Unison’s Next Unified Communications Moves
Unison Communications created considerable buzz last year when the company announced a free, advertising-driven unified communications system. Now, Unison is preparing some new unified communications surprises that will debut in September 2009. Plus a hosted beta for channel partners is under way. Here’s the scoop, from The VAR Guy.
The VAR Guy traded email with Unison Chief Marketing Officer Rurik Bradbury.
Among the highlights:
– Unison 2.0: It’s scheduled to launch in September with ActiveSync for full mobile syncing of email/calendars/contacts; encrypted phone calls; multiparty IM chat; open APIs to build hooks into other services, Bradbury says.
– Hosted Unison: Intermedia, a major Microsoft Exchange hosting provider, is running a Hosted Unison beta that will shift into full-gear during Q3, asserts Bradbury. “It’s great for us that the world’s largest MS Exchange host is now offering Unison,” crows Bradbury. The VAR Guy can’t debate Bradbury on that point.
Bradbury adds: “Partners interested in white labeling Unison down the line can join Intermedia’s partner program for free.”
Seeking more details, The VAR Guy plans to catch up with Intermedia during the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference 2009 (July 13-16, New Orleans).
– Partner Program: Bradbury concedes that Unison’s general partner program is “still in the works; we pushed back the launch of this as we are building a more sophisticated partner portal…When we launch, we will give all VARs and partners the ‘premium’ version so they will get leads distributed to them. Our goal is to be an extremely partner-centric company.”
– Ubuntu: Unison also triggered headlines last year by vowing to support Ubuntu Linux. Fast forward to the present, and both Unison Server and Unison Desktop are available in production versions running on Ubuntu, Bradbury says.
Lots of progress and promises. But will Unison become a profitable alternative to Exchange Server and various Unified Communications platforms? And how will channel partners ultimately fit in the mix? The VAR Guy will be watching.