Unify to Beta Ansible UC Platform in May, Launch It in October
After Ansible is released in October, Unify officials have plans to aggressively build up the UC platform's capabilities. For example, by the end of 2014, Ansible will include intelligent connectors to on-premises OpenScape Voice environments, enabling businesses to use the Unify products they've already invested to reap some of the benefits promised by Ansible. By the middle of next year, Ansible will offer integration into on-premises OpenScape Business and OpenScape 4000 environments. Zeus Kerravala, principal analyst with ZK Research, said in a post on the NoJitter blog site that while more details are needed, he is impressed with the direction Unify is taking with Ansible. "Some of these [upcoming capabilities] such as conferencing and audio/video integration are obvious, but it would be nice to get more detail on items like 'rich, textual messaging,' 'enterprise social networking' and the 'outstanding' user guide," Kerravala wrote. "These leave a fair bit of room for interpretation, but again, it's certainly a positive to see these items on the list. The product aims to be a next-generation work tool, and these are the tools that future generations of workers are using." He also said that Unify's decision to call the platform Ansible once it's released makes sense.The announcements around Ansible come less than a week after Douglas and other Unify officials at the CeBit 2014 show outlined an evolving work environment that they are calling a "New Way to Work," driven by the growing numbers of younger people in the workforce and such trends as cloud computing, bring your own device (BYOD) and greater worker mobility. "No longer are 'anywhere workers,' 'virtual teams' and 'consumerization' buzzwords of interest," Douglas said in his CeBit keynote. "The 'New Way to Work' is here, it's the reality of global work today, and C-level executives and IT professionals must be ready to address these topics now."
"Initially, I believe Unify wanted to use Ansible as the code-name and then release the product under another name," Kerravala wrote. "I'm normally a bigger fan of names that actually mean something, but the company (I know, boring) has done such a good job of branding Ansible; I think it makes sense to keep the name around."