Some not-to-miss highlights from the last week in unified communications
From revamping product names to playing games during meetings, here are extracts from popular news stories this week.
Zoom is reportedly adding new calendar and email tools that will rival Google and Microsoft Office products.
The Information, which initially reported on the story, has said Zoom could be releasing the new applications by the end of the year.
Kevin McLaughlin, Journalist at The Information, wrote: “Millions of people join online meetings using Zoom Video Communications’ app by clicking on appointment links from their digital calendars or email services run by Microsoft and Google.
“That represents a big vulnerability for Zoom as Microsoft and Google make it easier for customers to host virtual meetings through the two companies’ own competing videoconferencing apps.
“Hoping to stop its customers from jumping ship to those products, Zoom plans to debut its own email and calendar services, possibly as soon as its Zoomtopia conference for customers in November, according to a person with direct knowledge of the plans.
“The company has spent the better part of two years quietly developing the new services, which some employees refer to as “Zmail and Zcal”. Executives haven’t unveiled the products to most staff.”
Zoom is clearly feeling the pressure to expand its product offerings as although it has been hugely successful in cornering the video conferencing market, it is now sharing that corner with a lot of competitors.
Bandwidth has released its “Send-To” app to enable Direct Routing users to send SMS and multimedia messages from within Microsoft Teams.
The app is designed to enable faster and more efficient workflows due to users being able to send messages from within the Teams platform rather than having to use their mobile phones.
Send-To has expanded on Bandwidth’s Duet For Microsoft Teams beyond the voice and e911 capabilities to create a rounded UC experience.
John Bell, Bandwidth’s Chief Product Officer, said: “As messaging becomes an increasingly preferred way to communicate, employees shouldn’t have to use their personal phone numbers to conduct mission-critical communications–whether with their co-workers inside an organization or when reaching out to customers, partners, suppliers or other stakeholders.
“Our new Send-To app is the latest example of Bandwidth’s continuous innovation to expand our longtime partnerships with platform leaders like Microsoft and accelerate the enterprise communications move to the cloud.”
It is now available to Teams customers who use Bandwidth for Direct Routing in the US.
Zoom Chat is changing its name to Zoom Team Chat and getting new features as part of a campaign to highlight its wider capabilities that are often better known with competitors.
Zoom Team Chat provides users with chats and channels, which can be used to keep the team connected, stay on track with projects, and connect workstreams.
New features of Zoom Team Chat include sharing in-meeting Chat to team chat, scheduling meetings from chats and channels, Reminders, third-party integrations, and more.
Janine Pelosi, Chief Marketing Officer at Zoom: “What started as a video meeting app quickly moved into broadcast webinars, connected conference rooms, and more, and it continues to evolve and expand.
“Now you can use Zoom to connect teams on and off video, reimagine your workspaces, engage new audiences, delight your customers, and build new innovations –– all on the Zoom platform you know and love.
“This evolution is more than a decade in the making. You will see it reflected today in our new look and refreshed visual identity. You’ll also see it in the innovation in our product offerings.”
When people think of Zoom, they tend to associate it with video; a hangover from the pandemic. For a while now, Zoom has been keen to show itself as more than just a video provider.
Like Teams, it wants to be viewed and used as an entire platform, offering everything from video, chat, and collaboration tools to hosting third-party applications and integrations.
Google Meet users on Android will be able to play a variety of games with other people as the company reveals a host of new updates.
In an Android blog post, the company announced it has made tweaks to Meet, file sharing, Gboard, and more.
The new features have been designed to keep users connected with each other as well as improve workflows and user experiences.
“We recently introduced a new look and updated Google Workspace apps for bigger screens.
“We’re continuing to optimize your favourite Google apps on tablets to make multi-tasking a breeze.”
Google has made it easier to bring Google Meet users closer together as it adds new shared experiences to the platform.
An update to the Android app means that users can co-watch YouTube videos and play games such as UNO! Mobile, Kahoot! or Heads Up! with up to 100 other people at one time.
The company says the aim is to keep people connected regardless of distance with the feature set to roll out to Android phones and tablets.
Recent fines for compliance shortcomings have spurred companies into purchasing Theta Lake’s Archive Integrations solution.
The communications compliance company has seen year-over-year triple-digit percentage growth in annual recurring revenue for the first half of the fiscal year, gaining new customers in North America, Europe, and the UK.
Theta Lake has now met the objectives it set out following series B financing it received in March from UC companies, which include Cisco, Zoom, Salesforce, and RingCentral.
Devin Redmond, CEO and co-founder of Theta Lake, said:
“This growth demonstrates Theta Lake’s ability to deliver on our clear promise to the market, customers, and investors that rely on us to thoughtfully scale our resources, talent, and expertise.
“I am excited by our strategic additions to the Theta Lake team from many of the other market leaders in the enterprise information archiving, surveillance, security, and DLP spaces, as well as adding talent from the unified communications space.
“This cross-section of expertise and depth in experience across segments aligns with our vision of building a company that provides modern technology solutions for today’s communication compliance and security needs with a vision for the future.”
Archive Integrations records chat, video, audio, and more, across platforms, including Microsoft Teams, Zoom, Webex Meetings, Webex Teams, Slack, and RingCentral. These recordings can then be stored in company archives with a copy in Theta Lake for compliance purposes.