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Email Killers 2017: A Look at 14 Cloud-Based Team Collaboration Apps: Page 10 of 17


It took me a while to get my head around Rainbow because it isn't just a team collaboration app. Well, it is. But it isn't. But it is.

Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise (ALE) is really offering two Rainbows... a double Rainbow, if you will. Rainbow Hub, a set of APIs and a communications platform-as-a-service option, lets developers embed messaging, bots, voice and video conferencing, and screen and file sharing into various apps. The Rainbow app, on the other hand, is a team collaboration and UC app that's the result of ALE itself utilizing these APIs.

Rainbow (the app) became generally available in late 2016. It replaces TeamShare, the team collaboration app that ALE launched a couple years back and that I profiled when I updated this blog last time. (Or does it? TeamShare still shows up on the ALE site, so maybe it's not quite transitioned out yet. Regardless, I removed it from the slideshow this time around.) ALE sells Rainbow in a freemium model, with the free bit available now and the premium bit to launch in or around June.

Like other team collaboration apps, Rainbow provides persistent project-specific workspaces. It offers WebRTC-driven voice and video, presence, messaging, file sharing, and other features you'd expect from a team collaboration app. It can also serve as a traditional UC client. That is, while it doesn't have a tradition buddy list UI, Rainbow users can view each other's presence, IM each other, escalate messaging sessions to voice or video, share screens... all the sort of things you'd expect from a corporate IM client.

Whether used for team collaboration or as a more standard UC app, Rainbow can exist as an island -- providing comms and collaboration between Rainbow users only -- or integrate with PBXs -- allowing Rainbow users to see the telephony presence of PBX users, make and receive PSTN calls, and access various PBX features such as call hold, call transfer, and voicemail. PBX integration currently supports ALE systems via a native software agent, and Cisco, Unify and (soon) Avaya systems via software running on a separate server.

Haven't read enough about Rainbow? Here's another blog I wrote about it.

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