Marco Rullo Marco Rullo - 5 May, 2021 - 8 ’ read

Top security, new reporting features, enhanced integrations.

Despite the adversities of the historical period, the flowers of Imagicle Spring Release 2021 have sprouted and added a touch of beauty, speed, and simplification to many Imagicle apps. From easier connectivity to the enhanced web interface of Call Recording, today I am here to break down all the Spring’21 news… and to spoil some from Summer'21. Come on, buckle up and let’s go!

Imagicle UC Cloud Suite: connect it easier!

Let’s break the ice with 2 great pieces of news related to our flagship offer, Imagicle UC Cloud Suitethe cloud service hosted and operated by Imagicle that lets you consume all our UC apps behind a single pane of glass in the smartest, fastest, and easiest way ever. 

To understand what’s new a little bit better, let’s start by saying that this service relies on 2 key elements:
  • the private UC Suite instance, running on the Imagicle Cloud, providing dedicated elastic computing and resources for the best performances and data isolation;
  • the connection between the UC Cloud Suite and customer network, that allows to leverage existing PSTN lines and to address the Calling Platform, regardless of where it is deployed (on the cloud, on-prem, or hosted).
Now, the two Spring’21 news I mentioned earlier relates to the second key element: connection.
  • Introducing SD-WAN
    One way of connecting the UC Suite to the customer network is Private Peering, a private network connection between the Imagicle Cloud and the customer network. The news here is that, beyond the preexisting options (VPN and Equinix ECX), today we’re supporting a third private peering option, SD-WAN. It’s somewhat a smart VPN evolution that allows to link the Imagicle cloud to the customer network as an additional site. In short, we now offer 3 different options to match customer needs at best;

  • Introducing Internet Peering
    The second news relates to a new, different connection model: Internet Peering (as opposed to private peering), which is still in preview today and will be launched in Summer’21. Internet Peering has been designed to address modern cloud calling platforms like Cisco Webex and Microsoft Teams: by leveraging only secure communications through standard internet, there is no need for private network connections at all among customers and UC Suite instance and the cloud calling platform, hence resulting in the most simple connectivity model possible.

Are you aware of device usage in your company?

Let’s go ahead with our beloved Imagicle Call Analytics, which keeps gaining exciting new features release after release! In Winter’21 we planted a seed that has just sprout into the new reports for Cisco UCM to analyze the device adoption within your company: Device Model Adoption and Device Model Usage Trends.


H
ave you ever wondered if your users are still using hardware phones? Have they completely switched to virtual phones? Are the available devices well adopted or underused? Is there any unused device that can be assigned to someone else in order to improve resource allocation?

 
Discover all the KPIs and reports we’ve designed to provide you answers to such questions (and many more) in this in-depth article and start making data-driven decisions.
 
Oh, and another thing! Do you remember the new analytics tools for Cisco UCM we added in the Winter’21 release to analyze telephone traffic managed through Hunt Groups? If you missed it, heres the article you need!

Offices worldwide? We’ve got you covered.

The news for Call Analytics is not finished yet: in Spring’21, Call Analytics winks to customers having branches across multiple time zones worldwide, by offering them an amazingly easy to use and straightforward experience that allows to display reports in their preferred timezone. 
 
This new feature makes analyzing reports a piece of cake, because the extracted data will be unified under one time zone: the one you select. Wanna know more? Here is the dedicated article.

Buckle up: Microsoft O365 Modern Auth is here.

As you probably know, our UC Suite offers a large set of ready-to-use integrations. Last year we introduced the integrations of Microsoft Office 365 with our Digital Fax and with our Attendant Console, which has led to great benefits in terms of functionality.
 
  • Attendant Console natively integrates with Microsoft Calendars, such as the one for Exchange and Office 365, to display colleagues’ calendar status and support operators in taking decisions about colleagues’ availability;
  • Digital Fax offers a native mail2fax integration, leveraging Microsoft 365 proprietary API (instead of standard POP3/IMAP).
Spring’21 enhances both those integrations by increasing security level, thanks to the support of the so-called Modern Authentication, which is actually based on OAuth 2.0 standard (while UC Suite was previously supporting only Basic Authentication).
Here is the in-depth article if you wish to know more, but let me summarize the main takeaways I’d like you to remember:
 
  1. Why should you pay attention?
    First of all to increase the security in the use of applications. Secondly, because Microsoft has planned to dismiss Basic Authentication in H2 2021 on Office 365 (here‘s the latest update from Microsoft).
  1. Who will be impacted?
    Every customer that is using Attendant Console or Digital Fax integrations with Office 365. Once MS disables Basic Auth, such integrations (calendar and mail2fax) will no longer work.
  1. What should you do?
    Just update both your Imagicle UC Suite and Attendant Console to Spring’21 and switch the configuration from Basic to Modern Authentication.
Basically, in addition to increasing the overall security, Spring’21 allows you to be ready for the new MS policy thanks to the modern OAuth2 authentication method. Not only will your apps be more secure, but you will also have to remember one less password. Is that not great? winking face

Attendant Console: Presence for MS Teams. Perfect for hybrid environments.

We’ve been talking about the investments and the journey we’ve started towards Microsoft Teams since Winter’21 – our first milestone – which introduced the compatibility and availability of basically all UC Suite applications with the Microsoft Teams environment in Direct Routing architecture.
 
Spring’21 is the second milestone of this journey: we’re now able to provide to Attendant Console operators the presence information for colleagues that are using Microsoft Teams as a collaboration platform, thanks to the new, native integration we’ve developed leveraging Microsoft Teams Communications API.
This means that we’re now able to address hybrid environments with any mix and match of Calling and Collaboration platforms

For example, think about a customer using Cisco as a Calling platform and Microsoft Teams as a collaboration tool. Now, imagine an Attendant Console operator that is on a call and needs to understand a colleague’s availability to decide whether to forward the call to them or not. 
And maybe a colleague’s phone is idle, but the colleague is busy in a meeting using Microsoft Teams. Well, now we’re able to feed the operator with all the rich presence status info they need. Amazing, isn’t it? slightly smiling face 

Imagicle UC Suite. Cloud-connected evolution.

Let me just leave you with a flavor of the investments we’ve put in action, as proof of our commitment towards modern cloud calling platforms such as Microsoft Teams.
To retrieve such rich presence from MS teams, we’ve developed a brand new, cloud-native application that will run on the Imagicle cloud, leveraging of course AWS cloud technologies, and which will be able to provide MS Teams users presence info to every UC Suite that is either our Cloud Suite or a cloud-connected UC Suite running on-premises or partner-hosted. 
So thanks to the cloud connection between UC Suites and our cloud, we’re proud to deliver the first UC feature that leverages modern cloud technologies: hence, delivering innovation to our customers. 
 
And the best is yet to come because all of this will be the foundation of the upcoming development we’ve designed for our journey towards modern cloud calling platforms from Microsoft, but also for Cisco Webex Calling. 
In Summer’21, our Attendant Console will call control the MS Teams client directly, eliminating the need for the Skype for Business client.
 
In other words, our Imagicle UC Cloud Suite will be completely integrated with MS Teams: receptionists will rely on MS Teams as their softphone using the Imagicle Attendant Console, and all customers will enjoy Imagicle Call Recording, Contact Manager, and Digital Fax by using the Imagicle Gadgets that complete and expand the MS Teams experience. 
I don’t want to spoil too much, but rest assured: Summer’21 will be the hottest one yet. Stay tuned! smiling face with sunglasses

Big Sur compatibility.

The last news related to our Attendant Console is the support for the latest operating system from Apple, macOS Big Sur, which has been one of the biggest updates by Apple in years and the first introducing support for the new ARM-based processor, the M1, which we support as well. Just a note is worth mentioning: we dropped support for older operating systems, like El Capitan and Sierra. This means that the minimum required macOS version is now High Sierra.

Advanced Queueing and Auto Attendant: improved performance and scalability.

Apps Performance is one of the four pillars that drive our product strategy, together with Leadership, Innovation, and Security. In 2020, we revolutionized performance for Call Analytics, Contact Manager, and Call Recording; in Spring’21, it’s been Advanced Queueing turn!
This in-depth article explains the engineering process we adopted to boost the performance and scalability of our customer service solution, which is now able to handle more and more channels per server. While up to Winter’21 Advanced Queueing could manage up to 180 waiting calls per server, Spring’21 allows to keep waiting up to 360 calls on the most powerful Imagicle server, and even more if you use a custom-sized server! 
Such high scalability allows to use fewer servers, which simplifies deployments and turns into cost reduction as well as and operational effort reduction.

Call Recording: enhanced Search & Play web interface.

Despite the huge work required by the above-mentioned developments, we were able to listen to customers’ requests coming from the field. That’s why we’ve enhanced the Call Recording search and play web interface to allow operating on multiple recordings at once.
There can be a couple of use cases where, for example, a supervisor needs to identify all the recordings belonging to a particular user or to a particular time frame or with notes containing a specific keyword and maybe extract them from for subsequent inspection, such as for litigation or a claim. Well, Spring21 allows to select more than one recording at once and download them in just one click, into a simple and compact zip file. And, if the user has the proper rights, they can of course delete the selected recordings in one click. Of course, those actions will be tracked by the auditing system in order to be compliant with GDPR and HIPAA regulations.

Conclusions.

Here at Imagicle, we get to work with one, clear goal: making our customers happy. 
Our products are aimed at making communications more human while simplifying and streamlining everyday tasks. Now, I hope that the steps we made with Spring’21 conveyed this message clearly.
 
Stay tuned for what’s coming next, because it will be even more Imagicle! slightly smiling face 

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