The 10 Hottest Collaboration Tools Of 2022

Collaboration industry mainstays Cisco and Zoom make this year’s list of the hottest collaboration tools, as do a slew of specialists that come armed with UCaaS, contact center and videoconferencing offerings.

Work From Everywhere

Hybrid work has necessitated a shift in meeting styles to include a mix of in-office attendees and remote employees. It’s a mix that’s not changing. In fact, unified communications collaboration revenue, including videoconferencing software and cloud services, had increased 10.2 percent annually by mid-2022 and Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) revenue, including hosted voice, grew 17 percent year over year. Revenue for enterprise videoconferencing room endpoints for larger spaces increased 15.6 percent during the third quarter of 2022 year over year and huddle room endpoint revenue increased 24.7 percent year over year by September 2022, according to a report from research firm IDC.

These offerings are underpinning many a hybrid work environment today. Leading collaboration players such as Microsoft with Teams, Zoom Video Communications and Cisco Systems with Webex emerged as the frontrunners in this space nearly three years ago, but many UCaaS and videoconferencing specialists quickly came to the table with their own offerings packed with capabilities to help keep teams connected. At the same time, emphasis on Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS) is increasing at a time when hybrid work is king, and boutique CCaaS providers are partnering with larger collaboration and UCaaS providers to create a platform approach to communications for internal and external use for businesses.

From the largest collaboration and videoconferencing leaders to the UCaaS and contact center specialists that have been building out their platforms with new features for enterprises and SMBs alike, here are 10 of the hottest collaboration tools of 2022.

* 8x8 Conversation IQ

* Avaya Cloud Office

* Cisco Webex Go

* Google Workspace

* GoTo Connect

* Intermedia Unite

* NWN Carousel Office Collaboration Room-as-a-Service

* Microsoft Teams

* Qumu Live

* Zoom Phone

8x8 Conversation IQ

UCaaS provider 8x8 is coming to the market with Conversation IQ, its new offering that extends contact center capabilities, such as quality management and speech analytics, to any employee across an organization using 8x8 cloud communications. Conversation IQ uses conversational artificial intelligence to serve up insight, foster coaching and ensure professional engagements are delivering consistent experiences across the entire business, for all user roles, from the contact center to the front desk and the back office, according to 8x8.

Conversation IQ is built on 8x8 XCaaS, the company’s single-vendor UCaaS and CCaaS platform.

The Campbell, Calif.-based company in January completed its acquisition of fellow cloud communications specialist Fuze for approximately $250 million in a stock and cash deal.

Avaya Cloud Office

Avaya Cloud Office (ACO) is the Durham, N.C.-based company’s high-performing UCaaS offering that it created in partnership with cloud UC leader RingCentral. The offering is gaining traction with large enterprise customers, according to Avaya.

ACO powered by RingCentral offers all-in-one calling, messaging, videoconferencing, file sharing and collaboration across any device or user location. The offering is built on RingCentral’s open platform that offers more than 200 prebuilt integrations with cloud applications, so users can still use their legacy UC and collaboration tools—including Microsoft Office 365, Salesforce and Google G-Suite. It can also be packaged with Avaya’s desk phone line. ACO is integrated into Avaya OneCloud, a platform that includes UCaaS and CCaaS that was rebranded in November to Avaya Experience Platform.

Avaya Cloud Office is currently available in more than 40 countries globally.

Cisco Webex Go

Cisco was one of the three collaboration and videoconferencing leaders that stood out from the start of the pandemic more than two years ago with its highly sought-after Webex platform.

With Webex Go, enterprise-grade Webex Calling features can be added as a dedicated business line to a user’s personal mobile phone so there is no longer any need to carry two mobile devices for personal and business use, San Jose, Calif.-based Cisco said. The service also ensures that all mobile phones become a secure and compliant endpoint.

For administrators, Webex Go enables easily provisioning and management in Webex Control Hub with features such as call recording and call analytics.

Cisco is continually developing innovative features for the Webex platform to the tune of rolling out more than 1,000 new features and capabilities over the past two years.

Google Workspace

A good fit for the SMB and enterprise alike, Google Workspace suite, formerly known as G Suite, is the company‘s portfolio of productivity and collaboration tools.

Google Workspace includes access to popular tools such as Gmail, Calendar, Meet, Chat, Drive, Docs, Sheets, Slides, Forms, Sites and more. The company recently unveiled an upgrade to its Workspace individual plan by increasing the amount of storage from 15 GB to 1 TB at no extra cost to users.

Google Cloud in February launched a free, but limited version of Google Workspace: The Google Workspace Essential Starter includes no-cost access to its Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, Drive, Meet, Chat and Tasks using the users’ existing emails.

GoTo Connect

GoTo Connect is GoTo’s flagship cloud phone and meeting system that features videoconferencing, voice calling, admin support and a newly introduced contact center offering.

GoTo, formerly LogMeIn, bills the platform as an affordable and versatile option for internal and external business communications. GoTo Connect, according to the Boston-based company, is geared toward the hybrid working needs of SMBs because of its simplicity.

The platform also now includes IT help desk ticketing capabilities within the GoTo Connect app, integrating the company‘s IT support offering, GoTo Resolve, into GoTo Connect.

Intermedia Unite

Business communications leader Intermedia has been arming small and midsize businesses, as well as enterprises, with its flagship Unite platform at a time when hybrid work is on the rise.

Intermedia Unite is a cloud-based communications and collaboration offering that provides voice, videoconferencing, chat, recording, transcription and file collaboration on one platform that can be managed by solution providers on one bill. The offering can also be white-labeled by partners who may want to lead with their brand.

The Sunnyvale, Calif.-based company unveiled two new versions of Unite designed to work with Microsoft Teams because the company is a longtime Microsoft partner that carries a Gold Certified competency in Microsoft 365 and Microsoft Teams, according to the company. Intermedia does more than 80 percent of its business through the channel today.

NWN Carousel Office Collaboration Room-as-a-Service

Hybrid networking powerhouse NWN Carousel in April launched a number of consumption-based solutions, including the Office Collaboration Room-as-a-Service kit for employees returning to work part-time or full-time.

The Office Collaboration Room-as-a-Service is a bundled solution that includes visual collaboration hardware, software and services sold in a flexible consumption model to support changing office dynamics. The kit can be easily scaled up and down to support the needs of huddle rooms and small meeting spaces, according to Boston-based NWN Carousel.

The cloud communications solution provider’s next-generation room solutions, along with NWN Carousel professional services, ensure optimized integration with products such as Cisco Webex, Microsoft Teams and Zoom, the company said.

Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams has spent the past few years dominating the collaboration space with its popular platform that offers document storage, chat and online meetings. It integrates with Office 365 applications that get used every day by many businesses, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, SharePoint and Outlook, so adoption is a no-brainer for many businesses.

Microsoft has prioritized hybrid work by building in more features for both remote and in-office meeting attendees. At Build 2022 in May, Microsoft unveiled a preview for new Teams software development kit (SDK) extensions for developers to build “live share” capabilities into applications, which allows meeting participants to annotate, edit, zoom in, zoom out and interact with content shared in a Teams meeting window, according to Redmond, Wash.-based Microsoft.

Cisco and Microsoft in October said they were partnering to give users another videoconferencing option— Teams—natively on Cisco Meeting devices.

Qumu Live

Qumu takes a slightly different approach to the crowded collaboration space with its video engagement platform. The Qumu Live platform can be used to create, manage, distribute and measure the success of webcasts, virtual events, and employee collaboration and training through analytics. The 20-year-old company specializes in asynchronous, secure video, whether it’s large-scale companywide town halls or executives sending out short video messages to their teams via the company’s existing collaboration team. Qumu counts many large brands, including Bayer, Kroger and Mastercard, as customers.

Minneapolis-based Qumu in November announced the global availability of Qumu Live. The company in April also named a new CEO: Rose Bentley, Qumu’s former COO, who has been heads-down-focused on building repeatable, cloud sales. Bentley is no stranger to the collaboration space or the channel, having worked on Cisco’s Webex Experience Management team after the tech giant acquired CloudCherry, as the organization’s North American sales and operations leader.

Zoom Phone

Zoom has become a leader in the videoconferencing space in recent years, but the company also has a cloud-based voice offering that it introduced in 2019—Zoom Phone—that’s been growing in popularity, especially in the channel.

Zoom Phone is now available in more than 47 countries and territories globally. The offering is available to customers and through partners for a combined voice and video offering and is also available via a simplified voice service plan for businesses with global locations.

The Santa Clara, Calif.-based company in March said that reseller partners for the first time will be able to sell Zoom Phone, which previously had only been available via the master and sub-agent channels.