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News briefs: Cisco adds features to Webex Rooms

Cisco has added features from its cloud-based Webex Meetings platform to the video conferencing hardware Webex Rooms. The capabilities include access to digital whiteboards.

Cisco has added more cloud-based capabilities to its video conferencing hardware Webex Rooms.

The latest features, unveiled last week, include closed captioning, which was available in only Cisco's cloud-based Webex Meetings platform.

Rooms customers with the latest version of Webex Edge for Devices can participate in whiteboard sessions over the cloud and access name labels through facial recognition. Webex Edge for Devices lets businesses connect on-premises video devices to cloud services like Webex Control Hub and Webex Assistant.

Other features include shape recognition in the whiteboard app for Webex Rooms. A roughly drawn circle or rectangle on a whiteboard will correct to a perfect shape. The Webex RoomOS recognizes circles, ovals, squares, rectangles and diamonds.

Also available are layouts for meetings. For example, a grid shows all participants equally and a focus option that displays the speaker or presenter in a big window. The software shows others in a smaller window.

Salesforce, Slack merger delayed by DOJ info request

The Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice has requested additional information from Slack and Salesforce regarding the companies' $27.7 billion merger, according to Securities and Exchange Commission filings.

The DOJ requested information based on the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976. The companies said they would cooperate with the DOJ and still expect to complete the merger by the end of their fiscal quarters in July.

"We're happy to work with regulators to ensure that they have a complete understanding of this transaction and why we believe it will be good for competition," said a Slack spokesperson. "We are confident that it will be approved when that process is completed."

Salesforce expects the acquisition of Slack to make the productivity platform more competitive with rival Microsoft. Microsoft's productivity suite 365 includes its Slack-like messaging platform Teams.

RingCentral revenues up 32%

RingCentral reported a 32% increase in revenue year over year in the last quarter.

The company, which reported quarterly earnings last week, said revenues reached $335 million, a 25% increase from the previous quarter. Ring Central provides messaging, voice over IP and video conferencing services.

RingCentral CEO Vlad Shmunis said on an earnings call that a large part of the growth was due to higher sales of its contact-center offering.

Future quarterly revenues could get a bump from RingCentral's recently released Glip Pro+, Shmunis told analysts. The product, an overhaul of the Glip messaging app, combines messaging with video conferencing. It competes with Cisco Webex, Microsoft Teams and Zoom.

RingCentral also expects future revenues to benefit from the recent acquisition of AI speech analytics company DeepAffects. The company expects DeepAffects to provide analytics that's ahead of rivals' products.

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