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Unify launches UC phones that integrate with Circuit

This week in UC news, Unify unveils UC phones that integrate with its main collaboration platform, while BroadSoft acquires Intellinote to bring enterprise messaging to its UC services.

Unify Inc. has launched a line of UC phones that integrate with its team collaboration platform, Circuit.

The unified communications (UC) phones, called the OpenScape Desk Phone CP series, integrate with Circuit through a built-in connector to synchronize individual and group conversations. Other features include Bluetooth connectivity for wireless headsets and speakers, near field communication to allow users to pair their smartphones with the UC phones, and information push and sharing between desk phones and mobile devices.

A Unify survey of 9,000 knowledge workers found that 93% of workers want the option to work in the office at least part of the time, which means desk phones should still be a priority for organizations.

"When used with Circuit, the phones provide enhanced collaborative functionality, enabling an immersive, consistent and continuous user experience," said Rob Arnold, an analyst at Frost & Sullivan.

The UC phones will be available this month through Unify and its channel partners.

BroadSoft adds enterprise messaging with Intellinote

Unified communications as a service provider BroadSoft has acquired enterprise messaging provider Intellinote to advance its support for mobile workforces.

The acquisition brings enterprise messaging to BroadSoft's Project Tempo, a team collaboration initiative that integrates messaging, cloud apps, contextual intelligence and other capabilities with real-time communication from BroadSoft's UC-One services. Intellinote allows BroadSoft to integrate other capabilities, such as project, task and content management.

Taher Behbehani, CMO at BroadSoft, based in Gaithersburg, Md., said the consumerization of IT, shadow IT and a growing Millennial workforce have changed traditional business communication models, and many of today's services don't meet employees' collaborative and productivity needs.

Gap between leaders and workers in IT priorities

IT leaders and workers disagree on employee productivity and collaboration priorities, according to a study conducted by Forrester Consulting.

The study, commissioned by visual collaboration provider Prysm Inc., surveyed 800 information workers and 200 IT and facilities leaders at enterprises with greater than 1,000 employees. The study found that 88% of IT leaders said improving employee productivity is a high priority, but only 47% of employees agreed. Similarly, the report found that 74% of IT leaders identify employee collaboration as a priority in their organization, while 31% of employees agreed.

Nearly all workers surveyed reported challenges with their organizations' collaboration apps and tools. Their IT and facilities managers consistently underestimate the challenges and overestimate the effectiveness of technology-enabled meetings.

Despite the disconnect between IT leaders and employees, the report found that next-generation collaboration technology appeals to both groups. Next-generation tools could boost employee engagement and productivity to help close this gap, the report found.

Next Steps

Panasonic releases UC phone system

Enterprise messaging challenges UC

Consult employees on UC tool rollouts

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