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Avaya updates contact-center platform for midsize companies

In UC news, Avaya updates its contact-center platform to support midsize companies, while join.me offers real-time collaboration integrations with apps like Slack and HipChat.

Avaya has updated its contact-center platform for midsize companies with the advanced tools of enterprise-grade contact-center software. The updates aim to lower costs and improve contact-center efficiency.

Avaya IP Office Contact Center 10 offers configuration wizards and templates to set up call and interactive voice response flows, the ability to make changes to call flows, real-time and historical reporting capabilities, and a customer callback feature that holds their place in the queue.

The contact-center platform is optimized for use with Avaya IP Office software and can be deployed on premises, in the cloud or a mix of the two. The platform also supports the Avaya Workforce Optimization Select suite to improve agent and customer interactions.

Avaya IP Office Contact Center 10 is available now in English, Spanish and French.

Join.me offers real-time collaboration integrations

LogMeIn Inc.'s join.me has announced new integrations that allow users to launch meetings through business productivity apps, such as HipChat, Slack, Trello and Office 365.

The integration lets users launch voice and video meetings, share screens and schedule meetings without leaving the app they're working in. A user working in Slack or HipChat, for example, can inject a join.me meeting URL into the chat stream. A user can also enable a Trello Power-Up to launch a join.me meeting directly from the project management app.

LogMeIn also announced new join.me APIs that allow developers to embed real-time collaboration capabilities in their business apps.

"The way people are working is clearly shifting from stand-alone, planned meetings to ad hoc collaboration that happens on the fly," said Frost & Sullivan analyst Roopam Jain. "Integration of video and web collaboration with key business applications enhances the context within which information is shared, leading to better business outcomes and workflow enablement."

ShoreTel launches cloud partner program

ShoreTel has announced a new program that allows channel partners to take ownership of the installation process for ShoreTel Connect CLOUD customers.

The program makes partners the single point of contact for customer installations, and partners remain the single point of contact after installations. The program requires certification for partners, and ShoreTel designates a project manager as the partner's single point of contact for customers.

The program gives partners the opportunity to differentiate from each other, said Heather Tenuto, vice president of global channel programs at ShoreTel, based in Sunnyvale, Calif. The program allows partners to increase revenue and provide more consistent customer service to organizations, regardless of the deployment options they choose for ShoreTel cloud services.

A look at BroadSoft's branding initiative

In a recent blog, analyst Zeus Kerravala of ZK Research in Westminster, Mass., examined BroadSoft's new branding initiative to increase awareness of its reach in the unified communications as a service (UCaaS) market. Most businesses that have deployed a UCaaS platform are using BroadSoft services, but many do not realize it, according to Kerravala.

BroadSoft intends to change that with the introduction of a "Powered by BroadSoft" branding for its service provider customers, which include Verizon, Vonage and Orange. However, the branding will require education for businesses, since they don't always care about the underlying technology of their services, Kerravala wrote in his blog.

To address this, BroadSoft announced a new UCaaS business suite that offers three core apps: UC-One, Team-One and CC-One. Kerravala said there is opportunity for success with the initiative, as service providers need to move fast to keep up with the competition, and BroadSoft's suite gives providers competitive services.

But there will be issues BroadSoft must be prepared to address. If a service provider uses the "Powered by BroadSoft" branding, but has a poor network that degrades performance, it could create the impression that BroadSoft's services are poor, Kerravala wrote. BroadSoft should look to set technical requirements for the branding to ensure a minimum level of quality.

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