UC Exchange creator NextPlane Inc. is now offering free Google (News - Alert) federation access to organizations using email hosting solution Microsoft (News - Alert) Lync, Microsoft OCS or IBM Sametime. Launched only last month, UC Exchange is a cloud-based service for unified communications platforms that does not require any on-premises hardware or software. NextPlane shortens the time it takes to setup federation with Google to less than a day, as well as eliminates the hassle of installing and configuring an XMPP gateway. It even allows members to find, connect, and collaborate with other federation-ready organizations, enabling companies to benefit from greater reliability and scalability, access to usage reports and 24x7 service availability.
Google federation will be powered within UC Exchange. Member organizations can connect users from different companies regardless of their underlying UC platform – with presence, instant messaging, multiuser chat, voice and video – all as if they are on the same UC platform. Companies who upgrade to a paid subscription to the NextPlane UC Exchange federation service can access additional features including voice and video federation with Google (a feature unique to NextPlane), and federation with other UC platforms, social business communities such as Yammer, Salesforce.com's Chatter, Twitter, Skype (News - Alert), LinkedIn and XMPP hosted chat rooms.
"Our free Google federation for organizations with a Microsoft or IBM unified communications platform gives users a significantly better real time collaboration experience," said Farzin Shahidi, founder and chief executive officer of NextPlane, in a statement. "By using NextPlane UC Exchange, IT departments can go beyond the serious limitations of Inter-vendor UC interoperability solutions which are not being addressed by UC vendors,” he added.
"The benefits of unified and social communications are maximized within those enterprises that extend their solutions across their end users, partners, customers, and suppliers. However, in many organizations, UC and social media platforms remain isolated islands of communication with an inward focus," added Bill Haskins, senior analyst with Wainhouse (News - Alert) Research. "NextPlane's UC Exchange marks a major step in breaking down communication barriers between organizations, and enabling users of UC and social media to participate in secure, federated, and collaborative business communities," he added.
In addition to the free Google federation service, businesses can access the UC Exchange Management Portal to search the UC Exchange Members Directory, accept inbound federation requests at a no additional charge, and get instant access to usage reports.
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Edited by Jamie Epstein