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Unified communications can weave a rich tapestry of technologies. For instance, software-defined networking helps manage needy UC apps, hardware devices bridge cloud and on-premises worlds, virtual contact centers enhance customer analytics, and mobility services adapt to enterprise needs.
These innovations were on display earlier this month at Enterprise Connect, a major UC conference, and nominated as Best of Enterprise Connect award finalists. The award, won this year by CafeX, recognizes UC vendors that advance enterprise communications. Assessing these UC vendors and their products can help users grasp the current and future state of the industry.
Cloud communications provider Vonage demonstrated its SmartWAN, a cloud-based software-defined WAN (SD-WAN) that optimizes real-time UC traffic and improves quality of service. SmartWAN, anchored by VeloCloud's SD-WAN technology, maximizes bandwidth across multiple locations and works over a private or public network.
AudioCodes, a voice over IP communications provider, displayed its CloudBond 365, a Skype for Business appliance that provides users with connectivity to the cloud and the PSTN. The device can also help users migrate from an on-premises setup to a cloud environment, or maintain a hybrid structure.
Many other UC vendors are capitalizing on cloud communications, including 8x8 Inc., which recently updated its Virtual Contact Center platform to include customer journey analytics. The cloud contact center includes agent-training features and EasyConfig, a tool that lets managers control the integration between the call center platform and customer relationship management system.
Sprint Business was nominated for its mobility as a service offering, which allows businesses to select their mobile devices, data plans and service terms. The service is different than other mobile offerings because it features comprehensive mobility at a fixed price, which starts at $20 per month, per employee.
In this video, these four UC vendors showcase their innovative products. In a related video, three other UC vendors and Best of Enterprise Connect finalists -- CafeX, Cisco and Vidyo -- demonstrate their video collaboration services.