Unify, the former Siemens Enterprise Communications, has at last unveiled its long-awaited Project Ansible unified communications platform – except it’s not called Project Ansible anymore and channel partners won’t be able to sell it right away.
Project Ansible, as you’ll recall, is the UC initiative started in summer of 2013 when Unify was still Siemens; Project Ansible was expected to be released a year later as a platform that would bring together all of the elements that make for easy collaboration, communications and social media interaction from one portal, on any device.
But that introduction was delayed amid organizational changes – Unify did a clean sweep of its C-level team in early 2014 – and as customers and focus groups provided tips for fine-tuning the solution. Now, months of work have culminated in today’s launch of Project Ansible, which, incidentally, has been renamed Circuit.
Circuit, as the name suggests, creates a full circle of connected services because it combines voice, video, screen sharing, messaging and file sharing. The interface is the same on all devices, such as the Chrome Web browser and Apple devices. Android support will be ready in January. Meantime, Circuit also features native WebRTC capabilities so that anyone with a compatible HTML 5 browser may collaborate without having to be a Circuit customer. There’s also no ideal number of users; as few as 25 people, up to thousands, may take advantage of Circuit. Further, there are no setup fees.
In short, Unify touts Circuit as a game-changer.
“We created an experience that mimics the brain, and naturally transforms the collaborative process, and teamwork,” said Dean Douglas, Unify’s CEO. “Simply put, we’ve enabled a new way to work that is about people first.”
On the heels of Circuit’s much-anticipated unveiling, though, is news that partners will not get immediate access to the product. For the first couple of months, Unify will offer Circuit through a self-service end user portal and via direct salespeople.
However, partners will be able to add Circuit to their portfolios when the revamped Unify channel program goes live in January. Unify is not ready to disclose its compensation structure for Circuit sales but spokeswoman Diane Salvatora did say the company is exploring different models including referrals and resale.