Cisco acquisition paves way for an enhanced Spark platform and other top UC stories of the week

As Spark stands to benefit from, Logitech and Intel partner to create video conferencing kit

While Cisco made moves to improve its Spark video conferencing service, a partnership between Logitech and Intel could spell good news for those interested in flexible video conferencing hardware. Read more about these and other UC news stories for the week of March 6 – 12.

1. Cisco buys Synata; plans to use acquisition to improve Spark platform

Cisco Systems announced on March 9 that it acquired Synata, a startup that allows users to simultaneously search on-premise or cloud repositories. Synata’s technology will be integrated into Cisco Spark, a virtual conference room platform. The communications giant had been looking for an enhanced search experience that it was not able to create on its own. As noted in a Techcrunch article by Ron Miller, the Synata acquisition solves this problem and provides the ability to search indexed third-party content sources. Since the deal was made for less than $100 million, the final purchase price was not released to the public.

2. Logitech and Intel collaborate to release video conferencing kit

In what could be a match made in video conferencing heaven, Logitech and Intel have teamed up to create the new ConferenceCam kit. This product combines Logitech’s ConferenceCam camera and speaker with Intel’s NUC mini computer. The result is an affordable, vendor-agnostic video conferencing system that doesn’t need multiple hardware components or devices. In addition to being compatible with nearly all PC-based cloud services, the ConferenceCam doesn’t require users to have their own computer to start a call. In a March 8 article for Unified Communications Insight, Gary Eastwood wrote that the ConferenceCam kit strives to provide a high-quality proprietary system for a price aimed at small- and medium-sized businesses.

3. Bosch launches a suite of IoT cloud services

Bosch, an engineering and electronics firm based in Germany, launched a series of cloud-based services for the Internet of Things at its ConnectedWorld 2016 event on March 10. The suite will expand on Bosch’s current connectivity, sensor and software services. Bosch CEO Volkmar Denner said the IoT cloud will be used in-house throughout 2016 before it is offered to other clients next year. The company also introduced a new project that will help facilitate an easier exchange of data by merging international industrial standards with the German “Industrie 4.0” platform. As Shirley Siluk reported in an article for CIO Today, Bosch’s German-based cloud infrastructure may be seen as an advantage for those concerned about security issues with U.S.-based cloud systems.

4. Study highlights the struggle to deliver quality UC services to remote workers

As more businesses increase their reliance on remote workers, access to reliable unified communications solutions is becoming more important. Unfortunately, a new study by Dell indicates that many organizations are facing challenges in this regard. More than 90 percent respondents to the Dell survey, which sampled UC management professionals, said they experienced difficulties in delivering a quality UC service to their remote workers. Additionally, 75 percent claimed that current UC technology is weak in terms of diagnostic capabilities that could improve the service. In a March 11 story for ITProPortal, Ian Barker quoted Dell Systems’ Curtis Johnstone as saying that organizations “need better visibility into their UC platforms, both to provide a quality experience that encourages adoption, and better manage costs and determine ROI.”

5. Telstra’s head of marketing talks UC strategies and more

In the old days, unified communications simply meant voicemail, fax and paging. The UC solutions of today, however, are free of the traditional telephone circuits and wires. Telstra head of marketing Jim Clarke discussed UC’s coming of age and how it relates to business success in a March 10 article for Enterprise Innovation. Clarke said that access to free and low-cost calls over the Internet has leveraged important benefits to businesses. He advised that organizations looking to dip their toes in UC should choose a provider that uses proven cloud and UC technologies. It’s also important to train and support employees as they use UC solutions.

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About the Author

Amy Thacker

Amy Thacker is the Marketing Manager at Akkadian Labs. Amy's favorite way to use Collaboration technology is to make video calls to offsite co-workers.