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Slack Rolls Out New Calling Feature
And More UC News

As Slack expands into real-time calling, Cisco makes a pair of multimillion-dollar acquisitions

Ever since Slack finalized its purchase of Screenhero in 2015, the company has been taking steps into creating its own calling feature. Now users can finally get an idea of how that feature will work. Read on to learn more about this and other Unified Communications news for the week of Feb. 28 – March 5.

1. Slack releases its own real-time calling feature in beta

Team collaboration platform Slack announced through a company tweet on March 2 the launch of a new real-time voice calling feature. While the company already supports voice calls integrated through other services such as Skype, the new Calls addition will be unique to Slack. The feature, which is currently in beta form, supports only audio and is just on desktop for now. However, Slack said that users can expect the feature to eventually offer video, screen sharing and mobile support. As Shirley Siluk wrote in a piece for CIO Today, the Calls roll-out has been expected ever since Slack acquired Screenhero, a screen sharing service, in 2015. Slack, which has generated an active user base of 2.3 million within two years, has been touted as one of the fastest-growing tech apps in the industry.

2. Cisco acquires a pair of mid-sized startups

Cisco Systems continued its recent succession of acquisitions by announcing deals with two companies this week. On March 1, the networking giant revealed a $260 million purchase of CliQr Technologies, a startup that focuses on cloud computing. The following day, a deal was announced to acquire Leaba Semiconductor, a company that creates networking chips, for $320 million. In a story for the Wall Street Journal, Don Clark and Orr Hirschauge reported that the networking giant uses a combination of chips that are developed internally and purchased from external vendors. While details of the deal were not released, Leaba is expected to help advance the networking giant’s chip technology.

3. Taming the dualities of Unified Communications

Unified Communications offers an array of versatile advantages to business collaboration. For some organizations, however, those flexible solutions can also be very complex and difficult to manage. In an article for No Jitter published on March 3, UC consultant Alan Shen compared these dualities to the Chinese yin and yang. Based on this philosophy, opposing forces can actually be complementary. To get a better handle on their UC environments, companies must start by using the right level of instrumentation and leveraging the proper expertise. From there, bridging the gap between the yin and yang of UC can be possible.

4. TekVizion launches interoperability verification guarantee

By offering the industry’s first interoperability testing verification guarantee, business communications service tekVizion is looking to help end-user clients make improved tech decisions. The guarantee will essentially verify that technologies tested by tekVizion will operate properly in the end-customer’s environment. According to tekVizion CEO Chakra Devalla, the verification pledge comes as a response to customers who want extra assurance that a new technology will work. The terms of the guarantee only cover specific solutions evaluated by tekVizion. As reported in UCStrategies, tekVizion began the offer on March 2.

5. How tax preparers can get help from UC cloud solutions

Tax season it just getting underway, which means that preparers and accountants will have their hands full up until the filing deadline of April 15. As these professionals see a major increase of work, UC cloud solutions offer exciting ways to improve efficiency. In an article for CPA Practice Advisor published on March 3, Brian Ferguson discussed how specific cloud services can help tax professionals conquer organizational challenges and save money. For example, metered services for cloud-based phone systems allow companies to pay only for the minutes they use. This is a cost-saving advantage over year-round subscriptions, which will require fees even after tax season dies down.

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.