Unify Launches OpenScape Cloud

Today, at its global partner conference in Monaco, Unify announced OpenScape Cloud, combining its OpenScape Voice and Circuit workstream messaging offerings into a single, hosted service intended for service providers.

With Circuit, introduced in 2014, Unify became the first major UC company to launch a workstream messaging service. Since that time the company, which is now the Atos brand for communications and collaboration, has been communicating that Circuit and OpenScape are "better together."

Until now, Circuit had been exclusively available as a service, and OpenScape had been available only as a licensed product -- although several service providers use OpenScape to power hosted UC services. To create a combined offer, Unify has moved into UCaaS. As Jan Hickisch, VP of global solutions marketing, noted during a briefing, Circuit complements UC with modern collaboration capabilities.

Customers can subscribe to OpenScape Cloud as a pure cloud service, or combine it with new or existing premises-based UC solutions as a hybrid solution. Regardless of deployment model, an enterprise would either use the OpenScape Cloud provider's carrier-grade PSTN services or reuse its existing onsite trunks. By deferring trunks to existing providers, Unify avoids the complicated process of becoming a carrier itself country by country and allows it a way to expand global availability quickly. Unify is launching in the U.S., the U.K., France, and Germany this quarter, and expects availability to expand into many more markets before the end of the year.

Unify had previously announced an expectation of a million subscribers on Circuit by the end of this year. OpenScape Cloud should accelerate that figure as Unify designed it to appeal to its existing base of OpenScape customers. Unify has also announced a trade-up program that allows customers to swap previously purchased OpenScape licenses for OpenScape Cloud services.

Workstream messaging improves customer productivity through collaboration, and several UC companies agree. Offers include Cisco Spark, Microsoft Teams, RingCentral Glip, and BroadSoft Team-One, to name a few. Combining workstream messaging with UCaaS brings robust real-time interactions into messaging solutions that already include content and integrations to popular services. This includes calling, conferencing, PSTN, and endpoints.

The UC-workstream messaging market is getting crowded, but Unify found some ways to differentiate its OpenScape Cloud service. First, it's extremely channel friendly and aimed directly at service providers. It also offers a migration path for organizations with premises-based UC solutions. The integration is tightest with OpenScape, but Unify Circuit also integrates with most third-party UC solutions via SIP.

OpenScape Cloud provides a rich UC and workstream solution set. In addition to pure-cloud and hybrid models, OpenScape Cloud also offers a full range of endpoints including room systems, advanced voice features including contact center, and managed services through its parent Atos. In addition, Unify can commit to data sovereignty requirements in some European markets.

Dave Michels is a contributing editor and analyst at TalkingPointz.

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