way to use Zoom, whether in the office or at home, for work, or catching up with friends and family.

Zoom Surveys Launches to Maximise Employee Engagement

Zoom has launched Zoom Surveys, an engagement tool intending to maximise employee productivity.

Zoom Surveys offers users the ability to create and edit surveys and polls and share them with employees and customers. Surveys improves Zoom’s in-meeting and webinar features with a standalone solution, creating more approaches for managers and users to engage with employees and customers outside of meetings.

Users can engage with audiences audience through a link and compile aggregated results. This comes at no extra cost for Zoom One and Zoom Contact Center customers.

Darin Brown, Head of Product, Productivity Applications at Zoom, commented:

People have different workstyles and meeting styles, and we wanted to make it easier for our customers to interact with their entire audience, not just those who attend meetings. With Surveys, users can easily get a quick pulse on whatever issue they need from those who matter most, without having to call an unnecessary meeting to discuss.”

Zoom Surveys is available now and is an expansion of Zoom’s collaboration and productivity platform, encompassing Team Chat, Whiteboard, Phone, Scheduler, Clips, and Workvivo.

Artificial IntelligenceBig UC NewsGenerative AIProductivityUCaaSUser ExperienceVideo Conferencing

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