A new era for collaborating

Posted on Monday, December 14, 2020
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By Michaela Nankin
Collaboration Team Lead

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The great battle of Collaboration vendors in 2020 is similar to The Space Race of 70’s … Who can do it first, who has the most features without losing the usability of their product. Which platform is the most stable? Who dominated the most quizzes during lockdown?

Keeping up to date with all the developments is near enough a full time job, I have newsletters, alerts, I sit on webinars and yet still – features get released and get eclipsed within a week with something newer, shinier.

This past week was no different. We have not one but two of Softcat’s strategic UC vendors delivering their key partner conferences this week, and with this we wait eagerly for the trickle of announcements and work out what this means for our customers.

Cisco – domination by acquisition. Cisco continue to invest heavily in their collaboration business and bleed new technology into their existing Webex stack meaning their loyal customer base are consuming some of the best technology available. Employee engagement has never been more pertinent, it isn’t just about communicating so much as enhancing a user’s experience collaborating. Cisco have announced their acquisition of Slido, the Slovakian company that provides polls, Q&A in an interactive way bringing content and speakers to life Cisco said on the acquisition “The richness of this audience interaction technology will empower everyone to engage in new ways,”

At the same time they also announced their acquisition of IMImobile, meaning Cisco will roll into their contact centre business an end-to-end customer interaction management solution and rich customer experiences, yet another testament of their consistent dedication of continual improvements.

Zoom – Zoom is now to video conferencing, what Hoover is to vacuum cleaners and we congratulate them for their first year in the Gartner quadrant for UCaaS as a leader. This has been due to their launch of Zoom Phone, they have an aggressive road map of enhancement and changes to really create themselves a name in the UCaaS world. We’re pleased to say they aren’t the only ones receiving the awards – We’re proud to announce that Softcat have been awarded ‘UK partner of the Year’ by Zoom at their Partner Connect Conference this week. This shows the hard work and dedication from our collaboration team to ensure businesses kept running during a difficult time for all.

Microsoft Teams – It would be obtuse of us to not discuss Microsoft in this, they recently announced an astonishing 115 million DAU, and continue to develop to maintain relevance and popularity in such a fast changing landscape. Breakout rooms and AI noise suppression are all being rolled out as we speak and the addition of Guest Access being turned on by default means it will be even easier of users to engage in different meaningful ways, inside or outside their organisation.

We understand as a business its difficult to navigate your way through the video and voice landscape. Our Collaboration team are on hand to support and build these solutions for you, so if you have any further questions please speak with [email protected]

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