Microsoft and Cisco further develop their collaboration strategies while Sennheiser unleashes a new line of headsets
When it comes making acquisitions in the world of Unified Communications, Cisco Collaboration always seems to be ahead of the curve. Of course, Microsoft is just as willing to make a deal — just look at its work with Event Zero and Skype for Business. Read on to learn more about these developments and other Unified Communication news for the week of Jan. 24 – 30, 2016.
1. Cisco officially acquires online collaboration platform provider Acano
Cisco Collaboration chief Rowan Trollope revealed in a blog post on Jan. 29 that his company finalized its purchase of online collaboration platform provider Acano. The deal marks the official completion of an acquisition that was first announced in November of 2015. To highlight the deal, Trollope and Acano CEO OJ Winge released a video of themselves discussing improved collaboration possibilities for the future. As Michelle Burbick wrote in her article for No Jitter, the two said they want to create more choices for users, increased simplicity for work collaboration and scalability for callers. Additionally, Rowan wrote in his post that Cisco and Acano are “laser-focused” on improving interoperability within workplace collaboration.
2. Microsoft’s integration of Slack all part of its UCC strategy
It’s no secret that Microsoft is looking to increase its presence in the market of cloud-based enterprise communication and collaboration. As Rob Marvin noted in PCMag, the company’s message is that businesses should run on Microsoft services that are accessible from one place. Microsoft improved this message in the eyes of many by announcing its acquisition of Event Zero’s UC Commander suite last week. However, this is only one aspect of its focus on unified communications and collaboration. A day after the Event Zero announcement, Microsoft released a preview of its upcoming Skype integration of the collaboration tool Slack. This is all part of Microsoft’s strategy to keep connected with Slack’s growing user base.
3. Sennheiser shows off new line of wireless and DECT headsets at ITEXPO
Headphone and speakerphone developer Sennheiser used its booth at the ITEXPO in Fort Lauderdale, FL, Jan. 26 – 28 to demonstrate a new UC product line. The newly launched devices included the Culture Plus headset, a wired model built to help companies transition into a UC environment. The Skype for Business-certified headset features what Sennheiser calls “superior voice quality.” On the wireless end of the spectrum, the company exhibited its OfficeRunner DECT (Digital Enhanced Cordless Telecommunications) headset. As noted in Benzinga, this product allows users to communicate up to 400 feet away from workstations.
4. The possibilities of next-generation SIP and a hyperconnected world
In a truly hyperconnected world where geographical divisions are less important, all competitors can have an equal opportunity. This is how author Thomas Friedman analyzes globalization in his book, “The World Is Flat.” According to Evan Kirstel, however, the global telecommunications community has been highly divided by regional rules, cost structures, legacy standards and more. In his article for Unified Communications Strategies published Jan. 27, Kirstel says that Session Initiation Protocol (SIP), the current standard for communication and collaboration, has emerged with different implementations across geographic boundaries. A next-generation SIP trunking solution could significantly open the market.
5. Leading Cisco tech visionary to undertake a new role
Pankaj Patel, among the top technologists for Cisco, will be stepping down from his current role in the second half of 2016. He will be joining Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins’s next-generation leadership team to help push forward the networking company’s innovation strategy. Patel had previously led innovation in Cisco’s networking and data center architectures. During his tenure, he was hailed as the visionary of the company’s technology road map. As reported in Mark Haranas’ article for CRN, some partners are unhappy to see the tech superstar’s departure. No replacements have been named, but Cisco said Patel will work with Robbins to ensure a smooth transition.