A startup called eZuce is offering an open-source, software-only unified communications solution that company officials say is an alternative to Microsoft's UC offerings.
eZuce, which launched Aug. 12, is rolling out OpenUC, which officials say is aimed at midsize to large enterprises of 200 to 10,000 users and can be offered as an on-premises solution or through a managed services environment.
The OpenUC solution is designed to offer all the functionality of legacy hardware-based IP PBX systems, but through a completely open-source, software-based approach that is installed on a physical server that already is available, according to officials.
The use of native SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) eliminates the need for a feature server, which is typically needed for some UC deployments.
The product offers the same features as Microsoft's Communications Server, from instant messaging and video conferencing to unified messaging, presence, call center, collaboration and mobility, according to eZuce.
Using existing hardware and an aggressive per-seat pricing model will help drive down the overall costs for UC deployment, the company said.
"eZuce was born from the successful efforts of SIPfoundry as demand increased for an open-source, [SIP]-based solution that ties enterprise communications tools [in] with Web-enabled business processes," Martin Steinmann, co-founder and CEO of eZuce, said in a statement. "eZuce presents a logical progression in UC with a holistic approach that marries the strengths of enterprise communications with cloud computing."
According to Steinmann, a one-time executive with Nortel Networks and founder of the SIPfoundry, OpenUC has been in development for seven years and comes onto the market as a mature product.
It's designed to be less expensive and easier to use than other UC offerings, according to officials, through such features as central management and an all-inclusive price reportedly set at $65 per user.
eZuce will roll out OpenUC through its channel partners, enabling them to offer it to their customers as a managed service or an on-premises product.