Re-published from UCTODAY by Dominic Kent
As Unify Circuit approaches its 5th birthday, I spoke to Philipp Bohn, VP of Marketing for Cloud Collaboration at Unify, to run through some key milestones he has witnessed since Circuit’s inception. Philipp informed me that the timing of our conversation coincided with the celebration of last year’s 100th sprint. Unify release every 4 weeks so making it to 100 sprints is a great achievement for any software implementation. This is a major testament to how much has happened since the launch.
I spoke to Philipp about Unify’s biggest win with Circuit to date. In 2016, Unify deployed Circuit to Siemens, covering 350,000 employees globally.
This makes it not only Unify’s biggest deployment but according to market numbers from Global Data Plc. the biggest deployment in the industry. For example, the largest Microsoft Teams rollout is circa 100,000 users. A major statement for Unify and the gauntlet was thrown down to the big collaboration players.
Speaking of Microsoft Teams, I asked Philipp who the main competition for Circuit has been through various iterations. Philipp was keen to stress that Circuit isn’t simply a comparable tool to the likes of Slack.
“We differ because of our scalability and quality in the real-time communications space and telephony integration”.
“Particularly in Europe, telephony is still a big deal. The death of the desk phone may be a reality for some enterprises but we see a lot of telephony usage in Europe still. Google, Microsoft and Slack aren’t focusing on that. Slack focused on startups with a smaller number of employees – those that don’t need to call as much. Slack own the tech and startup world. Our world is SMB where people make a lot of phone calls”.
Unify competition used to comprise Avaya, Mitel and Nortel. Fast forward to 2019 and Unify Circuit is comfortable competing with the likes of Microsoft Teams, Cisco Webex Teams and Google Hangouts. Unify also have the unique position of competing with Google but also partnering with Google via their parent company, Atos. I asked Philipp where the line was with competing versus partnering. “300 concurrent participants is not relevant for SMB but is for the enterprise. So, we treat it on a case by case basis”.
Unify claims to be the first enterprise vendor to introduce WebRTC. This has given them the advantage of developing and implementing high-quality video, screen sharing and collaboration experiences that integrate with existing phone system infrastructure. Philipp identified this hybrid approach as Unify’s unique selling point.
As the Circuit solution continues to be adopted, we spoke about its usage and the way it has changed communications. “Email will go back to its original purpose – sending an electronic mail. We have started to misuse email as a collaboration and project management tool. By using Circuit, we are helping solve that problem”.
To stand out in a market including brands like Microsoft, Cisco Webex and Google, integration and APIs are crucial. Unify has launched it’s own set of open APIs – connecting your collaboration tools to document storage solutions like Simplicity, OneDrive, Box and Google Drive.
Circuit is also live on Zapier. Philip said that “Unify has built their Zapier integration on top of Unify’s existing APIs. Zapier is ideal for more basic integrations that can be put together by an IT admin. For deeper integrations, you’d use our own APIs. For something like Salesforce, you’d use our APIs to get the most out of both solutions”.