Cloud News

The 2021 Tech Innovator Awards

Kyle Alspach

From among 373 applicants, CRN staff selected products spanning the IT industry—including in cloud, infrastructure, security, software and devices—that offer both strong differentiation and major partner opportunities.

Unified Communications


8x8 XCaaS

With its Experience Communications as a Service (XCaaS) solution, 8x8 provides a cloud communications offering that converges Unified Communications as a Service and Contact Center as a Service. The solution integrates capabilities that include cloud-native contact center, voice, meetings, team chat and Communications Platform as a Service. Key benefits for 8x8 XCaaS include high reliability and availability—featuring the only UCaaS and CCaaS platform-wide 99.99 percent uptime service-level agreement in the industry—as well as a unified provisioning and configuration console, integrations with Microsoft Teams and more than 50 other third-party apps, and cross-platform analytics providing insights from interactions in real-time.


Avaya Cloud Office Rooms

The Avaya Cloud Office Rooms solution with the CU360 collaboration unit offers an easy way to provide video meeting capabilities for meeting areas such as conference and huddle rooms. Key features include single-touch starting and joining for meetings; dual-screen capabilities for sharing content; the ability to share a screen to the monitor wirelessly; and integrations with Microsoft and Google calendars.


Dialpad offers calling, video conferencing and messaging in a single app, enhanced by capabilities that are driven by artificial intelligence and natural language processing. Dialpad Meetings offers AI-powered capabilities such as live note-taking and automated, real-time transcription.


Fuze offers a unified communications and contact center platform, with capabilities across calling, meeting, chatting and sharing. Recently added solutions include tailored vertical-focused offerings that support industries such as manufacturing and recruiting.

Ribbon Connect

Ribbon Connect is a cloud-based service for enabling organizations to migrate to cloud collaboration at whatever pace is right for them. The service, which runs on the Microsoft Azure cloud platform, provides a secure connection for phone numbers, lines and calling plans to the Microsoft Teams collaboration platform.

Zoom Phone

The Zoom Phone solution brings Zoom video, audio and content-sharing capabilities to appliances from vendors including Poly and Yealink. The Zoom Phone Appliance interface allows for starting and joining Zoom Meetings; searching contacts; calling and transferring calls; accessing multiple lines; and moving to a Zoom meeting from a Zoom Phone call.

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Kyle Alspach

Kyle Alspach is a Senior Editor at CRN focused on cybersecurity. His coverage spans news, analysis and deep dives on the cybersecurity industry, with a focus on fast-growing segments such as cloud security, application security and identity security.  He can be reached at

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