While web giants seek to boost email security, Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise enters the UCaaS race
If engineers at Microsoft, Comcast and Google have their way, email encryption standards could be improved in the near future. Such an update could help prevent email attackers from intercepting messages in transit. Read on to learn more about this and other top UC stories for the week of March 20 – 26.
1. New email encryption protocol developed for email communications
As email continues to be a major communication tool in our lives, the technology used to send it grows older. Unfortunately, engineers who build email protocols say that this is a problem. That’s why developers at Google, Yahoo, Comcast, Microsoft, LinkedIn and 1&1 Mail & Media Development & Technology have united to create SMTP Strict Transport Security, a new standard for establishing encrypted e-mail communications. SMTP STS was recently submitted to the Internet Engineering Task Force, an international community of network specialists with the goal of enhancing Internet architecture. As reported by Dan Heilman on March 22 for CIO Today, the proposed protocol would enhance protection against email interceptors.
2. Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise to offer managed UCaaS in 2016
Communications provider Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise is the latest company to enter the market for Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS). The French business said that it will roll out its managed UC service, Rainbow, later in 2016. As reported by Tracee Herbaugh for TechTarget on March 25, the service will compete with similar collaboration platforms like Cisco Spark and Unify Circuit. By offering Rainbow, which will feature document collaboration, team chat and file sharing, Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise hopes to tap into the increasing number of organizations that are using cloud-based UC services. This will be the first time that Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise will employ its own cloud to provide UCaaS.
3. Solving common barriers when introducing Unified Communications
UC systems allow businesses to enjoy an array of communication tools within one suite of products. In addition to simplifying applications, a single suite lets businesses pay only one supplier. Unfortunately, many organizations interested in introducing UC solutions are already locked into subscriptions that they can’t immediately break. One way to get around double-paying for similar services is to install a UC system with core capabilities. This will allow businesses to easily add products when contracts end. Monica Visconti-Patel discusses this and other common barriers to implementing UC systems in an article for ITProPortal published on March 24.
4. Cisco to drive innovation through $150 million Spark investment fund
Sometimes, even the largest networking giant needs a little help pushing innovation. Hence the recent creation of Cisco’s Spark Innovation Fund, which will put up $150 million for partners involved with the development of the Spark collaboration platform. The fund aims to drive its application community to build integration tools and custom apps for Spark, a UC collaboration solution. Kent MacDonald, vice president of a partner involved in the fund, said the investment “is very complementary to the acquisitions of technology.” In a March 25 article for CRN, Mark Haranas explained that partners with app development ability can now apply for funding to execute their ideas.
5. Understanding the infrastructure implications of a virtual network
While various incarnations of “virtual networks” have been around for decades, new options have redefined what one can expect from this technology. Tom Nolle, president of CIMI Corporation, discussed what a virtual network looks like in a March 24 article for No Jitter. He claims that the current generation of virtual networking comes in three “flavors.” The first, software-hosted networking, utilizes servers to “host instances of switch and router software”. The second option is software-defined networking, which combines “white box” forwarding devices with hosted route control software. The third variation, network functions virtualization, deploys hosted forms of network services that have been decomposed into virtual functions.
Still looking for UC news? Check out last week’s roundup of Unified Communications news.