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UC briefs: Video conferencing services grow worldwide

In UC news, a Technavio report shows the trends in the global video conferencing services market, while Office 365 previews Skype for Business updates.

The global video conferencing services market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9.5% through 2019, according to a report from Technavio.

The report found a majority of organizations focus on using video conferencing services to keep employees connected at all times and offer guest access for customers and partners to enhance collaboration and business outcomes.

The report categorized the global video conferencing services market into three segments: on-premise, managed and hosted. The on-premise video conferencing segment saw concerns over reduced spending on video conferencing systems, like telepresence and multi-point control units. The hosted video conferencing segment saw WebRTC gaining rapid adoption, as developers use the technology to develop real-time multimedia applications for the Web. The managed video conferencing segment saw growing prevalence in industries such as finance, healthcare and higher education.

The report named Avaya, Cisco, Microsoft, ZTE and Polycom as key industry players.

Office 365 previews Skype for Business updates

Office 365 users can register to preview new Skype for Business capabilities coming later this year, according to an announcement from Zig Serafin, Microsoft's Skype for Business corporate vice president.

Serafin said users can register for previews of Skype Meeting Broadcast, PSTN conferencing and cloud PBX with PSTN calling. Available to all Office 365 users, Skype Meeting Broadcast offers the ability to broadcast large virtual meetings, such as town hall meetings and webinars, on the Internet of up to 10,000 people. PSTN conferencing is currently available only to U.S.-based Office 365 users and allows people invited to a Skype for Business meeting in Office 365 to dial in on a landline or mobile phone. Cloud PBX with PSTN calling is also available only to U.S.-based customers and gives users the ability to make and receive traditional calls through the Skype for Business client.

These Skype for Business updates will be generally available worldwide by the end of the year through Azure ExpressRoute for Office 365, which enables customers to create private connections between their organization and Microsoft data centers.

Level 3 acquires Black Lotus to enhance DDoS service

Level 3 Communications, Inc., a global telecommunications provider, has acquired Black Lotus, a distributed denial of service (DDoS) mitigation provider, to strengthen its own DDoS mitigation offering, which launched earlier this year.

Level 3's current DDoS mitigation service offers capabilities including network-based detection and mitigation scrubbing, network routing and rate limiting. The acquisition of Black Lotus will give Level 3 extra scrubbing centers; proxy-based mitigation services that provide additional capabilities for application layer attacks, which impact Web servers and Web hosting providers; and behavior analytics technology.

"Black Lotus' proxy and behavioral technologies, combined with their experienced team of DDoS experts, complements Level 3's DDoS mitigation and threat intelligence capabilities," said Chris Richter, senior vice president of managed security services at Level 3.

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