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UC briefs: StrongLoop acquisition buoys IBM app development

In UC news this week, IBM acquires StrongLoop to support IBM app development in the enterprise, while NetFortris announces four new UC services.

IBM announced it acquired San Mateo, Calif.-based software provider StrongLoop Inc. to support IBM's app development portfolio. StrongLoop's application development software, enterprise Node.js, will integrate with IBM's software portfolio to enable enterprise developers to build scalable application program interfaces (APIs) and connect business processes with mobile, Internet of Things (IoT) and Web applications in the cloud.

Developers using the API will have access to IBM's Bluemix platform as a service (PaaS) operating environment and to other services, such as data analytics and Watson.

Capabilities from StrongLoop's software will be integrated with IBM's IoT platform, along with IBM's PaaS, security and analytics features. Global support for StrongLoop's software will be available next year and will offer translation support for languages including Chinese, Japanese, Spanish and French.

"Enterprises are focused on digital transformation to reach new channels, tap new business models and personalize their engagement with clients," said Marie Wieck, general manager of middleware at IBM.

NetFortris debuts UC services

Cloud-based communication provider NetFortris Inc. announced four new unified communications (UC) services. The services are designed to meet the communication needs of businesses ranging from small branch offices to large enterprises.

NetFortris Business Basic Voice is designed for small businesses and branch offices that don't require advanced features. Capabilities for this service include call waiting, call transfer, ad hoc conferencing and extension dialing for all registered users. The Business Standard service is designed for organizations that require centralized management. The service includes all the features of the Basic Voice service as well as a personal online portal, email integration and access to NetFortris's cloud service.

The Business Unified Communications service includes the features of its basic services as well as standard UC features like instant messaging, presence and video calling, and conferencing for mobile and desktop environments. The Business Collaboration service includes all voice and UC features and offers collaboration features like desktop and file sharing. The service also provides visual collaboration capabilities on mobile devices, video phones and browsers via WebRTC.

Microsoft updates CRM productivity

Microsoft unveiled new features for its customer engagement platform Microsoft Dynamics CRM. The new features are designed to increase productivity for organizations by providing users access to applications like email and Excel from the platform and improving mobile access and data analytics.

The platform is designed to deliver core capabilities and customer-facing activities from a single system, and will integrate with Microsoft's OneDrive cloud storage service. Microsoft's new machine-learning, artificial intelligence tool, Delve Office, will also be included to help users search for relevant information.

The platform will also support mobility with offline capabilities that users can access from their Android, iOS and Windows smartphones and tablets. Organizations will be able to create task-focused mobile apps to help streamline workflows and sales-related processes.

The new Dynamics CRM capabilities will be available later this year.

Next Steps

UC services must become platforms to innovate

IBM app development goes mobile

Dig Deeper on Collaborative Applications