AI Social and Contextual UC #417 – UC to IC – MS Messes Up Skype Again, Rather UC Again

 (c) AI Forum & Unified Communications

 Forum- NEW TeamsUserForum.com 
September 29 – 2017 – Issue #417

AI Forum – Exploring the Wild World of Artificial Intelligence and other Communications, Mobile, Contextual-Intelligence and other communications companies.
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Advertising, social media, blog articles, webinars and other services available.
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Top of Mind Keeps You First in Line 

This is a webinar presentation available for sales teams at a nominal fee.
Key points are:
1 – Know Thy Customer
2 – Be the Thought Leader
3 – Create Calls-To-Action often
4 – Decide Marketing Methods
5 – Build a Calendar & Commit
Are you really in the line at all or just think you are?
Click on image for the complete presentation and contact Tom Cross at cross@gocross.com for details and scheduling.

From UC to IC – Intelligent Communications

This is from MS Office 365 blog “customers can take advantage of the capabilities in Microsoft Teams starting today. We are committed to providing visibility into the Teams product roadmap, so our customers can assess when Teams is right for them. We intend to make an updated roadmap for Teams available in October.  Click on the image for the complete article.
We plan to continue to offer and support Skype for Business in Office 365 and Skype for Business Server on-premises. For customers who are not yet ready to move their PBX and advanced calling capabilities to the cloud, we will release a new version of Skype for Business Server targeted for the second half of calendar year 2018.”
 
Nice doubletalk – buy what we want you to buy today or wait til late 2018 or never.

Via The Street Microsoft Just Made a Slew of Announcements — Here Are the 5 Most Important

If you don’t know about The Street, well it’s time you did because this may be the most important news service for the financial industry and CEO/CFO. So read what they read and here’s what they said about Microsoft’s announcements at Ignite.  Click on the image for the rest and signup for their newsletters.

As I don’t want to steal The Street’s thunder but wanted to focus on UC.  At least Skype made the Top-5 as #4. “Microsoft Teams might be replacing Skype for Business. Microsoft’s workplace chat app and Slack competitor, Microsoft Teams, is being integrated into Office 365. Teams will replace the Skype for Business plugin in Office 365, which marks a major transition for Microsoft, since Skype has been its flagship messaging app for a long time.

The company did say that it intends to release an updated Skype infrastructure next year that will be targeted to companies that aren’t using the cloud and have on-premises data centers.”
But if you read other stories and watch presentations which I did a lot of them, there is a huge gap in what is being said and what will likely happen.  Why because MS really doesn’t understand the UC business and buying Skype did not help.  If you remember Response Point their very cool but ill-fated answer to the SMB, they jump around like a hot potato without a single strategy much less one that fits with customers and the marketplace.  Hence the growth in Broadsoft, 8×8, RingCentral and many others such as Comcast.  Last count there were more than 500 (no typo) VoIP providers and an amazing list of international players who given high speed internet you can have your server in Antarctica and provide service to remote Kansas.  Clearly MS is looking through their telescopes at Slack worried more about that that the hundreds of VoIP players.
Bottom-line – For a decade, Microsoft throws darts at the UC dartboard hoping something will stick. Now this, they keep tossing the salad frankly making a mess of it causing no end of hair-pulling by partners. Sadly, few other players are left to pick up the slack (no pun intended).  But wait the Cisco UC system works, works well and from the customers I have spoken with they love it.

First Multi-Media Calendar Planner App for iPhone & iPad Approved

SleepTracsPro 3.4 is approved for iPhone and iPad.  Among the many benefits is an exciting new multi-media planner.  While planner and calendar apps abound, we added features that are not found in others.  We also will be adding even more features that in addition to support for iOS 11, here are the key features in SleepTracsPro 3.4 NOTE: due to Apple removing AppStore from iTunes you are now forced to get your apps from the AppStore app on your iPhone or App – it wasn’t our idea.
– Sleep Scheduling,
– Snooze Nap features,
– Snap Alert
– Actical – action calendar
– ZoomLite
– Dream Diary journal/log,

NEW – Multi-media Planner with multi-colored text, pics, videos, drawings, audio messages and acticons for iPhone and iPad.

Please visit http://sleeptracs.com/ for tips, applications and ideas.

Key features of SleepTracsPro are:

– Actical – Action calendar with Acticons-action icons and first calendar with drawings. Add drawings and images to your calendar to improve tracking and performance.

– Snooze – The Snooze feature is designed to let you get your “power nap” or “cat nap” anytime; you can select your snooze time and a wakeup vibration or tone/tune or your own voice or that of a friend or child.

– Snap – feature is a new feature not found in any sleep app we have found so far. Snap is really a “snap out of it” feature that you put in your shirt pocket and when no motion or limited motions are detected, it gives you a vibration or tune/tone. Designed to help you overcome falling asleep in class or on the job, it should not be used while driving.

Sleep – feature offers you a scheduling tool You can select your sleep time and a wakeup vibration or tone/tune or your own voice or that of a friend or child.

Weather – current weather is displayed when user awakes.

ZoomLite is an exciting weather center, camera, large format clock and 3-level magnifying flashlight app. You are able to see weather, large font clock, take a picture and easily read labels, meds bottles, check meds, cuts/sores, household issues and other fine print articles and other hard to read documents or any other reason to see something closeup with 3-step magnifying flashlight.

Dream Diary journal has unlimited notepads with multi-color drawing features, text notes, audio recording, backgrounds with pictures from camera or gallery and sharing features for email, social sites, gallery and other ways.

Planner – everyone needs to get organized and nothing is better than having it all in the same place. The new version 3.4 in the first to include all forms of multi-media including multi-colored text (you can choose what color text you like to indicate priorities or other personal notations), you can include pictures and videos from either camera or gallery, you can add freehand drawings, audio recordings like “Get organized” and our own proprietary Acticons™ which are “action icons and emojis” to emphasize an event or activity.

Independent Reviews

“Sleep apnea is a serious health issue and solutions are scarce often making sleep worse than better. SleepTracsPro journal/diary is a significant help where I can take pics, even videos and including detailed notes where I can track diet, temp, weather and other factors which I know impact sleep. I strongly recommend SleepTracsPro for any one with sleep apnea or just wants to better understand their sleep habits and patterns.” R.S. – Atlanta

“SleepTracsPro gives me great insights on my sleep habits as I am able to use the Dream Diary to write notes, even make drawings of my dreams as well as share them with others. SleepTracsPro is a must-have for any one struggling with all the challenges of getting better sleep.” S.C. – Seattle

SleepTracsPro is one of the many apps such as SleepTracs, ZoomLite, Baseball Fans Club, Basketball Fans, ReallyReal, Sports Fans Club, Football Fans Club, iSeekSugar, BiEyes, iFlipTips, iSeekSugar, MedsMinders, RewardsVIPClub, HashNewsGram and many others from TECHtionary.com.

NFC Forum Adds NFC Tag Certification to Certification Program 

For anyone who sells anything, connects to anything including customers NFC-near-field communications is a must-have.  With iOS 11, the NFC Forum announced today the addition of Near Field Communication (NFC) tag and reader certification to its global certification program. This means that tag/inlay, NFC reader and handset manufacturers for the first time will be able to test and verify the performance and interoperability of all the key components in the NFC eco-system.

With the release of iOS 11 this week from Apple, two billion smartphones in the world will be NFC-enabled – this means that a third of the population on Earth will have the ability to interact with NFC tags. To be sure that these tags are enabled seamlessly, the NFC Forum Tag Certification Program will allow for tags to interoperate, and work the way consumers want, when they want it.

Wireless Charging Vase – No Flowers !
 
“Wireless charging as a concept has been around since Nikola Tesla, a Croatian inventor, first suggested in the 19th century that you could transfer power between two objects via an electromagnetic field.”  Soon wireless charging will be available in almost any concept — who knows what happens to your brain with all that electronic magnetism in the air.

 

Personal Speakerphone
 
One of the many things I really don’t like is webinar speakers using a speakerphone.  They really don’t care how much room echo there is and sounds like they are speaking in a warehouse.  Polycom may have a solution for this with a personal speakerphone.  While no speakerphone can eliminate room echo, road noise, HVAC noise and other noises, this may help.
  • Polycom HD Voice and industry-leading full duplex, echo cancellation
  • Polycom NoiseBlock technology automatically eliminates non-speech background noise
  • Bluetooth and USB connectivity
  • 4 microphones and 10-foot (3-meters) microphone range – 2 to 3 times more coverage than most personal speakerphones
  • Rugged and stylish cast aluminum case – won’t break like plastic speakerphones if dropped
  • Spill resistant – IP64 dust and water-resistance rated
  • Security cable included for fixed meeting room and huddle room deployments

It is waterproof too, rather coffee proof.

I asked for pricing and they said it will be released in 4Q.

 

iOS Game Platform 

Who knew that Jim Cramer is a gameboy.  Indeed he is and thinks that iPhone X is the next game platform.  Take a listen.
And, when you are really ready to get serious check this out.  As an Apple app developer, we are excited about new platforms for new realities.  However, the really real limitation is that we just converted to Swift4 and iOS11 and not matter how large your development team is – it is nearly impossible to keep UP much less DO more.
Bottom-line – Apple is a seriously great platform for nearly everything and as other devices and platforms may still have some presence. it is not realistic that developers will have any excess capacity other than to just develop them.

Gartner on UCaaS – Eye Test
Never been a big fan of research reports because I used to research and publish them. Research reports like Gartner, IDC, Frost and all the others are written by people who do not have to “do it.”  They sit in nice rooms and gather information and then write stuff that really doesn’t help people really implement anything.  It is amazing to me that CIOs look to Gartner and the reason is they do not trust their own staff to tell them the truth or frankly know what they are doing.  Sad but true.  The idea of some “pin chart”  will help anyone figure out why SIP trunk has only one-way audio is a farce.  Here for example is what they are saying about Microsoft:

CAUTIONS

  • The SfBO telephony capabilities lag behind most competing UCaaS offers, and Microsoft has been slow to advance this element of its portfolio. While there has been progress in the last year, Microsoft has also been slow to overcome some critical limitations, including limitations in the CCE product and SfBO APIs.
  • Microsoft’s advancement in the market has been hindered by its changing marketing messages to customers and partners about the roadmap for Skype. For instance, while the hybrid option can be more effective for many enterprise requirements, it may not be adequately promoted by Microsoft partners, which may instead recommend a rapid migration to a complete online solution.
  • Connecting users to a UCaaS solution via the public internet may result in poor performance for audio and video for some users and locations. To mitigate risk, customers should execute a network assessment as part of their SOF process.
  • Microsoft recently introduced its Teams workstream collaboration product that has overlapping communications functionality redundant to Skype. While integrating communications into Teams is part of Microsoft’s workstream collaboration strategy, this redundancy can create confusion with customers trying to understand the roles of Skype and Teams.
Click on the image to get the chart via 8×8 who I like because of all their technical expertise but there is much more on ATT, Google, Fuze, Mitel and others.  Interesting Vonage and ShoreTel were dropped – go figure.
Bottom-line – There must be a large enough market to support all these companies.  However, I know of another 20 that are not on this list and still seem to be thriving.  Clearly there is a nice road but running out of road always comes at the worst time even if it doesn’t curve and you run completely off it.

Facebook Business UC 

Building for People, and Now Businesses

This is from the WhatsApp blog, “Over 1 billion people use WhatsApp every day to stay connected with their family and friends, and over time, more people are using the app to communicate with businesses they care about too.

In fact, many connections are already taking place every day, whether it’s someone placing an order with a local bakery or looking at new styles from a clothing store. But the way this happens now on WhatsApp is pretty rudimentary. We’ve heard stories of shopkeepers who use WhatsApp to stay in touch with hundreds of customers from a single smartphone, and from people who are unsure about whether or not a business on WhatsApp is authentic. In the coming months, we’ll be testing new features that aim to solve some of these challenges, and make it easier for people to communicate with the businesses they want to reach on WhatsApp. Our approach is simple – we want to apply what we’ve learned helping people connect with each other to helping people connect with businesses that are important to them.

We know businesses have many different needs. For example, they want an official presence – a verified profile so people can identify a business from another person – and an easier way to respond to messages. We’re building and testing new tools via a free WhatsApp Business app for small companies and an enterprise solution for bigger companies operating at a large scale with a global base of customers, like airlines, e-commerce sites, and banks. These businesses will be able to use our solutions to provide customers with useful notifications like flight times, delivery confirmations, and other updates.
Whether someone is communicating with a business around the corner or around the globe, people expect WhatsApp to be fast, reliable, and secure. We’ll be listening carefully to feedback during our test phase and keeping people informed as we make these tools more widely available. It’s important that we get this right and are thoughtful about the new experiences we’ll provide for businesses and our users.”
Bottom-line – WhatsApp is on the rise while Skype seems to be slipping (see below).  Facebook took a page out of Microsoft’s “playbook” to destroy competition (WordPerfect, Novell, Lotus, etc.) by any means possible.   Facebook has two billion Facebook users to promote anything they want.  Gaining access to enterprise a long haven for Microsoft is vulnerable to many different types of attacks.  If MS cannot get Skype fixed and engaged with user again, the Facebook WhatsApp “Trojan Horse” is a game-changer they may not recover from.

Facial UC  
Finally, the end of passwords in theory if only all places where you have to enter a password would allow facial passwords.  This is a cool story on how KFC is using facial ordering.  Time for all UC providers to up their game in adding this to their feature sets.

Skype iOS Sucks  
Since Facebook is coming after Skype, you would think they would make major improvements in their apps.  I don’t have Android but below are also my feelings about the new UI and functionality on iOS.
Click on image and click on Reviews Tab to read all of them.  They are from 9/7 and you can see mainly one star.

Skype iOS App First Look – Not Looking Good 

I love regular Skype using it for more than decade on my PC and often use the iOS app on my iPhone which generally works better than the PC version.  I was excited to try the new iOS version and my first look is a real disappointment.  Why do app developers turn simple smartphone apps into bloatware found in most PC/MAC apps.  As a developer it is really hard to NOT want to add

MORE and MORE but sometimes more is really less and this is the case so far with the Skype iOS app.  The biggest issue was in the old version it was really easy to change your Presence with many options like on the PC version.  The new version assumes you are ONLINE all the time and makes it really difficult to change your presence.  Click on either image for details on changing presence.
Bottom-line – Please tell me what I missed, you like, I was wrong about or anything else you want to say.

Really Real Presence  
This is a great read on the benefits of presence.  It’s really too bad that there is not one universal presence app that bridges the gaps in UC as UC applications are not the only way you want to show presence.

Turing Test 
Summer is often a good time to catch up on great reading  and while we are really too busy to read, reading on your iPhone is really great even at the DMV which I did yesterday.  Both books on Turing are great but the Copeland book is even better.  You really realize that many of you who are reading this would not be here at all except for what Alan and his colleagues.  Why you ask.  If they hadn’t broken then Enigma and other codes, WWII would have taken much longer costing millions of lives including my dad and his brothers who were all in Europe.  Anyway, great insights on computing, AI and the future even though he died 73 years ago.  Click on image for either book and see if you could pass your own Turing Test.

Securing the Internet of Things
I doubt you have a lot of IoT devices but you do have a lot of mobile devices.  As mobile devices morph into what’s next or turn into components (which I would do if I was Google or Apple) to run on common OS rather the new OS for all devices including desktops, teleconferencing, building controls, etc. You will need a security systems approach and while I prefer iOS because of great admin services from Apple Developer Team and other reasons.  This paper is from Cisco and there are a lot of good ideas to consider.  For example, they write, “Even industrial controllers that operate in every industrial environment lack basic security controls like authentication and encryption. That means most industrial control system (ICS) attacks don’t need to exploit software vulnerabilities. They just need to access the controllers, and then they can change configuration, logic, and state.”  By building on a common OS that you use for all your employees can use, you maximize protection, minimize development costs and provide a common management approach that makes sense.

Interview with Evan Kirstel #1 UCaas Influencer
Here is an interview with Onalytica click on images for complete interview.
As a long-time expert and thought leader in the Cloud, Security, IoT, Big Data, AI and other technologies, I’ve been following their emergence in the health landscape with great interest. I believe we are on the cusp of an unprecedented convergence of technologies, one that could bring about sustained disruption and allow us to solve the most pressing issues in healthcare.
I was also drawn to the incredible energy of the health tech community here in Boston. Home to several premier teaching hospitals and prestigious universities, there is a vibrant community of health tech innovators here, as well as a natural test-bed to pilot these innovations in real healthcare settings.  Be it physician entrepreneurs, hospital leaders rethinking the entire patient care system, digital health startups and accelerators, public-private partnerships, or empowered patients and their vocal advocates, Boston is home to a world-class health tech innovation ecosystem and a growing digital healthcare industry.
I wanted to bring my technical expertise, industry experience, and social business know-how to help accelerate the growth of the digital health economy. To achieve this, I recently partnered with health tech innovation catalyst, patient experience expert, and former Google technology manager Irma Rastegayeva to form eViRa #HealthTech Strategies. Boston-based and globally-connected B2B experts, we are a trusted social media partner to clients across the health tech landscape. Whether it’s enabling startups to get discovered and introduced to potential partners and investors, guiding companies to expand their thought leadership, or helping clients to grow massive online audience and deepen user engagement, we are here to serve the health tech community.
WHAT AREAS OF HEALTH TECH ARE YOU MOST PASSIONATE ABOUT?
  • AI, Cognitive Computing, Big Data, IoT and predictive analytics – combination of these technologies will open up a new era of early diagnostics and disease prevention.
  • Telemedicine/Telehealth – this will become a mainstay of patient care delivery, vastly reducing costs.
  • 5G connectivity – this 5th generation of mobile technology will be a truly “disruptive innovation” and will offer much to fields of medicine and healthcare. One application of 5G I am excited about is rural hospitals collaborating with urban teaching hospitals to offer world-class training and care delivery. It’s important to note that 5G is an enabling technology, it will make the advancements of all the other technologies I mentioned possible.
  • Wearables 2.0 and Mobile Health – these improved medical wearables devices and drug delivery systems will be widely used, allowing remote patient monitoring of chronic conditions, also reducing costs and improving patient comfort and clinical outcomes.
  • AR and VR – Augmented and Virtual Reality technologies will have a wide range of applications, including medical training, life sciences, real-time surgery assist, mental health treatment, and many more.
IF A BRAND WANTED TO WORK WITH YOU, WHAT OFFLINE / ONLINE ACTIVITIES WOULD YOU BE MOST INTERESTED IN?
  • Social Media engagement, thought leadership, brand message amplification
  • Podcast/video interviews
  • Content development (e.g. short-form/long-form blog posts, feature articles, whitepapers)
  • Events (promoting, covering/attending)
WHAT WOULD BE THE BEST WAY FOR A BRAND TO CONTACT YOU?
Mobile: 978-761-1524 or Email: kirstel@gmail.com
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Hololens Partner Program
Hololens is a cool idea tech but not the only one going after VR/AR and what Microsoft calls Mixed Reality.  Here are some examples of what they are targeting as key market opportunities and if you are involved with any of them you might begin contacting customers to explore how they can take advantage of the technology regardless of tech as there are other viable solutions.

If you are not in a hurry and want 90 days for Microsoft tell you that your idea is something they would rather build themselves like what they did to Slack, click on the image below.
They say, “Please provide yourself 30 minutes to complete the application form

to help us better understand your business and current HoloLens activities. Upon submission, you will receive an update regarding your application within 90 days.”

Emojis Communications

As a long-time fan of hieroglyphics, the power of visual communications has always been of interest.  Snapchat may be onto something with “cartoon greetings that feature customizable avatars and can be inserted into any number of chat apps.” They go on: “Having a digital extension of yourself is a necessity,” creative director and CEO Jacob Blackstock says, “and we’re working to give people the best possible version.” But even in visually infectious cartoon form, negative expressions present a challenge for Bitmoji’s creative team, who might be thought of as millennial Cyranos-charged with helping the app’s millions of daily users bring just the right mix of wit, topicality, and emotional nuance to their online repartee.”
There is much more: “He’s spent more than a decade now thinking about cartoons as a visual language. As he sees it, the swiftly approaching merger of the real and the virtual will only make such tools more essential. “We’re in a world now where we live in these,” he says, lifting his iPhone from the table. “Not only am I always on it,” he says, growing more animated, “but in terms of everyone I know, I mostly see them here. If you’re going to live in here, you’ve got to make this a better place to live.” Click on image for complete article.
Bottom-line – As you will read in the next section, visual communications is evolving actually back to the first form of communicated communications – communications that can be understood by more than the creator.  The Egyptians pioneered this approach as they realized that people were not going to learn how to read but like any “stop” sign people can quickly understand concepts even complex ones rather quickly.
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Omnichannel Customer Engagement Integrated in Kirstel Social Selling Strategy
Kirstel Social Selling Strategy (KSS) is now available.  Evan Kirstel noted, “this is just the latest efforts in building “thought leadership” in sales and social selling.  “Engagement via social selling is more than just social media requiring enhanced sales training, communications skills and new technology.  Omnichannel customer engagement is integrated deeply within KSS.  With KSS the next-gen sales staff can “meet” new B2B prospects, gain revenue, lower costs and importantly shorten the sales cycle. With KSS business partners can also benefit by adding new, relevant social business customer engagements per month. The combination of current selling technologies such as CRM and other tech tools, social media influence, social business know-how, and passion for sales is key to social selling.   The KSS strategy drives visibility & engagement with customers, influencers, key opinion leaders, analysts, journalists, CXOs and others while cutting through the noise to generate leads and set up an ongoing social selling strategy.”
Here are highlights of Kirstel Social Selling Strategy:
– Social selling is not just selling via technology.  As we have integrated CRM and other custom/public tools into our selling processes, social selling is expanding use of technology to enhance the communications process, reduce sales cycle, reduce order confusion, accelerate customer acceptance throughout the lifecycle, enhance long-term “gain” ratio thereby reduce customer churn, enhance customer experience, increasing product/solution margin, integration of selling technology into products and services and other factors.
– The Kirstel Social Selling Strategy KSS is a professional services engagement to begin the process of engaging with corporate and channel sales (if any) to enhance their ability to use social selling as part of their sales process. In addition, KSS can optionally be involved in improving sales processes, compensation plan, marketing communications and other aspects of the business.
– KSS is a multi-phase project with Go/No-go points to limit risk while expediting the process to maximize corporate performance and efficiency.
Here are the 7 Phases of KSS with Go/No-go points at each stage:
  • Phase 1 – Determine – End-to-end customer assessment of sales process and cycle
  • Phase 2 – Develop – Integration of social media strategy and technology into business culture
  • Phase 3 – Deliver – Pilot social selling strategy and deployment of new KSS into pilot environment
  • Phase 4 – Deploy – Expand social selling into key markets and segments (channel, international, etc.)
  • Phase 5 – Detect – Detect, monitor and track performance and present KPIs to management
  • Phase 6 – Discuss – Discuss and explore performance at the Center for Social Selling Excellence
  • Phase 7 – Discover – Explore social selling integration into future selling and products.
Click on image for complete details on each KSS Phases:
About  
Evan Kirstel and other teammates represent more than 300,000 Twitter followers and 30,000 on Linkedin and other social media platforms.  We have proven social selling and professional development skills to assist your organization now and in the future.
To get started in social selling today, contact:
m: 978-761-1524 | e: mailto:kirstel@gmail.com
Twitter @EvanKirstel
Schedule a call via https://calendly.com/kirstel
Subscribe to newsletter – http://bit.ly/2hYsAis

Compare Outlook Free/Busy Times Across Companies – Free Trial Now Available from Microsoft AppSource

Approved Contact allows you to compare your open times in Microsoft Outlook with contacts outside your company to easily find open times for everyone.

Approved Contact announced the availability of Approved Contact in Microsoft AppSource. Approved Contact allows you to see available times on any online calendar from Microsoft Outlook with Approved Contact’s patent-pending Calendar Comparison technology.

Approved Contact deployed its solution on Microsoft Azure and stores calendar data in Azure SQL Database so that calendar integrations with other technologies such as email, bots, text, and voice recognition systems are simple and more secure.

“Supporting Microsoft AppSource also meant integrating Microsoft Azure Active Directory for single sign-on. When new users sign in with their Microsoft account, we automatically create their account and sync their calendar after Microsoft authenticates the new user,” said Dana Sale, president, Approved Contact. “So, it is easy to start a trial of Approved Contact directly from Microsoft AppSource. We support every major calendar system, but our ‘Sign in with Microsoft’ integration has streamlined how new users come into Approved Contact.”

Rob Howard, director of Office 365 Ecosystem, Microsoft Corp. said, “Calendar management is a central pillar of business communication, so initiatives that make daily scheduling more effective are important business tools. We’re pleased to see Approved Contact’s commitment to Microsoft Services and offer its solution in Microsoft AppSource.”

(Without Approved Contact, you cannot see open times outside your company)

(With Approved Contact, you can see open times outside your company.)

New Calendar-Syncing Option: “Sign in with Microsoft”

Our newly available “Sign in with Microsoft” support allows you to use your Office 365 account for easy new user sign-in and calendar syncing. You can use your Office account to create your profile and grant access to your free/busy times. We keep your changes in sync automatically, so as you add/delete meetings, your online calendar is always kept up to date.

“Sign in with Microsoft” grants access to your free/busy times securely because it does not require your password to be stored on a third-party site. For enterprise sites, an Office administrator can establish your employees’ profiles and connect their calendars automatically from Azure Active Directory. Alternatively, you can easily create your own profile from your Office 365 account by navigating to www.approvedcontact.com.

Cloud Services Integrations: Open API Streamlines Scheduling

Approved Contact enables you to connect your calendar intelligently to almost anything used in digital communication: websites, text, email, mobile, voice recognition, CRM, and telephone systems. Although the Approved Contact API is available only to customers and partners, it is free to use to further automate the scheduling process into your business processes.

Every day millions of business users rely on their calendar to make them more productive. This new integration between Outlook and Approved Contact will reduce the untimely interruptions required to schedule your next meeting.

For more information, visit Microsoft AppSource to start your trial and then enable our add-in from the Microsoft Store.
Follow Approved Contact on Twitter at @approvedcontact.

About Approved Contact

Approved Contact is an innovative company that is improving productivity for companies large and small. Approved Contact allows you to easily share calendars with anyone. Changes you make to your calendar update automatically to Approved Contact. Using Approved Contact enables you to connect your calendar to websites, text, email, mobile, voice recognition, and telephone systems. For more information, visit www.ApprovedContact.com.

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HashNewsGrams 2.3 Adds FreeHand Drawings, Audio Recordings, Video & Pics 
 

Breakthrough the 140 Character Text Barrier

You can post essentially unlimited text, videos, pics, audio recordings, freehand paintings and drawings, multimedia images and Acticons-Action Icons.
#HashNewsGram is a FREE Twitter #hashtag news gathering app for iPhone and iPad. You can select your favorite #hashtag topics and put them in folders and subfolders and organize your Twitter news gathering and personal newsfeed. Then tap on the selected folder subfolder and see the posts in the categories selected. This is a great way to simplify your Twitter news feed.
HashNewsGram is one of the many apps such as ZoomLite, Basketball Fans, ReallyReal, Sports Fans Club, Football Fans Club, iSeekSugar, BiEyes, iFlipTips, SleepTracs, iSleepTrack, iSeekSugar, MedsMinders, RewardsVIPClub, and many others from TECHtionary.

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Linkedin Selling Unified Communications Group – Buyers Welcome
Please join our Linkedin Group if you are selling and even buying UC gear/gizmos/gadgets/gagals and more.  Beyond networking opportunities, news, and educational resources, this group is about helping its members increase sales. Vendors, VARs, Agents and anyone selling and marketing unified communications solutions are welcome. If you are a buyer, you join and see what’s available.
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Certified Training – Affordable, Available, Actionable & Tax Deductible
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Click here for TECHtionary — World’s First and Largest Animated Library on Technology with more than 3,015 animated tutorials.

Lync is a Trademark of Microsoft.  Unified Communications Apps & Cloud Communications Forum is an independent forum.

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The User Forum provides classroom and webseminar training as well as a non-production environment for those IT departments without additional equipment, budget or time.  This allows planners and users to test ideas, dial in and dial back out, IM file transfers, remote desktop sharing, video conferencing, run scenarios, review logs, break linkages and learning about new telephony features and network access.  The User Forum is also designed for both the system integrator/consultant who wants to learn about tech without having to build their own system as well as the enterprise customer who doesn’t have the time, resources or knowledge to develop one.  Coming soon, User Forum Labs are designed to be “hands-on” or “over-the-shoulder” with experts available for Q&A and classes for feature-specific review.

About User Forum

The User Forum is a vendor-independent laboratory environment designed for learning, technical guides, knowledge resources and online “live” services.  The User Forum provides planning, project management, consulting, training, case studies, white papers, speaking engagements, market/customer research, network planning and other services.
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SIP, Unified Communications Apps & Cloud Communications Forum, 2525 Arapahoe E-4-313, Boulder, CO 80302
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