Market Update: Industry Heavyweights Form Unified Communications Interoperability Forum

Global Communications Leaders Form Industry UC Interoperability Alliance: Citing the need to fully leverage customers’ investments in communications systems and unite their global organizations, five global technology companies today joined to form the Unified Communications Interoperability Forum (UCIF), an alliance dedicated to enabling standards-based, inter-vendor unified communications (UC) interoperability. HP, Juniper Networks, Microsoft, Logitech/LifeSize, and Polycom, seek to unify the vibrant but fragmented UC ecosystem through this shared mission. The founding members are joined by a growing roster of member companies including Acme Packet, Aspect, AudioCodes, Broadcom, BroadSoft, Brocade, ClearOne, Jabra, Plantronics, RADVISION, Siemens Enterprise Communications and Teliris.

Sipera Raises $10 Million to Advance Smartphone and Unified Communications Security Systems: Sipera Systems, the leader in real-time Unified Communications enablement and security, announced today it has closed a funding round of $10 million. The round was led by S3 Ventures, and includes participation by prior investors Austin Ventures, Duchossois Technology Partners, Sequoia Capital and STAR Ventures.

Fortune 1000 and MidSize Enterprise Organizations Say Immediate Spending Includes Telepresence and UC: TheInfoPro, an independent research company for the IT industry, today released the results of its biannual networking study, which shows the extent to which midsize enterprises and the Fortune 1000 are adopting proven cost-cutting strategies such as telepresence and unified communications (UC) to combat the economic downturn. The results are positive, with the study indicating that telepresence has met the objectives of 77 percent of enterprises, with an overwhelming 66 percent of respondents planning to expand telepresence capabilities to additional sites. The data also shows that WAN optimization solutions remain in favor, although there are signs that that rate of adoption is slowing down.

Google Buys GIPS in Challenge to Skype
: Google, via its Google Acquisition Holdings Inc. subsidiary,  has entered an agreement to purchaseSwedish web communication provider Global IP Solutions (GIPS) for about $68 million in cash. GIPS specializes in voice over IP (VoIP) and video processing technology for IP networks. Solutions include mobile voice and video conferencing, enterprise telephony, business telepresence, real-time communications for gaming and social networking, and unified communications. The company says it provides strategic advantage to users by allowing them to deliver IP-based voice and video solutions to existing and new applications and embed VoIP and real-time video capabilities into hardware and services.

Plantronics and IBM Partner: 
Plantronics today announced new audio functions and tools for the current IBM Lotus Sametime and Sametime Unified Telephony (SUT) products to help employees stay connected and be more productive — even when on the go. The Plantronics Sametime Plug-In, new software that delivers intelligent call control between Plantronics’ full Unified Communications product portfolio and IBM Sametime, provides users with exceptional online meeting and telephony experiences with enhanced audio quality.Epilio uses IBM Lotus Sametime to increase the effectiveness of its virtual workforce by integrating voice, data and video communications on the PC.

Amtel Communications Delivers Enhanced Network Performance Management Services Through Apparent Networks Partnership: Apparent Networks, a leading provider of network performance and availability solutions,today announced Amtel Communications as the newest participant in its Powered by PathView partner program, Amtel Communications, the New Zealand provider of Interactive Intelligence’s unified IP business communications solution, is now leveraging Apparent Networks’ PathView solutions to provide custom-branded network monitoring, troubleshooting and reporting services to its customers.

IP5280 Rolls-out New Channel, Customer Service and Network Initiatives: Communications, a national business voice over IP and unified communications leader, today launched several new programs that accommodate the company’s rapidly growing customer base. Among these developments is an expanded agent program, enhanced customer service strategies, and a network expansion.

Netformx Teams With to Streamline the Design and Selling Process for Complex, Dynamic Network Services: 
Netformx, a global leader in telecom design and proposal generation platforms, today announced a new TM Forum Catalyst project in collaboration with The proof-of-concept initiative aims to define and demonstrate a framework, consistent with TM Forum’s Application Framework, to help communications service providers improve the efficiency and profitability of selling, deploying and fulfilling complex, dynamic network solutions, such as MPLS and unified communications, to enterprise customers.

AT&T Telepresence Solution Adds More Countries to its Global Footprint:
AT&T is bringing the unique ‘in-person’ experience of telepresence to more companies in more locations by expanding its AT&T Telepresence Solution global footprint availability to customer sites in a total of 75 countries and territories.  This expansion includes the addition of twelve new countries where it offers its fully managed AT&T Telepresence Solution bundle and 37 additional countries where AT&T Telepresence Solution includes proactive remote monitoring of customer-owned videoconferencing equipment and access to the AT&T Business Exchange.

tw telecom Collaborates with Cisco, BT to Deliver Telepresence Conferencing Solutions: tw telecom, a leading national provider of managed voice, Internet and data networking solutions for businesses across the U.S. and globally, today announced it is collaborating with Cisco and BT Conferencing to deliver a comprehensive high-definition business videoconferencing solution in the U.S.  This solution will help enable companies with the Cisco TelePresence equipment to communicate and collaborate within and between companies.

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