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The map of continuous innovation.

Wow, it’s mid of August. Already. A quick look back is enough to see how many amazing features we’ve delivered with the new, hot Imagicle AppSuite Summer Release 2020. So many that you might need a small content map not to get lost. In this post, I’d like to drive you through the product strategy that supported them, as well as several minor improvements included (because details do matter!).

At the top of the pyramid: Imagicle ApplicationSuite as a Service.

There is no doubt that the leading role of Imagicle innovation for Summer 2020 is the brand new Imagicle ApplicationSuite-as-a-Service (IASaaS) cloud offering
 
Indeed, on the one hand, the 4 pillars of our product – strategy, security, performance, leadership and innovation – lead the continous improvement of our beloved AppSuite in order to bring every new benefits to all our customers; on the other hand, we are very excited (and, of course, proud) of our IASaaS, because it adds a big step forward to offer greater security, higher performance and flexibility in a simpler way. In a nutshell, it’s simply perfect! 
 
As you know, in fact, we are committed to making every IAS release more secure for everyone (remember? We’ve been talking about the SSDLC approach we’ve introduced in Spring 2020 and our commitment to OWASP top 10 vulnerabilities). Summer 2020 provides a step forward in data protection by increasing the encryption level of all services credentials stored on disk, thus benefiting all AppSuite customers. But IASaaS provides even more security, and all without having the customer to do anything! Wanna know how? Read the dedicated post here.

Call Recording boost: from 180 to 500 recordings on the same server.

Let me highlight another pillar: performance. In Spring 2020, we have re-designed the database engine used by our Call Accounting to increase report performance and overall scalability. We’ve also re-engineered the Contacts search engine of Speedy, our Advanced Directory app, to provide contacts at the speed of the light. Finally, in Summer 2020, we’ve optimized our Call Recording engine, almost tripling the number of concurrent recordable calls on the same server, reaching a high scalability that allows us to simplify deployments, reduce costs, and operational effort. In short, you can do a lot more with the same hardware!
 
But IASaaS offers even more. Thanks to the modern, automated, infrastructure we’ve built leveraging AWS technologies, we’re able to increase HW resources within minutes! You don’t know how many customers suddenly faced a dramatic boost of traffic during the COVID-19 outbreak and had trouble increasing their HW resources: if it happened again – and I really hope it doesn’t – IASaaS would be able to scale HW performance in minutes! 

Microsoft Enterprise Calendars enter the Imagicle Attendant Console.

We also keep working and investing to be recognized by customers and partners as leaders for overall app experiences (and tech support as well). From this point of view, Summer 2020 provides a new, amazingly nice feature to all our Attendant Console customers. With a simple glance at colleagues’ calendar status, it is possible to know what our colleagues are up to, thanks to the integration with Microsoft Exchange and Office 365 Calendars (read more in the dedicated post).

And all our customers need to do to access these tangible results is to update the AppSuite! 

A smooth transition. Without losing anything.

See how many news? Now you probabily understand why we care so much for our customers to update the AppSuite so that they can start to enjoy the latest features, enhancements, and security improvements as soon as possible. 
That’s very easy: just update AppSuite. You may object that it’s not that simple. We know that the AppSuite provides critical services in production, so it’s not so easy to update it and even harder to update it frequently. Here is another reason to install the latest release: Summer 2020 allows to upgrade to newer release more smoothly, i.e., without losing any call!
 
The AppSuite update process is now much smarter: it is capable of shutting down smoothly voice applications such as Advanced Queuing, Auto Attendant, Fax, and Call Recorder – that means that these apps do not halt suddenly, causing an abrupt termination of active calls. Instead, apps enter a special “maintenance” operation mode: they will reject any new calls directed to the queues and IVR services, any faxes, and any recordings, causing the PBX to re-route them to other AppSuite nodes. At the same time, apps will continue to properly handle active calls, waiting for them to complete before stopping and letting the update process continue. 
 
But that’s not all: we’ve thought that this feature can be particularly valuable for Service Provides who provide our UC apps by hosting and managing AppSuite by themselves. Now, they can fully control the new maintenance operating mode offered by the AppSuite thanks to a dedicated public REST API! So, if they have automated the IAS update process, now they can enhance their service by setting an IAS node in maintenance mode before updating it.
 

Lock/unlock corporate phones automatically with the brand-new Imagicle API.

And that of the previous paragraph is not the only API added with Summer 2020: we know API are somewhat impalpable, but they let the AppSuite be an open solution. And we strongly believe in the added value an open solution can deliver to customers and system integrators, as they allow us to build a solution tailored to customer-specific needs and habits. What does an “open solution” mean? 
Suppose you need to lock users’ phones within a particular context or workflow, but you have no idea how to deal with sophisticated and real-time technologies that allow you to control phones. So, what to do? 
Guess what? I have a suggestion. You can leverage the new straightforward API offered by PhoneLock, designed to manage all that complexity for you. I recommend to read the dedicated post to discover this new API as well as the several APIs provided by the Suite and possible use cases.
 
Imagicle experience
 
 

Updates! Updates! Updates!

Let me close with two quick updates on the supported Operating Systems. The first one is related to Microsoft Windows Server 2008, which End-of-Support has started in January 2020. This means Microsoft is no longer providing support, software update and, above all, security patches. That’s why Summer 2020 is the last AppSuite release still compatible with Microsoft Windows Server 2008. The next AppSuite release, Winter 2021 (planned for the 1st week of December 2020), will require at least Microsoft Windows Server 2012. So, we strongly suggest customers still running on Windows Server 2008 to move the AppSuite installations on a server with newer (and more secure) OS.
 
On the other side, we updated our AppSuite Virtual Appliances that, from now on, are based on Microsoft Windows Server 2019 only: no more need to downgrade Microsoft licenses! Is someone still using Windows Server 2016? Don’t worry: the previous Virtual Appliance images, which are still based on AppSuite Spring 2020, will still be available for download – you will just need to update them to the latest AppSuite version once deployed.
 

Conclusions.

As I said at the beginning, details matter.
Part of the Imagicle product strategy is always to add new features to the apps with a special attention to details, in order to help our customers and partners to work in an increasingly efficient, rapid, modern, and satisfying way.
 
After all, it’s not secret. The world is changing before our eyes: it becomes more technological and faster, and the geographical borders between countries, or between home and office, are thinning. Each new release is a step forward in terms of innovation, usability, integration and compatibility, to make those boundaries even smaller and make communications faster, smarter and easier for everyone, everywhere, on every device and system.
 
Long story short, we like to keep up.
 
Below are the in-depth posts that inspire this article.
 
I wish you a wonderful end of summer. 
We are already warming up the engines for the next Release!
 
#stayimagicle

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