Unify Gears Up for the Release of Ansible UC Platform

By Jeffrey Burt  |  Posted 2014-10-05 Print this article Print

However, what the platform will be called when it's released is still under discussion, Douglas said. Ansible has been a code name used since the company first began talking about it. Whether it remains once the product is released is still under debate. Some customers have told Unify officials that the name can be confusing and that it doesn't express what the platform offers, he said.

"It will be interesting to see what decision we come to," Douglas said.

Count Zeus Kerravala as one who would like to see the Ansible name remain. Kerravala, principal analyst with ZK Research, has said that Unify has done a good job of establishing the Ansible name in the marketplace.

"To change it now would be a mistake," he told eWEEK.

Whatever they name the product, Unify officials will have an opportunity to grow the company's presence in the UC space, Kerravala said.

"They're doing the things they said they'd do productwise," he said. "Now the real hard work begins."

That work includes leveraging the marketing, sales and channel strengths that they're building to build awareness of the company and its solutions. The analyst also said Unify could help itself by highlighting Ansible's mobile capabilities.

Unify officials have talked about mobile over the past several months. At the CeBit show in March and later at the Enterprise Connect 2014 event later that month, Douglas and other executives talked about what the company is calling the "new way to work," which is heavily influenced by such trends as the consumerization of IT—or bring-your-own-device (BYOD)—social media and the cloud. These trends are changing the way employees work and collaborate—they want to be able to work anywhere, and be able to collaborate at any time and on any device. Douglas introduced the company's New Way to Work Index, a research series designed to give organizations information to help them create strategies around new ways of communicating and collaborating.

Kerravala said stressing a mobile message could help Unify differentiate itself from competitors. Cisco officials focus on the company's capabilities around voice and video, while Microsoft builds its message for Lync around the desktop, he said.

"Many UC [solutions] have mobile in their tool kit, but I haven't seen any UC vendor lead with mobile," Kerravala said. "[Unify officials] come with a clean slate. They could do it. … Nobody leads with mobile, and given that mobile is the wave of the future, mobile gives [Unify] a way to break away [from competitors]."



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