The Fight for Google Apps UC Software
January 14, 2014
By Lavanya Rathnam, TMCnet Contributing Writer
Unified Communications (News - Alert) (UC) is the technology that integrates all forms of communication in one place. Implementing UC as a part of a productivity software, especially Google Apps, has been a challenge for companies because Google (News - Alert) does not have its own business communications software. Though Google has been experimenting in this field for sometime, it has not yet come with a perfect solution for this problem. Currently, Google Talk offers calling to PSTN numbers while there is some talk about bringing in Google+ for business communications.
Despite these efforts, there is no single solution from Google and this situation has opened up opportunities for many companies to provide a comprehensive UC solution for Google Apps. Many companies such as Digium (News - Alert), Vodafone, Verizon, Broadsoft, gUnify and Esna Technologies are competing in this space.
Out of these companies, Esna has a large market share with about 10,000 customers and more than one million end users. Esna's Officelinx for Google Apps integrates many different UC services such as messaging, click to call, voicemail, call routing, IM messaging, voice conferencing, geo-location and presence. It also works with multiple PBXs, Windows, Mac, Android (News - Alert) OS, iOS, Windows Phone and Blackberry. Another choice for users is gUnify. This is a cloud-based UC application that is available for hosted VoIP providers to help them reach out to customers who use Google Apps. With this service, users can click and call from their Google App, talk through their hosted VoIP or PBX (News - Alert) services and log calls directly to their CRM application. Additionally, customers do not have to install browser plug-ins or software or setup servers to use gUnify as everything is cloud-based.
Other than these two software, there are other smaller companies too that operate in this segment. Within the next few years, it is hoped that customers get a better sense of direction from Google for UC communications. Until then, customers have to choose from third party applications to keep their communications in one place.
Edited by Cassandra Tucker