Unify Launches Ansible, Now Known as Circuit

The company rolls out a UC solution that gives customers a single platform for everything from video and voice to messaging and file sharing.

Unify CEO

Unify officials are launching the vendor's much anticipated unified communications platform formerly known as Project Ansible, a key product introduction for a company that has undergone more than its share of change and tumult while competing in a space that includes such giants as Cisco Systems and Microsoft.

Unify CEO Dean Douglas and other executives now called Circuit—during a Webcast event Oct. 28, promising a single common platform for all aspects of business communications, from voice and video to messaging, screen sharing and file sharing. It also gives users a place for storing the data from the meetings so that it can be accessed at a later date.

In communications today, business workers too often need to switch between devices and applications depending on what mode of communications they're using, Douglas said during the Webcast.

"That makes it all very kludgy and makes it difficult to use, and we're going to put all of that on a single pane of glass," he said.

Circuit, a browser-based solution built atop WebRTC standards, is designed to make it easy for users to move from one mode to another regardless of the device they're using. Such flexibility is becoming increasingly important as more employees are mobile or work remotely, and are demanding the ability to collaborate with colleagues, partners and customers regardless of whether they're using a smartphone, tablet or notebook, Bill Hurley, chief marketing officer at Unify, told eWEEK.

"We're very focused on how people work," Hurley said. "It's as much about the experience of the worker and not just the technology."

Unify officials earlier this year began talking about what they're calling the New Way to Work, fueled by such trends as mobile computing, consumerization of IT, cloud computing, social media and bring-your-own-device (BYOD). Circuit is designed to address all these trends, Hurley said.

The single pane of glass gives users one Web application that brings together the various modes of communication, and stores the content for future use. In addition, the technology's contextual search and filter capabilities make content easy to find by searching for terms and people, and users can leverage the platform to conduct private one-on-one, group or companywide conversations, according to Unify officials.

Hurley said company engineers also wanted to ensure that Circuit—which was designed along with product design firm Frog Design—offered an intuitive interface. The application currently supports Google's Chrome Web browser for Apple's iPhone and iPad devices. Support for devices running Google's Android mobile operating system will come in January 2015, the company said. Unify reportedly also plans browser support for Firefox and Internet Explorer.

Circuit—which has been in the works for two years and was first publicly discussed 16 months ago—initially will be offered as a cloud application, with an on-premises solution coming soon, Hurley said. The company also intends to provide software development kits (SDKs) and APIs to enable third-party software developers and customers to write applications for Circuit.