Unified communications has revolutionized business communication. Companies that employ the modern communication infrastructure benefit from saving time and resources, while operating more efficiently. The tools allow geographically disparate coworkers to connect in a matter of seconds, should they both be available.
But regular business communication isn’t confined to a single company. Employees often need to routinely communicate with colleagues in different organizations. While other organizations are likely to use unified communications as well, oftentimes those solutions aren’t compatible.
So how can two or more distinct companies realize the benefits of unified communications between each other if they’re using different platforms? By employing NextPlane’s UC federation services, companies can connect with one another to enjoy the UC benefits of presence, instant messaging, multiuser chat, voice, video federation and more. Companies that use the service can choose whether they want to be connected with other companies that use it, in a manner similar to friending people on Facebook (News - Alert).
“We were one of the first companies to offer a cloud-based service in the UC marketplace,” Farzin Shahidi, the company’s founder and CEO, told TMCnet.com at ITEXPO today. “We enable companies to do real time communication and collaboration, which is way better than trying to do it through phone and email.”
Founded in 2007, Silicon Valley-based NextPlane supports roughly 130 customers worldwide who together account for 250 thousand unique users each month who send one billion messages across the company’s network each month.
“The power of UC lies in the ability to see another person’s presence,” Shahidi said. “When you see someone’s available, you can get in touch with them, you can chat. You can pull in a couple of other people. That is already happening inside companies where UC is deployed, but it doesn’t happen across companies.”
NextPlane’s customers tend to be Global 2000—large companies with a variety of different customers and partners who want to get connected, engaging in real-time collaboration and communication. That’s because one of the biggest inefficiencies in dealing with partners is communication, and that inefficiency is erased with NextPlane’s UC Exchange solution.
“People can get things done across two large companies very quickly,” Shahidi said. “You don’t have to wait for someone to get back to you three days later. You don’t have to spend time trying to find someone. You see when they’re available.”
The company draws 90 percent of its traffic from presence and chat features. Shahidi hypothesized that the reason for that statistic is the ability chat gives you to avoid the formalities of both verbal and written communication. In person, you might ask someone how his or her day is going and what’s new before getting down to the question you want to ask. When it comes to email, there’s no end to how much scrutiny grammar and wordage can be given. With chat, those formalities disappear.
“You don’t have to engage the other person—you get right down to it,” he said. Like younger people these days who might text each other to find out who’s going to a party, “the same exists in the corporate world where you just want to ask a quick question and get a quick answer.”
What makes NextPlane different from its competitors?
“The depth and breadth of our service,” Shahidi said. “And having become the leading provider in the space.”
NextPlane continues to work on new products and services that allow even greater federation across different platforms.
Edited by Blaise McNamee