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05 Oct 2015

The Internet ushered the most dynamic era in communications technology, with a slew of gadgets, products, websites, and apps that changed the user experience game forever.  Microsoft’s Skype for Business’ (SfB) is a game changer in how Unified Communication and Collaboration is for anyone – anywhere persistent collaboration. SfB’s screen sharing and real time whiteboarding features, for instance, allowed work teams to collaborate closely even if separated by time and location. At a starting price of less than $6 per seat, Microsoft’s video value proposition is unparalleled in the history of expensive hardware dependent video delivery platforms. Arrive is a Gold Certified Microsoft Communications Partner and has developed the FacePoint 2.0 video collaboration system to work seamlessly with Skype for Business. Arrive FacePoint 2.0 provides SfB multi-point HD video collaboration, audio conferencing and real time whiteboarding with advanced value-added services for custom design of room controls as well as virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) delivery from a single box.  Arrive’s leading edge architecture will shortly be available in a touch-screen optimized version with controls managed from any touch interactive display as well as a touch panel version where the controls are available from connected tablets and smartphones for rooms where touch screen displays are not deployed. Microsoft’s announcement of the release of Office 2016 marks another step forward in the concept of “co-working”.  The core office productivity tools in Office 2016 offer real time co-working where more than one person can work on the same same session at the same time. The tag line Microsoft is using for Office 2016 is:

The need to collaborate using personal devices that are brought in everyday into the workplace, such as smart phones and apps, has created the BYOD growth trend.  Arrive evolved the concept of Bring-your-own-Conferencing (BYOC) to leverage the opportunity for the powerful software codec capability of laptops and tablets. WebRTC (Web Real Time Communications) is eliminating the need for internal or external plug-ins for browser-to-browser collaboration to function, which will definitely impact communications technology. WebRTC’s 2015 State of the Market Report says, over half of businesses are already using WebRTC or plan to use it in 2015, and over three-quarters of respondents will use it next year and beyond. Larry Hettick of Network World opined that “…these protocols won’t replace UC platforms, rather they will complement UC solutions that are already available.” The next big thing on the horizon for communications technology is WebRTC, with its API making it possible for web browsers to support voice calling, video chat, and peer-to-peer connections. Microsoft is already offering a web based Skype (in Beta) for you to access full Skype capability from a web browser without requiring the client download. Available at Arrive Systems’ FacePoint video collaboration solution is Skype for Business and WebRTC ready, making it one of the most flexible and inter-operable communications solutions in the market today.