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West UC, Dolby partner to improve voice call quality

In UC news, West UC and Dolby partner to bring improved voice call quality to audio conferences, while a vendor survey reveals SMB cloud services buying habits.

West Unified Communications Services and Dolby Laboratories Inc. have partnered to bring Dolby Voice technology to West's InterCall conferencing services. The partnership looks to improve voice call quality over voice over IP networks.

The service is available to users on desktop and mobile devices, and it can be extended to meeting rooms with the Dolby Conference Phone.

InterCall Reservationless-Plus with Dolby Voice integrates with a full range of West's unified communications services, including InterCall Unified Meeting and InterCall MobileMeet. The service also integrates with partner services, such as Cisco WebEx.

"After years of compromised quality from mobile phones and questionable fixed-circuit connections, users are demanding a better service," said Marc Beattie, analyst at Wainhouse Research LLC in Duxbury, Mass.

According to Wainhouse, organizations face three voice-call-quality pain points: background noise, audio clarity and the inability to understand the conversation when more than one person is speaking.

The Dolby-West partnership looks to addresses these voice-call-quality problems with noise-suppression technology that reduces background noise and a microphone on the conference phone that can pick up voices anywhere in the room, according to Andrew Border, vice president of Dolby Communications Group.

SMBs increasing cloud service spending

More small and midsize businesses are looking to deploy more cloud services, as spending on the public cloud increases. Nearly two-thirds of SMBs are expecting their spending on cloud services to increase over the next year, according to a survey of 500 SMB IT decision-makers.

SMBs use an average of 6.48 cloud services, and 69% of small businesses want to deploy a variety of cloud services that include industry-specific applications, according to the survey from cloud service commerce platform AppDirect.

SMBs are evenly split on how they buy their cloud services. Nearly half purchase services from individual software vendors, while the other half buy from their internet or telecom service provider. When evaluating potential services, 50% of IT decision-makers value simple management, while 25% value low price, according to the survey.

When I Work launches team messaging app

Scheduling and communication software provider When I Work Inc. has unveiled its WorkChat team messaging service, which targets SMBs with full-time and part-time hourly employees.

Managers in retail, hospitality, food services and other industries find private group messages are the most effective way of reaching teams, small groups and employees in multiple locations, according to When I Work.

WorkChat includes features such as group and one-on-one chat streams, content sharing, and web and mobile access.

James Westbrook, PSA manager at Hawaiian condominium tower Pacifica Honolulu, said trying to contact his employees all at once was a challenge. Deploying a team messaging app like WorkChat has simplified and streamlined communication for his team.

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