Unify, which launched its Circuit communications platform almost a year ago, is making the offering available to its more than 3,500 channel partners worldwide, rapidly expanding the availability of its technology in more than 30 countries.
Circuit is designed to offer a single unified communications (UC) platform for a wide range of business applications, from high-quality voice and video to messaging, screen-sharing, document-editing and file-sharing. At the same time, Circuit also gives users a place to store the data from meetings so that it can be accessed later.
At an event in May, Unify’s channel partners asked company officials if they could start selling the platform sooner rather than later, according to Jon Pritchard, executive vice president of worldwide channels at Unify.
“Being a partner-centric company, we listened to their request, accelerated our rollout schedules and now have given our partners the ability to sell months earlier than originally planned,” Pritchard said in a statement. “Circuit also offers Unify partners an opportunity to interact with customers around a leading-edge collaboration platform.”
At the same time, Circuit offers system integrators and other partners another way into the software-as-a-service (SaaS) sales environment, he said.
Unify is enabling channel partners to sell Circuit through two models, including the Referral Selling Model in which partners can develop a qualifying lead with a current or new customer and then refer those customers to Unify. Under the Extended Agent Model, partners can work the deal themselves, from quoting prices to signing the final papers.
Unify released the Circuit platform in October 2014, a year after the company changed its name from Siemens Enterprise Communications. The technology, which had been given the code name Ansible for almost two years before its release, was launched into a UC market that is in transition. The rise of an increasingly mobile workforce and the ongoing consumerization of IT—also known as the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) phenomenon—are putting pressure on businesses to adopt technologies that enable people to collaborate more easily from anywhere and on any devices, including smartphones, tablets and notebooks.
Enterprises are migrating to cloud- and software-based solutions to meet the demands from their employees, partners and customers.
Cisco Systems and Microsoft are the top UC vendors, followed by a crowded field of other companies, including Unify, ShoreTel, Mitel, Avaya and Alcatel-Lucent (which Nokia Networks is buying). Most are looking to bring their products together to make them easier to use. For example, ShoreTel in August rolled out its Connect solution, offering a common platform for its on-premises and cloud-based UC products.
It’s also a market that some believe is ripe for consolidation. Mitel CEO Richard McBee over the past several years has bought a number of communications technology vendors to build out his company’s portfolio and has said that he expects more businesses will be bought. McBee said he intends to be a buyer rather than a seller.
Zeus Kerravala, principal analyst with ZK Research, told eWEEK earlier this month that he also expects more consolidation and that vendors looking to survive are going to have to adapt to the rapidly changing landscape.
“There’s not enough revenue for all companies to win,” Kerravala said. “Vendors must be willing to put both feet into the new [cloud] world and embrace it, and not sacrifice the future for their legacy businesses.”