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Email Killers 2017: A Look at 14 Cloud-Based Team Collaboration Apps: Page 9 of 17


Among all the team collaboration apps I'm looking at here, Genesys's PureCloud service (formerly from Interactive Intelligence) has perhaps had the most significant changes since the last Email Killers profile I drafted on it. It's not that PureCloud has had the most new features added, though there are plenty of those: group ringing and fax, single chat rooms with up to 1,000 participants (that's a huge chat room!), audio and video diagnostics, and increased localization (up to 14 languages). Additionally, the video conference participant cap is about to quadruple, from five to 20.

But a more fundamental change to PureCloud impacts its positioning against other team collaboration apps. To appreciate this, let's first revisit the three previous PureCloud plans: Collaborate ($9.99/user/month), Communicate ($19.99/user/month), and Engage ($99.99/agent/month). If you just wanted an alternative to Slack, then you bought Collaborate. If you wanted that and a hosted PBX service, then Communicate. And Engage threw hosted contact center into the mix.

Today the latter two plans remain. PureCloud Communicate is still on offer as a UCaaS offering. PureCloud Engage has been rebranded as just plain PureCloud, now costs a third less, and offers a number of new features. But it's otherwise the same. (Customers can connect either of these to a PBX on-prem, or can get voice services in the form of PureCloud Voice.)

However, shortly after Genesys bought Interactive, it withdrew PureCloud Collaborate as a standalone offering. While PureCloud Collaborate is still available as a free team collaboration app for PureCloud Communicate customers, only subscribers to the UCaaS service have access to it now.

This has significant ramifications on the role the company plays in the team collaboration app market. That is to say, unlike Interactive, Genesys isn't really going to play in the market. It has no app for IT departments that want an alternative to Slack. Or rather, IT departments would have to adopt the company's hosted UC service in order to get access to the Slack alternative for which they might be looking. And, really, that's not going to happen.

Is any of this bad for Genesys? Probably not. When Interactive launched PureCloud, it wasn't known as a provider of Slack-like collaboration apps or of UCaaS services. Taking one of these off the table will let it focus on the other. And -- given its customer base -- UCaaS is probably the larger opportunity.

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