Siemens Unveils Project Ansible for Improved UC
The goal is to create a seamless UC experience that can run across desktops, tablets and smartphones—enabling even more people to collaborate—and that offers a range of deployment options for organizations, including both private and public clouds. In addition, partners will be able to offer it as a service to customers, according to Jan Hickisch, vice president of portfolio management of unified communications and collaboration (UCC) at Siemens. It also will leverage WebRTC, a standard that enables voice, text, and video communications to be embedded within Web browsers. Ansible is being designed to make collaborations easier by giving organizations a single place for pulling together and managing communications in an intuitive way, without having to jump between disparate communications applications. It also will be personal, being adaptable to individual users, which company officials said will increase adoption, improve productivity and drive down training costs. Another area being targeted is persistence. Meetings automatically become shared Ansible Spaces, and associated files, transcripts, conversations and participants are automatically included. In addition, all conversations and content remain available after the meeting is over. It also will make searching for data easier through a feature called Thought Trails, which will give users real-time, searchable access to content by topic and conversation, officials said. The platform also will come with Connectors, which will offer integration to business applications vendors such as Microsoft, Salesforce and Google, as well as to various media platforms. In addition, Ansible will come with APIs and software development kits (SDKs) that will let in-house and third-party developers build software for the platform.Hickisch also said Siemens was making sure to avoid the trap of vendor lock-in. The company already offers other UC solutions, including its HiPath and OpenScape portfolios for small and large enterprises. Through its Connectors and SDKs, as well as the use of WebRTC, Siemens will ensure that all organizations will be able to adopt Ansible. “Needless to say, it will work best with our [technology], but we won’t lock anyone out,” he told eWEEK. Siemens officials will unveil more information about Ansible over time. The company has created an Ansible micro-site at www.ProjectAnsible.com where it will post updates.
“We want o build a platform where an organization can build its own software [that] can play nice with Ansible,” Siemens’ Raak said.