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Conferencing (Audio/Video/Web)

Microsoft Goes After Collaboration With Teams

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Microsoft Goes After Collaboration With Teams

Microsoft announces an own take on collaboration services such as Slack-- Teams, a "chat-based workspace" integrated in the entire Office 365 productive suite, including OneDrive and Skype.

Teams allows groups within a company to divide into subgroups, before further division into individual channels. It runs on the web, Windows, Mac, iOS and Android, comes complete with file sharing, voice and video chat, and comes as something of an alternative for Microsoft's own Skype for Business.

The software shows a series of threaded conversations (as opposed to a chatroom), and allows users to organise conversations according to topic. An Activity tab gives a bird's eye view of all ongoing conversations inside a team, and all users can check shared documents or direct messages live using Office Online. Skype infrastructure takes care of voice and video calling, with group calls, screen-sharing and more.

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Google Presents Cloud-Powered Jamboard

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Google Presents Cloud-Powered Jamboard

Google is the next company to take on the interactive whiteboard with the Jamboard-- a massive touchscreen and companion cloud service designed for use in small conference rooms.

While the 55-inch 4K resolution display is perfectly usable as a typical digital whiteboard, Google insists the secret sauce comes through cloud connectivity. Anything drawn on the device (or "Jam", according to the search giant) is automatically uploaded to Google Drive, allowing remote users to check what is going on via iOS or Android devices. Such functionality works both ways, since users can also pull in content stored on Google Drive.

The Jamboard supports handwriting recognition, turning words drawn on screen into text, and can also turn drawn shapes into digital drawings. Interaction comes through either fingers or included styluses, and an eraser accessory allows users to clean the display once done. Built-in camera, speakers and microphone round up the device, providing Hangouts conferencing for up to 50 users.

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Diversified Launches Visual Huddle

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Diversified Launches Visual Huddle

The Diversified cloud-based conferencing solution, Visual Huddle, is a re-launch of the TI-VMRplus service. It comes in 3 different licensing models-- My Meeting Video, content sharing and integrated directories.

Visual Huddle provides video, voice and recording capabilities on a secure, redundant and high capcacity private global network enabling connectivity to over 12000 cities across 190 countries. It supports existing room-based endpoints (such as Polycom and Cisco) and is compatible with all major collaborative platforms, including Skype for Business, Jabber, Polycom Real Presence and WebRTC.

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Facebook Takes on the Workplace

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Facebook Takes on the Workplace

Facebook might be the bane of employers, but the company presents a more business-friendly side with Workplace-- a stripped down version of the social network designed for enterprise collaboration.

Previously known as Facebook at Work, the collaboration system is similar to the likes of HipChat at Slack. It includes all main components of the social network, including the news feed, events, groups and messages, only within an ad-free system installed on enterprise systems and accessible on either browser or mobile device app via separate account.

Interestingly, Workplace also features a collaboration with Box-- users can access files corporate Box accounts directly from the Workplace interface, with no need to switch between separate apps. The process works in reverse, meaning one can save content from Workplace to corporate Box accounts.

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Crestron and Microsoft Team Up in Skype Solution

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Crestron and Microsoft Team Up in Skype Solution

Crestron joins forces with Microsoft to create the Skype Room System-- a hardware solution built for Skype for Business providing an HD AV experience to small and midsize meeting rooms, as well as conference rooms.

The device features a touchscreen for the management of Skype Meeting, together with HDMI and Crestron DigitalMedia inputs and outputs, x6 USB ports for the connection of audio devices and camera, and a Cresnet port to add an occupancy sensor for automation and room usage reporting. The UI is identical to that found in Crestron TSW touchscreens, while the Crestron Fusion Cloud provides remote monitoring, management and control functionality.

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