NextPlane Invites Companies to Join the Growing Community of UC Exchange Members with Free Directory Listing and Federation Services

SUNNYVALE, Calif. (October 17, 2012) – NextPlane, Inc., (www.nextplane.com), the market leader in cloud-based federation services for unified communications (UC), today announced UC Exchange, the next step in building real-time collaborative business communities for UC platforms. UC Exchange is a UC federation service with a searchable directory of more than 100 (and growing) federation-ready organizations where companies can easily federate with customers and partners using a secure management portal. Since UC Exchange is a cloud-based service there is no additional hardware or software required to participate.

Today, more than ever, companies need to put customers and partners at the heart of their business. With the NextPlane UC Exchange service, enterprises are able to break their organizational boundaries and connect with their business partner ecosystem in real time to increase efficiency, productivity, and gain competitive advantage. UC Exchange improves real-time collaboration with such features as searchable directories, UC-to-Skype federation, UC-to-social media federation, and a secure management portal.

UC Exchange already serves more than several hundred thousand users from global organizations spanning education, manufacturing, supply chain, pharmaceuticals and health services, telecommunications, transportation, and technology. UC Exchange users currently exchange billions of presence, chat, voice and video messages per month with business colleagues within their ecosystems.

“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,” said Bill Haskins, Senior Analyst with Wainhouse 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.”

Key features of UC Exchange include:

  • UC Federation Services – enables any organization to seamlessly federate across Microsoft, Cisco, IBM, Google, OpenFire, Isode, and eJabberd platforms.
  • Secure Management Portal – allows searching the Members Directory for federation-ready partners, managing federation requests, and accessing usage reports.
  • Directory Services (Available December 2012) – provides a searchable “phone book” of validated contact information based on employee profiles received from contributing members.
  • Microsoft Lync and OCS to Skype Federation – enables end-users to call users on Skype from their Microsoft Lync or OCS client.
  • Google to Skype Federation (Available December 2012) – enables end-users to call users on Skype from their Google client.
  • Voice Conferencing Federation – enables end-users on Microsoft Lync or OCS, to initiate conference calls and add colleagues on Google or vice versa.
  • UC to Social Media Federation – enables end-users of Yammer, Chatter and Twitter to authenticate with their social media accounts and post to social media feeds, send private messages and participate in group discussions, all from their UC client.
  • Microsoft Lync and OCS to XMPP Hosted Group Chat Federation – enables Lync and OCS end-users to participate in group chat rooms hosted on XMPP-based UC platforms.

“UC Exchange accelerates building real-time collaborative business communities, irrespective of the underlying UC and social media solution being used,” said Farzin Shahidi, founder and CEO of NextPlane. “UC Exchange does this in two ways: First, we provide a free directory service to allow organizations to easily find and federate with their ‘federation-ready’ partners. Second, we offer subscribing customers access to federation services and a searchable directory where their end-users can search for the contact information of their colleagues in partner organizations, directly from their UC clients.”

NextPlane is offering UC Exchange membership at two levels:

Directory Membership – Free membership that gives member organizations access to the Management Portal, a listing in the Members Directory, the ability to search for Federation-Ready partners, the ability to accept inbound federation requests, free federation with Gmail.com, and basic usage reports.

Community Membership – Fee-based membership, which includes the ability to make directory-driven outbound UC to UC federation requests, user-level Directory Search, plus additional federation services such as federation with Skype, Social Media federation (Yammer, Twitter and Chatter) and XMPP Group Chat Federation. Community Members also receive additional benefits such as policy enforcement, advanced federation analytics and reporting, and 24/7 support with guaranteed service levels. Annual subscription fees for Community Membership are based on the number of users, domains, and federation features required